Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Preparing nurses interested in advanced practice roles to promote and maintain health and to prevent, detect and treat acute and chronic mental illness in adults across a variety of settings

  • Time to degree is 20 months (FT) or 32 months (PT)
  • 49 credits (18 to 31 credits for post-master’s certificate, 12 to 21 months, depending on specialization)
  • Graduates eligible for ANCC certification exam for the Psych Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • More than 500 precepted clinical hours
  • Application deadline: Nov. 1 for entry the following fall
    (notification by Feb. 1)


 already started an application? log in here


Overview Admissions Classes Contact



The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing track emphasizes the preparation of nurses for advanced practice roles in the care of individuals across the lifespan in a variety of settings, with particular attention paid to addressing the needs of underserved, rural populations.

Who is the PMHNP program for?
This program offers at least baccalaureate-educated nurses with at least one year of full-time RN experience the opportunity to earn a master's degree and advance their practice at top-ranked UVA School of Nursing. Nurses with advanced degrees like the PMHNP tend to enjoy greater professional mobility, receive better compensation, and often rise quickly and competently into leadership positions within clinics and hospitals.

BSN-to-DNP pathway: the School also offers a DNP specialty track for those with BSN or generalist MSN degrees wishing to pursue the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track.


  • Full- and part-time programs available, each with flexible schedules
  • Access to world-class faculty, cutting-edge research and top-of-the-line clinical facilities
  • Small, intimate classes and hands-on practicums
  • More than 500 hours of precepted clinical experiences at a host of dynamic sites throughout the Commonwealth
  • A chance to specialize
  • Upon graduation, an MSN and the chance for further graduate study


Applicants must submit a completed application and:

  • Have a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited school
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate study
  • Be licensed as a registered nurse in the US and be eligible for a RN license in Virginia. All matriculating students who are not active-duty military nurses must have a Virginia RN license before the first day of classes
  • Submit a total of three satisfactory recommendations (academic, professional, and clinical), one of which should be from an APRN
  • Submit a copy of your resume or CV
  • Have completed an undergraduate or graduate statistics course within the past five years
  • Be available for an interview, if requested
  • International applicants have additional admissions requirements

RN experience
Applicants to the PMHNP program must have at least one year of full-time RN experience before entering the program and prior to enrolling in GNUR 6020 (Advanced Pharmacology), GNUR 6025 (Advanced Health Assessment), and the clinical practica.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Submission of GRE scores is optional. If you wish to submit your scores, UVA's Institutional Code is R-5820. The School of Nursing accepts GRE scores that are more than five years old (please submit a copy of the student report).

Competitive applicants
A competitive candidate for admission would have the following at the time of application:

  • BSN GPA of 3.25 or higher
  • More than one year of relevant, full-time RN experience
  • Active member of a national nursing organization (preferably in applicant’s practice area)
  • Exhibiting leadership behaviors in a nursing practice setting (mentoring other nurses, participating in unit or hospital-based leadership teams, engaged in practice change and evidence-based practice projects)
  • Possess a clinical certification, or on pathway to obtaining one or more certifications
  • Excellent organizational and writing skills

Tuition & financial aid


Building on the theoretical knowledge and clinical experience of the BSN-prepared nurse, PMHNP program seminars focus on assessment and management of serious mental illness. Particular emphasis is placed on the integration of neurobiologic, psychosocial and psychiatric nursing knowledge in delivery of care to individuals experiencing schizophrenic spectrum disorders, depression related syndromes and psycho-geriatric illnesses.

Clinical placement sites are arranged in a variety of inpatient and community care settings appropriate to the interests and learning needs of the student. Students in the PMHNP program complete 500 hours of clinicals in the final two semesters of enrollment (GNUR 7251 and either 7252 or 7253).

All clinical/practicum activities are generally conducted within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Clinical/practice activities may be conducted in a different state as long as that state participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. A list of participating states can be accessed at

Technology requirements
Graduate nursing students are required to have a laptop. Additionally, students in the advanced practice programs (CNS and NP) are required to have a smartphone (Apple or Android). Information on the laptop and smartphone requirements will be sent to enrolling students the summer before classes begin.


  • Complete the online inquiry form to be added to the mailing list
  • Program coordinator: Edie Barbero, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC: 434-924-2704
  • Admissions and financial aid questions: contact the Office of Admissions and Student Services: (434) 924-0141 or (888) 283-8703