Master of Science in
230K+ Alumni Worldwide
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is designed for baccalaureate-prepared nurses (BSN), and is currently accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). In keeping with graduate education standards for advanced practice nursing delineated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in the Essentials of Master’s Education for Advanced Practice Nurses, the curriculum and instruction prepare you to assume a leadership role in your particular specialization. You’ll learn and exercise advanced practice nursing skills with the goal of providing and organizing better healthcare delivery.
The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – Lifespan (PMHNP) specialization prepares nursing professionals for advanced practice roles in providing primary mental healthcare to individuals, groups, and populations across a lifespan. As an independent member of the healthcare team, and in partnership with patients and their families, PMHNPs provide a variety of evidence-based services and therapies. They assess, diagnose, and plan care for complex psychiatric and concomitant medical issues, including the prescription and management of psychopharmacologic agents.
Program graduates are eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Lifespan competency-based examination.
The following candidates are eligible for admission into the MSN program:
- Those who hold a BSN degree from a nursing program that meets one of these criteria: 1) A nationally accredited nursing program
2) A regionally accredited university/school that meets NU requirements for graduate study listed in the general catalog under “Academic Information for Graduate Degrees and Credentials”
- Those currently enrolled in the final course of their RN-BSN program and meet NU requirements for graduate study listed in the general catalog under “Academic Information for Graduate Degrees and Credentials,” including “Admission in the Term Prior to Bachelor’s Degree Completion”
All MSN candidates must:
- Provide proof of current, active, and unencumbered RN license in their state of employment and/or residence
- Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Candidates with a GPA of 2.5 to 2.99 will be considered by the MSN admission committee on a case-by-case basis
- Complete the NU graduate admission application
- Submit the MSN application packet
Candidates who graduated from a BSN program other than NU must:
- Provide an official transcript from each college or university attended to the registrar’s office.
- Provide two professional recommendations on approved forms, preferably from individuals who hold graduate or doctoral degrees.
Prior to starting specialization courses, all candidates must:
- Provide evidence of current, active professional liability and malpractice insurance coverage throughout the program.
- Provide evidence of specified immunizations, a recent physical examination report, a clear drug screen and background check, and current BLS certification.
Additional Program Information
- Candidates are required to meet with an admission advisor to review the process for applying to and acceptance into the Nursing program. Topics for review include: program of study, schedule of courses, and requirements for progression in the program. Note: prospective students should review the MSN and post-graduate certificate packet before submitting an application.
- Students should be proficient in operating a personal computer, including: demonstrated competency in standard computer operating systems and electronic filing systems, basic keyboarding skills, organizing and sorting electronic documents, demonstrated knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and other standard computer applications, and familiarity with internet browsers and standard email systems.
- The MSN program is an online course of study with a mandatory onsite component. All accepted applicants must attend a virtual online program orientation. In addition, students in the FNP and PMHNP specializations are required to attend three or four one-day objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) either virtually or at an NU campus. FNP and PMHNP practicum courses are offered as immersion experiences conducted in person at faculty-approved, instructor-led clinical settings. FNP and PMHNP specializations carry additional fees. See the “Tuition and Fees” section of the general catalog for course fees.
- Students who request a change in specialization after having been admitted to a prior specialization must resubmit an application packet that includes a new goal statement and a completed recommendation form addressing the new specialization area. A new resume is not required. All prerequisites must be met prior to admissions into the new specialization. The new application will be resubmitted via the graduate Nursing e-form application in SOAR by the admission counselor.
- Students who withdraw from the program or withdraw their application prior to beginning the program will not need to reapply if the date of initial application occurred within one year of reapplication. Students requesting to be readmitted after one year of initial application for admissions will need to resubmit a new application packet that includes proof of drug screening, background check, immunizations, and a physical examination. Reapplication does not guarantee acceptance to the program or provide an advantage relative to other applicants.
This program is not available in all 50 States. Please see licensure website https://www.nu.edu/licensuredisclosures/ or consult an enrollment advisor for up-to date information.
Students earning the Master of Science in Nursing degree with a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialization will learn to:
- Synthesize theoretical and empirical knowledge derived from the physical and behavioral sciences and humanities as a basis for advanced clinical nursing practice.
- Devise evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention strategies at the patient, family, organizational, community, and population levels to improve healthcare outcomes.
- Utilize current technologies to deliver, enhance, and document care across multiple settings to achieve optimal outcomes.
- Apply organizational and systems leadership to current healthcare issues for the promotion of quality, effective, and safe patient care, including an emphasis on ethical and critical decision making, effective working relationships, and a systems-perspective approach.
- Model collaboration and coordination with interprofessional teams in healthcare systems to deliver care to complex, multi-need patients, families, and communities.
- Synthesize organizational, client-centered, and culturally appropriate concepts in the planning, delivery, management, and evaluation of evidence-based behavioral healthcare and services to individuals, families, and identified populations.
Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.
Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.
NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.
All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.
National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.