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Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

What does a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner do?

Click here to learn more from Dr. Barbara Warren.

New: Distance learning option

The College of Nursing is proud to announce the launch of its new distance education option for Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialties. Students in the Traditional MS option have the opportunity to take all courses online and complete their clinicals near their own community. This option is not available to the Graduate Entry students. The College of Nursing is committed to the recruitment and preparation of culturally diverse nurse practitioners who are qualified to provide culturally competent primary health care and mental health care to people with co-occurring physical and mental disorders. Distance education programs provide greater access to nursing education for RNs and NPs in areas with shortages of health care providers. To learn more about the distance education option, e-mail nursing@osu.edu or phone (614) 688-8145.

Advanced nursing practice

The primary goal of the Adult Psychiatric Mental Health specialty track is to prepare graduates for professional opportunities as psychiatric mental health clinical nurse specialists (PMH CNSs) or nurse practitioners (PMH NPs). Nurses completing the specialty are qualified for both of these areas of specialization and are eligible to take the PMH CNS or PMH NP certification examinations. Graduates are prepared to provide mental health services in psychiatric mental health inpatient or outpatient facilities to adults with mental illness, substance abuse problems, or dual diagnoses..

Coursework, field experience, and research allow our students to acquire the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for certification as clinical nurse specialists or nurse practitioners. In addition to the Adult Psychiatric Mental Health specialty, students may complete another Nurse Practitioner specialty in a time-extended program or as a Post-Master's student. Students who choose to add another specialty in either a time-extended program or Post-Master's program are eligible to be certified in both specialties. Our specialty meets the nurse practitioner curriculum guidelines of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties.

At the heart of our master’s program are active, collaborative relationships between the College of Nursing faculty and community-based mental health programs as well as The Ohio State University Medical Center’s teaching hospitals.  As part of the country’s most comprehensive health sciences center, our students benefit from access to cutting-edge research and knowledge, a diverse selection of elective courses, and interdisciplinary collaboration among health care professionals.

Our central location, class schedules, and preceptors throughout the state conveniently accommodate both part-time and full-time students.

Update on Future Program Revisions for Psychiatric Mental Health


Core Adult Psychiatric Mental Health faculty
Barbara Warren, PhD, PMH APRN-CNS-BC, Director
Celia Wills, PhD, RN

Essential skills
Graduates enter the workforce with the skills and competencies to:

  • provide mental health promotion and primary behavioral health care for adults who have or are at risk for mental health and chemical dependency problems
  • put theory and research into practice with individuals, groups, families, and communities
  • design, implement, and evaluate behavioral health care strategies
  • utilize leadership skills to effect positive change in policies
  • adapt professionally to the constantly changing health care environment
  • contribute to the advancement of the profession

Core curriculum
Students are required to complete the following core courses:

 Online courses
Much of the nursing core curriculum is offered online. Most students enroll in a mix of online and in-person nursing courses. However, for those students who wish to take all courses exclusively online, they may enroll in the distance education option. Classes are offered in a synchronous format in “real time” and in asynchronous format. Students must come to the Columbus campus approximately twice per year to satisfy the requirements of Nursing 705 and Nursing 859, but they may complete all of their clinicals near their own community. If a student enrolled in the distance education option wants to take a nursing course in-person on the Columbus campus they must petition the Graduate Studies Committee for permission. Applicants who would like to take all of their nursing courses online, should select the distance education option on the Supplemental Application.

Adult psychiatric mental health courses

  • Nursing 7400              Leadership in Advanced Nursing
  • Nursing 7440              Scientific Thought in Nursing
  • Nursing 7490              Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Nursing 7480              Quality Improvement in Advanced Nursing Care
  • Nursing 7500              Nursing in the American Health Care System
  • Nursing 7520              Graduate Nursing Informatics
  • Nursing 7780              Evidence Based Nursing Scholarship
  • Nursing 7410              Advanced Health Assessment
  • Nursing 7450              Pathophysiology of Altered Health States
  • Nursing 7470              Advanced Pharmacology in Nursing

Students must complete these specialty track courses:

  • Nursing 7340              Neuroscience Principles and Concepts Relevant to Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
  • Nursing 7341              Advanced Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing: Therapies Across the Lifespan


Clinical courses
Our specialty provides preceptors in a wide variety of geographic locations and clinical sites throughout Ohio. Students work with clinical specialists, nurse practitioners, psychologists, social workers, and physicians in ambulatory primary care and inpatient settings.

Students must complete three hours of seminar and supervision, and 16 hours of clinical work per week for three quarters during their final year of study in the following course:

  •  Nursing 7348             Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing – Clinical Practicum I, II

Download PDF> Specialty Overview

Download PDF> FAQ

Download PDF> Sample curriculum

Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Mental Health
The primary goal of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Mental Health sub-specialty is to prepare graduates for professional opportunities as a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (PMH CNS) or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMH NP) in the area of child and adolescent mental health. Graduates are prepared to provide mental health services in psychiatric mental health inpatient our outpatient facilities for children and adolescents with mental illness, substance abuse problems, or dual diagnosis.

Clinical courses
Our specialty provides preceptors in a wide variety of geographic locations and clinical sites throughout Ohio. Students work with clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, psychologists, social workers, and physicians in ambulatory primary care and inpatient settings.

Students must complete three hours of seminar and supervision, and 16 hours of clinical work per week for three quarters during the final year of study in each of the following courses:

  • Nursing 7330          Advanced Pediatric Health Assessment
  • Nursing 7348          Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing – Clinical Practicum I, II  

Download PDF> Specialty Overview

Download PDF> Sample curriculum

Admissions & program information
Traditional Master of Science option
Graduate Entry option

Post-Master’s option
The College of Nursing's Post-Master's option prepares master's-prepared nurses for certification as psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. Applicants must apply directly to the College of Nursing for admission to the Post-Master's option. For further information about the post-master's option, click here


For further information about the Psychiatric Mental Health program, contact:

The Ohio State University
College of Nursing
Graduate Outreach and Admissions
1585 Neil Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210-1289

Call (614) 688-8145
E-mail nursing@osu.edu

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