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PMHNP Master's Certificate Programs

Students who have already pursued an education as a nurse practitioner may be interested in gaining more specialized knowledge in mental health by enrolling in a PMHNP certificate program. This article discusses these programs in greater detail.

The Post-Master's Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Certificate is designed to give nurse practitioners targeted instruction and clinical experience in the mental health field. Students enrolled in these programs will learn about different mental and physical conditions, treatment options, how to provide integrated care and support, and how mental health care differs across a variety of healthcare settings. We will learn more about these programs below.

Information About PMHNP Master's Certificate Programs

Students who decide to enroll in PMHNP master's certificate programs will be required to take a number of courses in addition to completing a significant number of clinical hours in order to receive the certificate. These programs are often offered online and some are offered on a part-time basis, as they are designed to suit the needs of working nurse practitioners. Below, we will look at five of the courses that are commonly found in these programs.

Psychopharmacology

A course is psychopharmacology is a standard component of PMHNP master's certificate programs. In this course, students will learn about various pharmacological treatments of mental health and psychiatric problems. Topics that may be discussed in this course include biochemistry, pathophysiology, neurophysiology, and behavioral therapy.

Integrated Care

These programs often require that students take at least one course focused on some aspect of integrative care. Students may learn how to use their knowledge of a variety of different therapies, applications of care, and management and integrate them into a comprehensive care plan for an individual.

Geriatric and Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Practicum

As these certificates are designed for individuals who are already healthcare professionals, the practicum component is a significant part of the program. One of these practicums is generally done in the area of geriatric and adult psychiatric mental health. In this practicum, students will work in a mental health facility that serves the adult and geriatric community and will learn how to best provide care for this group of the population.

Child and Family Psychiatric Mental Health Practicum

Another standard practicum focuses on working with children and families who are dealing with psychiatric and mental health issues. During this practicum, students will learn about disorders and mental health problems that affect children specifically and they will work in facilities that work with children and their families delivering mental health care.

Diagnosis of Mental Disorders

A course that focuses on correctly identifying and diagnosing various mental disorders is another common component of the curriculum of PMHNP master's certificate programs. In this course, students will learn about the diagnostic process in general, what criteria are used when assessing patients for mental disorders, and a number of other tools that mental healthcare professionals use when diagnosing.

Admission Requirements for PMHNP Master's Certificate Programs

There are a number of requirements that applicants must meet in order to gain admission into PMHNP master's certificate programs. Applicants must have already completed a Master of Science in Nursing program and programs generally specify that students have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA in order to be considered for admission. Some programs may also require or prefer applicants that have work experience as a nurse practitioner. In addition, applicants must also have an active RN (registered nurse) license in order to qualify for admission. When applying to these programs, applicants will need to submit transcripts of all of their past undergraduate and graduate work, a completed application form, a resume, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation.

Career Possibilities with a PMHNP Master's Certificate

The PMHNP certificate is generally designed for individuals who are already nurse practitioners. With the certificate, a nurse practitioner may choose to specialize in mental health care or work in a mental health facility. As of 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nurse practitioners made an annual median salary of $103,880. This field was projected to grow by 36% between 2016 and 2026. Another possible job for graduates of these programs is a career as a medical and health services manager. These professionals made a median salary of $98,350 in 2017 and the field is projected to grow by 20% between 2016 and 2026.

Post-Master's Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certificate programs are designed for current nurse practitioners who want to become more educated in the field of mental health. These programs are often offered online and and prepare graduates for more specialized work in mental health.


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