December 3, 2023

Most psychiatric nurse practitioner programs are technically considered psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) programs. Nurses that want to become psychiatric NPs shouldn’t be concerned by the label – it’s all the same field.

Below are the 10 best psychiatric nurse practitioner programs:

1. University of Pennsylvania

Tuition: $45,484 per year

A top-ranked institution for psychiatric-mental health, the NP program at the University of Pennsylvania combines neuroscience with psychotherapy. Full-time students finish this program in just 14 months, making this a quick and high-quality option.

2. Rush University

Tuition: $1066 per credit hour

Rush University PMHNP program is a doctoral program, keep that in mind before applying – it typically takes two or more years to complete. However, the program is entirely online, so students won’t have to relocate to earn their degree.

3. University of Washington

Tuition: $9,369 per quarter in-state, $13,343 per quarter non-resident

UW’s PMHNP program is technically a graduate certificate – students who are studying toward, or have already earned a doctorate, are eligible for this program. UW has one of the top health and nursing programs in the nation, so even without intense specialization, this is an education worth having.

4. University of California – San Francisco

Tuition: $30,580 per year in-state, $42,825 per year non-resident

While the focus of the psychiatric nurse practitioner program at UCSF is on all demographics, students have the option to complete their residency while focusing on a specific age group. This program is ideal for nurses who want to work exclusively with adults or children.

5. Yale University

Tuition: $23,095 per term

A master’s speciality, Yale’s psychiatric-mental health nursing specialty gives students the benefits of Yale’s highly respected nursing education. Students will receive an all-around education in the psychiatric-mental health field, preparing them for any setting they might end up in.

6. University of North Carolina

Tuition: $44,633 for full program

A part of UNC’s master’s of science, nursing program, psychiatric-mental health is an advanced practice area that students can focus their studies on. This all-around education will require students to be able to attend in-person practice, something to keep in mind before applying.

7. University of North Carolina

Tuition: $9,667 per semester in-state, $18,530 per semester non-resident

While Duke’s PMHNP program will teach students to help people of all ages, it does focus on people living in rural and underserved areas. Any nurses interested in treating and helping these communities will find that Duke’s program is a good fit.

8. University of Maryland

Tuition: $824 per credit hour in-state, $1,460 per credit non-resident

UM’s psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program takes anywhere from three to five years, making it one of the longer programs of study on this list. This is also a doctoral program, and students are required to be located in the Maryland/Washington, D.C. area for the program.

9. Vanderbilt University

Tuition: $1,642 per credit hour

One of the top nursing schools in the nation for graduates, Vanderbilt’s PMHNP program offers a holistic approach to a complicated subject. This program doesn’t require relocation –  it is offered entirely online. Also, it is possible to earn this degree without a strong nursing background.

10. New York University

Tuition: $1,834 per credit hour

The master’s program in psychiatric-mental health at NYU, will teach nurses how to help people of all ages. By the end of the program, nurses will be able to conduct individual or group therapy, allowing them to pick whichever focus they feel is best for them.

While these are some of the top schools, there are many options out there, including some great online programs. Find a school that works for you

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