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Shortest Online PMHNP Certificate Programs 2024

5 Min Read Published November 14, 2023
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. One of the routes to becoming one is through a PMHNP certificate program. Learn more about what these are and explore our list of the shortest online PMHNP certificate programs for 2024. 

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. 

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

Fast Facts About PMHNP Certificate Programs


Program length

  • 1-3 years


  • 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

The 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 quicker, which can be an advantage. Additionally, its courses are only eight weeks long, allowing for multiple start times throughout the year.

Furthermore, as a nonprofit university, Liberty has some of the lowest tuition rates. Currently, the school has also frozen all tuition prices through June 2024.

  • 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: (800) 424-9595
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

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.

  • Tuition: $728 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 29 credit hours and 500 clinical hours | 1.67 years
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Contact Info:
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

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.

  • Tuition: $27,675 (total cost)
  • Program Length: 27 credit hours and 630 clinical hours | 12 months
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Contact Info: (866) 525-2280
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

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.

  • Tuition: 
    • In-state: $633 per credit hour
    • Out-of-state: $652 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 20 credit hours and 500 clinical hours | 3 semesters
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: 
    • Spring:  August 28th
    • Fall:  April 16th
  • Contact Info: (740) 924-5725
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

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. 

  • Tuition: $1,275 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 33 credit hours and 750 clinical hours | 24 months
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: July 28th
  • Contact Info: 
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

FAQs About Online PMHNP Certificate Programs

  • What is an online PMHNP certificate program?

    • An online PMHNP certificate program is for Nurse Practitioners who have already completed an accredited NP program. This certificate allows them to specialize in psychiatric mental health care at an APRN level. 
  • 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. 
Kathleen Gaines
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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