Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Specialty Track Description

The Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) specialty track of the DNP program provides an academic base of neuro-biological science and psychosocial theory, while emphasizing respect for person, family, community and culture. Students receive intensive clinical supervision and mentored experience while learning and integrating interpersonal skills that are foundational to psychotherapy practice with individuals, groups and families across the lifespan. Psychiatric assessment, mental health diagnoses, comprehensive treatment planning and prescriptive practice are important components of the clinical specialty. Graduates have the knowledge and skills essential for promoting, supporting and facilitating, optimal mental health through compassionate client-centered care. Students are well prepared for National Board Certification and State Licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

A cohort of approximately 20 students is accepted into the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialty track each fall semester.

In 2015, the PMHNP specialty track received a generous grant from the Veterans Administration Academic Partnerships in Graduate Education (VANAP-GE) program which provides support for a larger cohort, implementation of curriculum innovation, increased clinical placement traineeships, and development of a post-graduate residency curriculum at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System.

Post-Graduate Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Residency Program

Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center (SLC VAMC) and University of Utah College of Nursing (UU CON) were granted by Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) to offer an innovative 12 month Post-Graduate PMHNP Residency Training. This residency is designed for new PMHNPs with a commitment to serve the Veterans population.

Length of Program

The Psychiatric/Mental Health specialty track is eight (8) semesters in length, requiring 84 credit hours in didactic and clinical coursework.  It is available only as a full-time program (9+ credit hours per semester) and is completed in three (3) years, including two summer semesters.

The Utah State Board of Nursing requires 3000 supervised post-graduate hours for Psychiatric APRNs.

Studying at a Distance

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Practitioner Specialty Track is available to students living in the Intermountain West. Participation may not be possible in all areas. Utah residents living more than 60 miles from the University of Utah are able to participate in the distance option.

Read more information on distance delivery.

Certification Eligibility

Graduates are prepared to sit for the national certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Upon successful completion of the exam candidates are eligible to become certified or licensed to practice.

Program of Study

The Psychiatric/Mental Health program of study requires completion of the DNP core curriculum, Psychiatric/Mental Health specialty courses, a DNP capstone project and approximately 1000 hours of practicum and residency experience. Course descriptions can be found in the University of Utah General Catalog.

Sample Program of Study

Note: The Utah State Board of Nursing requires 3000 supervised post-graduate hours for Psychiatric/Mental Health APRNs.

Contact Us

Office of Student Services
Phone: 801-587-3194

Request More Information

Program Manager
Arminka Zeljkovic, MA
Phone: 801-581-8198

Faculty Specialty Track Director
ElLois Bailey, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC


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