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Embrace leadership roles with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Overview & Distinctions


Greater access to healthcare and a shortage in mental health professionals has lead to a growing demand for nursing professionals who have the clinical preparation and knowledge to provide holistic care to individuals, families and groups experiencing mental health dysfunction.

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) plan of study in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program allows you to expand on what you’ve learned as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) to assume leadership roles in mental health care, research, administration and education.

The D’Youville doctoral program combines traditional coursework, clinical fieldwork and graduate-level research to professional nurses who want to broaden their mental health care knowledge and enhance their professional career prospects.

If you’re interested in advancing your career as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner), D’Youville's nursing program is an ideal place to learn. Established in 1942, the Patricia H. Garman School of Nursing has earned a reputation as a leading resource in the region for high-quality, student-centered education.

What You'll Learn

As a student in D’Youville’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) program, you’ll learn from working mental health professionals and educators who have real-world experience diagnosing and treating mental health disorders across the lifespan. You’ll be educated on the application of theory into practice as the D’Youville faculty shares their extensive knowledge of advanced practice with you and prepares you for a robust variety of career opportunities across the mental health field.

Our program is designed to foster a deeper understanding of mental health illness and issues using contextual perspectives, environmental issues and personality structures in the holistic treatment of patients. You’ll learn to apply theory to individuals, families and groups to promote wellness to those experiencing dysfunction.

Why Choose D'Youville?

  • The D’Youville faculty are experienced mental health experts and recognized for their student-centered approach that emphasizes individualized instruction and career guidance.
  • Students benefit from an individualized plan of study that is created for them after a detailed evaluation of their transcripts and documented clinical hours.
  • You can begin your study in either the fall or the spring semester.
  • Our flexible program is designed for both working professionals who want to pursue their degree part-time and students who are able to dedicate themselves to full-time study.
  • D’Youville’s nursing program reflects the our mission to educate professionals who contribute to the world community through leadership and service to others.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Applicants to D’Youville’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) degree program require the following:

  1. Completion of a master's degree with specialty preparation as an advanced practice nurse (nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist or nurse midwife) from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited program at a college or university (or CNO in Ontario).
  2. Minimum graduate grade point average of 3.25 (based on a 4.0 system).
  3. Official transcripts from each college or university attended; this must include all undergraduate and graduate work.
  4. Copy of an active, unencumbered license as a professional registered nurse and advanced practice certification in New York state or Ontario.
  5. Current CPR certification with a psychomotor component.
  6. Copy of current national certification (or exam-eligibility) as an advanced practice nursing in a specialty area (where applicable).
  7. Documentation of the number of clinical hours completed in prior master's degree program.
  8. Three letters of reference; the faculty prefer that one come from a college-level professor if possible and at least one from an employer or colleague with an advanced or terminal degree, focusing on the applicant's potential for success in the doctoral program.

Canadian RN students must submit two licensure items:

  • A copy of original Certificate of Registration (issued upon passing of initial examination)
  • A copy of Annual Registration Renewal (showing current unencumbered license)

An applicant may choose to submit GRE scores if they believe their application does not adequately reflect their potential to succeed in a doctoral program.


Applicants to Doctor of Nursing Practice (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) degree program must complete the following undergraduate course prerequisites:

  • Statistics

Canadian students must submit a 'course-by-course' evaluation (or equivalent) of all Canadian college and/or university transcripts through the World Education Services (WES).

Use the Online Course Equivalency database to see whether the courses you've taken at other institutions can be counted towards a degree at D'Youville.

Transfer Credit Policy

Students may transfer up to nine graduate credits with grades of B or better into their program at the discretion of the program director. Credits must be earned from an accredited institution in courses required by the program being pursued.



Find detailed course information for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program, tools to plan your education, and complete academic policies and procedures in the D'Youville academic catalog.

In the specific area of concentration

NUR-701 Health Literacy & Population Health Outcomes 3
NUR-702 Evidence-Based Practice & IT Healthcare Delivery 4
NUR-703 Biostatistics for Advanced Nurse Leaders 2
NUR-704 Community-Based Care of Aging Population 3
NUR-705 Ethical Topics in Advanced Nursing Practice Seminar 3
NUR-709 Advance Practice Role for Doctoral Nursing Leaders 3
NUR-711 Translational Capstone: I Identify Project 2
NUR-712 Translational Capstone II: Design And Pilot Project 2
NUR-713 Translational Capstone III Implement and Evaluation 3
NUR-800 Continuing Clinical Practicum Residency 2
NUR-900 Continuing Capstone Project Advisement 1
Total Credits 28

Interdisciplinary course work required for this major

HAPH-653 Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care 3
Select one of the following:  
HAPH-652 Health Care Economics 3
Introduction to Health Care Finance  
Select one of the following:  
NUR-613 Nursing Leadership and Communication 3
Total Credits 9

An individual gap analysis will be made of each applicant’s transcripts to determine what additional courses or clinical hours may be needed to satisfy the DNP requirements.




D’Youville’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) plan of study in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares graduates to accept leadership roles to meet the growing demand for mental health care.

Career Outlook

As access to health care increases, the population ages, and the role is more widely recognized by the public as a source for primary health care, the demand for individuals with Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees with a focus on mental health will continue to increase across the spectrum of health care services.

As a Doctor of Nursing Practice (Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Practitioner), you’ll have the experience and credentials to not only meet the growing demand from hospitals, private practices and research facilities, but to assume leadership roles in the treatment and education of mental health issues.

A PMHNP focus provides DNPs with the specialized knowledge and understanding of mental health issues needed to provide holistic care to individuals, families and groups across all ages and from all backgrounds.

Job prospects for DNPs

A DNP degree can greatly expand your career options, allowing you to assume an advanced role as a health care professional. Typically, nurses with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree can seek expanded career opportunities in:


Nurses with DNP degrees often find themselves assuming a larger role in developing patient treatment plans, conducting research and using their knowledge to develop new policies and procedures for mental health care administration.


The advanced knowledge you’ll gain while earning your DNP with a PMHNP focus can help you successfully obtain new roles in research facilities analyzing the effects of therapy on client outcomes, exploring the stigma associated with mental illness and developing treatment for individuals in need of mental health care.

Private Practice

Many nurses with doctorates are transitioning into private psychotherapy practice as they become the holistic care provider for individuals, families and groups in need of mental health care.

Physicians’ Offices

As physicians discover the benefits of partnering with advanced practice nurses with doctorates, they are expanding their practices to bridge the gap between their own offerings and growing health care demands.

Public Health

As a valued source of expertise for all facets of the mental health care spectrum, DNPs with a PMHNP focus are increasingly relied upon by policymakers and public health professionals to address public health treatment and the socioeconomic issues associated with mental health care.

For more information about careers in nursing, visit: and

Border Commuter Status for Part time canadian students:
Canadian Applicants interested in commuting to D’Youville University should review the information listed regarding ‘Canadian Border Commuters’, here:

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