Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

What does a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner do?

Click here to learn more from Dr. Barbara Warren.

The primary goal of the Adult Psychiatric Mental Health specialty track is to prepare graduates for professional opportunities as psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMH NPs). Nurses completing the specialty are qualified and are eligible to take the PMH NP certification examination. 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 nurse practitioners. Our central location, class schedules, and preceptors throughout the state conveniently accommodate both part-time and full-time students. In addition to the Psychiatric Mental Health specialty, students may complete another Nurse Practitioner specialty as a Post-Master's student. 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.

Distance Learning Option

The College of Nursing is proud to provide a distance learning option for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialty. 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. State laws require post-secondary educational institutions to be legally authorized to provide online educational instruction in their states. This means that Ohio State online courses and programs must be legally authorized in a state prior to offering courses or programs to students residing there. Please check the status of your state of residence to determine if Ohio State has authorization to offer online courses and programs in your state. If you reside in a state in which Ohio State is authorized to provide online education, learn more about the distance learning option, e-mail or phone (614) 688-8145.

Core Psychiatric Mental Health Faculty

Barbara WarrenPhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FNAP, FAAN, Program Director                 

John Brion, PhD, RN, CRNP

Justin Kerr, MS, RN, PMHNP-BC

Daniel DiSalvo, MS, RN, PMHNP-BC

Jennifer Wilson, MS, RN, PMHNP-BC

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 Courses

  • Nursing 7403              Innovation Leadership in Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Nursing 7410               Advanced Health Assessment
  • Nursing 7450              Pathophysiology of Altered Health States
  • Nursing 7470              Advanced Pharmacology in Nursing
  • Nursing 7483              Quality Improvement and Informatics
  • Nursing 7491               Health Promotion and Disease Prevention across the Life Span
  • Nursing 7500              Nursing in the American Health Care System
  • Nursing 7780              Evidence Based Nursing Scholarship

Specialty Courses

  • Nursing 7340              Neuroscience Principles and Concepts
  • Nursing 7341               Advanced Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
  • Nursing 7338.01          Pediatric Primary Care Practicum I (Child Development requirement)
  • Nursing 7348.01          Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing Clinical Practicum I
  • Nursing 7348.02         Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing Clinical Practicum II

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 two semesters during their final year of study.

Sample Curriculum

A sample of the Psychiatric Mental Health NP program curriculum can be found here.

Admissions & Program Information

Traditional Master of Science option
Graduate Entry option
Post-Master's option 

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