Post-master's certificate

Overview:

  • Two years (full-time) to complete
  • Graduates are eligible for the PMHNP certification exam administered by ANCC
  • Application deadline: November 1 for entry the following fall

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?

The PMHNP track offers baccalaureate-educated nurses with at least one year of full-time RN experience the opportunity to advance their practice at the top-ranked UVA School of Nursing.

Our Approach

  • Intimate—classes are small, dynamic and filled with like-minded learners
  • Mentorship—access to world-class nursing faculty, exceptional mentors, cutting-edge research and top-of-the-line clinical facilities
  • Hands-on experience—500 hours of clinical experience
  • Specialize—a chance to specialize as part of the extended clinical practicum

Admission Requirements

To be considered for the post-master's certificate, applicants must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Have a master's 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 and graduate study
  • Hold an unencumbered RN license in the US at the time of application.  All matriculating students who are not active-duty military nurses must have a Virginia RN license before the first day of classes.
  • Have at least 1 year of full-time RN practice
  • Submit three satisfactory recommendations (academic, professional, and clinical), one of which should be from an APRN
  • Submit a resume or CV
  • Be available for an interview, if requested
  • International applicants have additional admissions requirements

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).

Financial Aid

Click here for tuition information.

Students in the post-master's certificate programs at UVA are ineligible for scholarship assistance or student loans. University aid is restricted to those who are enrolled in degree programs (MSN, DNP, PhD, etc).

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 neurobiologic, psychosocial and psychiatric nursing knowledge in delivery of care to individuals experiencing a wide range of psychiatric, mental health disorders

Plans of study

Distance Learning

The courses for the PMH program are taught in Charlottesville on Thursdays. These seminars are also broadcast live via the internet (beginning in the fall 2008 semester). Students who live at a distance from the University can participate in these seminars from their home communities. Clinical practice could also be satisfied in your home community. The advanced practice core classes (graduate pathophysiology, pharmacology, health assessment, and APN role) are taught 'live' at the University only. Students could come to Grounds to take these courses, or transfer them in from another approved university.

There are only six spaces per year available to distance learning PMHNP students; the technology used for the classroom instruction can only accommodate a limited number of remote users. Applicants interested in the distance learning option should indicate this in the goals statement part of the application.

Students with a MSN in PMH nursing generally complete the program part-time in 12-15 months. Those with a MSN in another clinical area generally complete the program in 21 months.

Please note: The University is in transition with establishing regulations to support out-of-state students for distance-learning.  If you are a non-Virginian student interested in enrolling in a distance-learning program, please contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at nursing-admissions@virginia.edu to see if you would be eligible to enroll.

Transfer Credit

Applicants who are master’s prepared and currently certified as a nurse practitioner will not be required to re-take advanced pharmacology (GNUR 6020), advanced pathophysiology (GNUR 6010), and advanced health assessment (GNUR 6025)—the “3 Ps”—or APRN Roles (GNUR 6031). The academic history of other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) will be examined on a case-by-case basis. Any of the 3 Ps not showing on the applicant’s transcript will need to be completed in order to receive a post-master’s certificate.

Clinicals

Clinical placement sites are arranged in a variety of inpatient and community care settings appropriate to the interests and learning needs of the student. Those who have completed an MSN in PMH nursing take 250 or more additional clinical hours for PMHNP preparation (GNUR 7254). Those who have an MSN in a clinical area other than PMH will complete 500 clinical hours for NP preparation as GNUR 7251 (fall) and GNUR 7254 (spring).

All clinical/practicum activities are generally conducted within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Clinical/practice activities may be conducted outside Virginia if the University is authorized to place students 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.