An advanced practice role that promotes health while also detecting and treating acute, episodic, and chronic mental illness across the lifespan

  • Guaranteed admission for UVA School of Nursing alumni
  • #7 public MSN program and Virginia's #1 nursing school
  • Full- and part-time options available
  • Two years (full-time) or three years (part-time) to complete
  • Graduates are eligible for the PMHNP certification exam administered by ANCC
  • Application deadline: January 5

The psychiatric-mental health nursing track emphasizes the preparation of advanced practice nurses to promote and maintain health and to prevent, detect and treat acute and chronic mental illness. Addressing the needs of underserved, rural populations is highlighted throughout the program.

Who should apply for the PMHNP program?

The PMHNP track offers baccalaureate-educated nurses with at least one year of full-time RN experience (relevant mental health experience is helpful) the opportunity to advance their practice. The PMHNP is offered at the MSN, certificate, and DNP levels.


Admission Requirements for PMHNP program

Learn about the MSN APRN admission requirements.

PMHNP Classes

Building on the theoretical knowledge and clinical experience of the BSN-prepared nurse, the PMHNP seminars focus on assessment and management of serious mental illness. Particular emphasis is placed on the integration of neuro-biologic, psychosocial, and psychiatric nursing knowledge in delivery of care to individuals experiencing a wide range of psychiatric, mental health disorders.


Students complete 500+ clinical hours in the PMHNP track, most in two semester-long preceptorships in the final two semesters of enrollment. Clinical rotation assignments are coordinated by students with support from faculty and staff. Currently, the School has several clinical contracts with mental health facilities.

All clinical/practicum activities are generally conducted within Virginia. Clinical/practice activities may be completed outside Virginia if the University is authorized to do so in that state and pending faculty approval.

Technology Requirements

All graduate nursing students are required to have a laptop; information about these requirements will be sent to enrolling students before classes begin. Please see the School of Nursing Computing Policies for more guidance on laptop ownership requirements.

State Authorization and Professional Licensure Disclosures

As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement, the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)).  

Upon completion of the Master of Science in Nursing, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state.

Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).