Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Doctor of Nursing Practice

March 4: MSN & DNP Open House

Registered nurses looking to advance your career with a MSN or DNP, visit our San Francisco campus for an Open House.

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San Francisco's Main Campus

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) plan of study in the DNP Program prepares registered nurses (RNs) with a baccalaureate or master's degree as Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) in the PMHNP role.

A Post-Graduate PMHNP Certificate Program is available for the doctorally prepared nurse.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialty

Graduates of the program are equipped to provide a wide range of services to adults, children, adolescents, and their families in a primary care facility, outpatient mental health clinic, psychiatric emergency services, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, private practice, or in a hospital or community health center.

PMHNPs diagnose, conduct therapy, and prescribe medications for patients who have psychiatric disorders, medical organic brain disorders or substance abuse problems. They are licensed to provide emergency psychiatric services, psychosocial and physical assessment of their patients; treatment plans, and manage patient care. They may also serve as consultants or as educators for families and staff. The PMHNP has a focus on psychiatric diagnosis, including the differential diagnosis of medical disorders with psychiatric symptoms, and on medication treatment for psychiatric disorders.

During the first two years of the DNP/PMHNP program, students complete coursework in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), preparation that uniquely qualifies them develop the PMHNP skill set within the context of the integrated health micro-system.

Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner DNP Plans of Study

Plans of Study for BSN to DNP

  • MSBH to DNP – The MSBH, Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) curriculum is ideal for the student interested in providing the full spectrum of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) mental health services including assessment and diagnosis, therapeutic counseling, and medication management. The DNP focus for students in this plan of study is the APRN role in the provision of the mental health services and the reduction of behavioral health disparities. 

Plans of Study for Master's to DNP

Enter with a MSN or another master's degree
  • MSN to DNP – Students in this Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) plan of study also have the option of completing a Public Health or Behavioral Health specialty in conjunction with the DNP degree. 


The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Each plan of study of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, (Executive Leadership, Family Nurse Practitioner, Health Care Systems Leadership, and Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) is included in the accreditation of the DNP program in the School of Nursing and Health Professions.

Graduates meet the outcome competencies and practice standards of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. In the program, students complete 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice, complete the DNP qualifying examination, and complete an evidence-based practice project (which replaces the dissertation). The program is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Contact Info

School of Nursing & Health Professions

Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-3627