Shortest Online PMHNP Certificate Programs 2024

11 Min Read Published March 26, 2024
shortest online PMHNP programs

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who care for patients with mental diseases and disorders, as well as substance abuse problems.

One route to becoming certified is through an accredited PMHNP certificate program. Learn more about these programs and explore our list of the shortest online PMHNP certificate programs for 2024, including one-year programs. 

Popular Online Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Programs

Sponsored
Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Wilkes University

The R.N. to M.S.N program is for registered nurses with associate degrees who want to become nurse practitioners. It focuses on advanced clinical skills, professionalism and evidence-based practice. Our integrated exam preparation courses provide dedicated study resources, leading to impressive passing rates consistently above the national average and graduate success.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

What Is a PMHNP Certificate Program?

PMHNP certificate programs are for nurse practitioners (NPs) with advanced degrees who want to specialize further and become psychiatric nurse practitioners. 

Certificate programs are specifically designed for individuals who have completed an MSN or DNP program and have the appropriate bedside experience in the field. Upon completion of the PMHNP certificate program, you will be able to work directly with these patients. A PMHNP certificate is not always required to work in the field, but you will most often need this specific certificate. 

Depending on the program and your availability to complete the clinical portions, these programs may take one to three years. However, completing your PMHNP post-master's certificate online can help streamline your education to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Fast Facts

Salary

 $98,309 per year (ZipRecruiter)

Program Length

1-3 years

Requirements

  • Unrestricted RN license
  • Certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP) license & national certification
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • All official transcripts 
  • Academic and professional letters of recommendation
  • Goal statements
  • Personal interview
  • Resume/CV
  • BSN and MSN from an accredited university
  • One year experience as an NP

4 Shortest Online PMHNP Certificate Programs

1. Liberty University

Liberty University boasts one of the shortest post-master's PMHNP online programs, with students finishing in one year or three semesters. The program allows students to start practicing quickly, which can be an advantage. Additionally, its courses are only eight weeks long, allowing for multiple start times throughout the year.

  • Tuition: $1,200 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 17 credit hours | 1 year
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Contact Info:
    • Phone Number: (800) 424-9596
    • Email Address: luograd@liberty.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 
  • Website*

>> Explore Liberty's Online PMHNP Certificate Program*

2. Wilkes University

The PMHNP program at Wilkes University tailors the clinical experience to each nursing student. While the didactic coursework is entirely online, students do have to complete 500 hours of in-person clinical coursework. 

The team at Wilkes works with students to find clinical placements and mentors that align with the program's goals. In addition, they offer three start dates, allowing for increased flexibility for interested students.

Students interested in the Wilkes program will need to confirm their state of primary residence is authorized for the online graduate certificate program. For example, students residing in Washington, Missouri, Louisiana, and Alabama are not eligible to apply to the program due to state regulations. 

  • Tuition: $728 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 29 credit hours and 500 clinical hours | 1.67 years
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Contact Info: 
    • Phone Number: (888) 413-5633
    • Email Address: admissions@onlinenursingdegrees.wilkes.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 
  • Website*

>> Explore Wilkes's Online PMHNP Program*

3. Hawai’i Pacific University

Hawai’i Pacific University (HPU) offers one of the fastest post-masters PMHNP programs because of its generous transfer policy. Students at HPU may transfer up to 12 eligible credits from another college into the program. While this program is entirely online, students can still access the many benefits of HPU.

The program at HPU is mobile-friendly, which means students can take advantage of classes and submit coursework on the go via their smartphone. 

  • Tuition: $26,325 (total cost)
  • Program Length: 27 credit hours and 630 clinical hours | 14 months
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Contact Info: 
    • Phone Number: (866) 525-2280
    • Email Address: admissions@online.hpu.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 
  • Website

Popular Online Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Programs

Sponsored
Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Wilkes University

The R.N. to M.S.N program is for registered nurses with associate degrees who want to become nurse practitioners. It focuses on advanced clinical skills, professionalism and evidence-based practice. Our integrated exam preparation courses provide dedicated study resources, leading to impressive passing rates consistently above the national average and graduate success.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

4. Ohio University

Students attending Ohio University’s online PMHNP program will benefit from low-cost tuition and a relatively fast-paced program. The school offers one of the shortest PMHNP certificate programs, starting twice a year with no GRE required. In addition to a low tuition cost, students at Ohio University have access to multiple scholarships and financial aid options.

The PMHNP program at OU is ranked one of the top programs for active duty and veteran students. In addition to low tuition rates, there are services specifically designed for student’s families. 

  • Tuition: 
    • In-state: $633 per credit hour | $12,660 total tuition cost
    • Out-of-state: $652 per credit hour |$13,040 total tuition cost
  • Program Length: 20 credit hours and 750 clinical hours | 3 semesters
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: 
    • Spring:  July 5th 
    • Fall:  April 18th
  • Contact Info: 
    • Phone Number: (740) 924-5725
    • Email Address: nursing@ohio.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 
  • Website*

>> Explore Ohio University's Online PMHNP Program*

5. Marymount University

Students may attend Marymount's short online PMHNP certificate program without stepping on campus. However, they still have the option to meet on campus and connect with classmates and instructors.

The team at Marymount also works with students to guarantee clinical placement. This is not always the case with PMHNP certificate programs, and finding clinical placements can be stressful. Consider this when determining which program is right for you. 

  • Tuition: $1,275 per credit hour | $42,075 total tuition cost
  • Program Length: 33 credit hours and 750 clinical hours | 24 months
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: July 28th
  • Contact Info: 
    • Phone Number: (703) 522-5600
    • Email Address:  gadmissi@marymount.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 
  • Website

Popular Online Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Programs

Sponsored
Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Wilkes University

The R.N. to M.S.N program is for registered nurses with associate degrees who want to become nurse practitioners. It focuses on advanced clinical skills, professionalism and evidence-based practice. Our integrated exam preparation courses provide dedicated study resources, leading to impressive passing rates consistently above the national average and graduate success.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

One–Year Online PMHNP Certificate Programs

While all of the PMHNP programs in this guide are fast, and most can be completed within two years, the next three programs can specifically be completed in less than a year.

This can be crucial, especially for working individuals who are excited to start their journey in psych. It is important to remember that even though the programs can be completed in one year, all of them do require significant in-person clinical hours that can be completed at a slower pace if needed. The recommended and average length of time for certificate completion is 12 months.

1. University of Virginia

 Ranked as the top nursing program in Virginia, UVA’s PMHNP certificate program graduates will have a strong educational foundation to build upon in clinical practice. 

Currently, classes are offered one day each week via online synchronous seminars that are also streamed live. This is ideal for the working professional, because that is less time off during the week to attend classes. While the acceptance rate is already high, the program offers guaranteed admission for UVA School of Nursing alumni.

  • Tuition:
    • In-state: $862 per credit hour
    • Out-of-state: $1,407 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 12 months
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: January 5th
  • Contact Information:
    •  Phone: (434) 924-0141
    •  Email Address: nursing-admissions@virginia.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes
  • Website

2. New Mexico State University 

The PMHNP certificate program at NM State is 18 credit hours and a minimum of 500 clinical hours that cannot be waived; however, it can be completed quickly – in as little as one year. 

The only downside to this low-cost, fast-paced program is that students are only accepted once per year for a fall start date. 

Once you have completed the program, you’re prepared to sit for the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification exam.

  • Tuition: $444.40 per credit hour, Active Military Tuition: $250 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 12 months
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: January 15th
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone: (575) 646-2772
    •  Email Address: rcastro@nmsu.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes
  • Website

3. Georgia State University

Students attending the GSU PMHNP certificate program are expected to have a minimum of one year of recent psychiatric bedside experience in the hospital or the community setting or 250 - 500 volunteer hours in a specific psychiatric site. 

If you only have volunteer experience, it is important to discuss your experience with admission counselors to ensure it meets the admission requirements. 

Additionally, if you already hold an FNP or Adult Gerontology NP degree it is possible to waive one of the courses. This will save you both time and money.

  • Tuition:
    •  In-state: $10,872
    • Out-of-state: $31,432
  • Program Length: 12 months
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: April 1st
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone: (404) 413-1004
    • Email Address: dmreed@gsu.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes
  • Website 

FAQs

  • What is an online PMHNP certificate program?

    • An online PMHNP certificate program is for Nurse Practitioners who have already completed an accredited NP program.  A PMHNP certificate allows for you to specifically care for, diagnose, and treat patients suffering from mental illness and substance abuse problems.  
  • How quickly can an online PMHNP certification program be completed?

    • You can complete the fastest post-master's PMHNP certificate in one year, including clinical rotations. Students can earn Liberty University's PMHNP certificate in 3 semesters, making it one of the shortest online PMHNP certificate programs.
  • How much do online PMHNP certificate programs cost?

    • In-person and online PMHNP certificate programs vary greatly depending on the program and your school. State programs with in-state tuition are more affordable than private schools. Additionally, scholarships are more difficult to find for PMHNP certificate programs. This is important to consider when choosing a program.  
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Kathleen Gaines
MSN, RN, BA, CBC
Kathleen Gaines
News and Education Editor

Kathleen Gaines (nee Colduvell) is a nationally published writer turned Pediatric ICU nurse from Philadelphia with over 13 years of ICU experience. She has an extensive ICU background having formerly worked in the CICU and NICU at several major hospitals in the Philadelphia region. After earning her MSN in Education from Loyola University of New Orleans, she currently also teaches for several prominent Universities making sure the next generation is ready for the bedside. As a certified breastfeeding counselor and trauma certified nurse, she is always ready for the next nursing challenge.

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