Specialization in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner - Lifespan

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-Lifespan (PMHNP) is a registered nurse prepared at the master’s degree level who specializes in primary mental health care for individuals, groups and populations across the lifespan. The PMHNP Program is designed for nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) who wish to advance their knowledge, education, and skills to practice in an advanced practice role as a PMHNP. This advanced practice nurse maintains a critical role in the health care team and ensures collaboration and the provision of safe, effective, coordinated care. As an independent member of the health care team, and in partnership with patients, the PMHNP provides a variety of evidence-based services and therapies. The PMHNP assesses, makes diagnoses and plans care for complex psychiatric and concomitant medical issues, including the prescription and management of psychopharmacologic agents. The PMHNP advocates for patients and their families within a recovery and trauma-informed paradigm. The PMHNP ensures that patients and their families are engaged and actively participate in their behavioral health (mental health and substance use) care as they respond to the illness experience. The PMHNP continuously enhances their care through quality improvement and safety efforts and influences policy at the local, regional and national levels. The PMHNP melds the art and science of professional nursing and skillfully manages the acute and enduring issues posed by people with behavioral health issues across the lifespan. Graduates of this PMHNP Program are eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Lifespan; formerly known as Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) competency-based examination.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Synthesize theoretical and empirical knowledge derived from the physical and behavioral sciences and humanities as a basis for professional advanced clinical nursing practice.
  2. Devise evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention strategies at the patient, family, organizational, community, and population levels for the purpose of improving health care outcomes.
  3. Utilize current technologies to deliver, enhance, and document care across multiple settings to achieve optimal outcomes
  4. Apply organizational and systems leadership to current healthcare issues for the promotion of quality, effective and safe patient care, including the emphasis on ethical and critical decision making, effective working relationships, and a systems-perspective approach.
  5. Model collaboration and coordination with interprofessional teams in health care systems delivering care to complex, multi-need patients, families and communities.
  6. Synthesize broad organizational, client-centered, and culturally appropriate concepts in the planning, delivery, management, and evaluation of evidence-based clinical prevention and population behavioral health care and services to individuals, families, and identified populations.


Specialization Requirements (12 courses; 55.5 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):
  • NSG 681 Advanced Physical Assessment
  • NSG 682 Advanced Pathophysiology
  • NSG 641 Advanced Pharmacology I
  • MNP 643 Psychopharmacology in MH Care
  • MNP 694 MH Care: Adults/Aging Adults
  • MNP 696A Adults/Aging Adults Practicum
  • MNP 687 MH Care: Children/Adolescents
  • FNP 680 Diversity Issues in APN
  • MNP 696B Children/Adoles Practicum
  • MNP 688A Introduction to Psychotherapy
  • MNP 688B Intro Psychotherapy Practicum
  • MNP 697 PMHNP Capstone