Post-Master's Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Already have your MSN degree? Take your career to the next level with our PMHNP certificate.

Accepting applications for Fall ’24 soon

Working alongside other mental health professionals, psychiatric nurse practitioners use their leadership qualities and nursing education to treat disorders ranging from depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The online Post-Master’s Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) certificate prepares students to work as psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in a variety of inpatient and ambulatory settings, including clinics, hospitals and treatment centers. The PMHNP curriculum focuses on facilitating the lifetime care of individuals, families, communities and populations’ health and the utilization of evidence-based, culturally-sensitive and recovery-oriented holistic care.

Upon completing the PMHNP certificate, students will be prepared to apply a holistic nursing process and medical/medication management to promote optimal mental health while engaging in active, ongoing collaboration with individuals, their families, significant others and the interprofessional team. 

The PMHNP certificate requires 28 credit hours.

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Why Xavier Online?

You’ll get more from your online education, from the personal attention of faculty to rigorous courses taught in the Jesuit Catholic tradition.

Personalized Experience

You’ll get the personal attention and flexibility needed to reach your goals at your pace. Our invested professors and small class sizes will set you up for success.

Jesuit Values

Our Jesuit Catholic values are based on a vision of a world changed for the better, emphasizing service and community engagement in addition to academics.


We offer exceptional online programs at an affordable cost. Numerous financial aid resources are available for our online students, making education more affordable.

Xavier’s MSN is one of only 17 online programs in the U.S. to be endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation.


See How Xavier University’s Online MSN Program Has Been Recognized


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in Best Online MBA Programs in the Nation
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in Best Online MBA Programs in the Nation
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Post-Master's Psychiatric Mental Health Certificate Course Requirements

19-28 credits

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Track Courses 19-28 credits/600 clinical hours

Previous course work will be reviewed at the time of application completion to determine if any of the Nurse Practitioner Core (3 ‘P’s) requirements have been met.

NURS 658 – Advanced Clinical Pharmacology………… 3cr.

NURS 680 – Advanced Pathophysiology for RNs………… 3cr.

NURS 756 – Advanced Health Assessment for RNs………… 3cr.

  • NURS 780 PMHNP Core 1………… 3cr.
  • NURS 783 PMHNP Clinical Practicum 1 ………… 1cr.*
  • NURS 786 Advanced Psychopharmacology and Neurobiology Across the Lifespan ………… 2cr.
  • NURS 784 PMHNP Core 2 ………… 3cr.
  • NURS 785 PMHNP Clinical Practicum 2 ………… 1cr.*
  • NURS 787 PMHNP Clinical Practicum 3 ………… 1cr.*
  • NURS 782 Role Development & Ethical Issues for the PMHNP ………… 2cr.
  • NURS 788 PMHNP Core 3 ………… 3cr.
  • NURS 789 PMHNP Clinical Practicum 4 ………… 1cr.*
  • NURS 791 PMHNP Clinical Practicum 5 ………… 1cr.*
  • NURS 790 Current Issues and Trends in PMH ………… 1cr.

* Total Practicum Hrs. 600 contact hr. (required for certification)


Our admission process is easy, on your phone or computer!

Applicants to the Post-Master’s PMHNP Certificate must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a registered nurse with an unencumbered RN license in the state where practicum experiences are to be completed. A minimum of 1 year of nursing experience is required, a strong candidate will have a minimum of 2 years of nursing experience.
  • Hold a BSN and be a graduate of a regionally accredited college or university’s nursing program with CCNE or ACEN (formerly NLNAC) accreditation (College of Nursing will verify).
  • An undergraduate statistics course with a grade of C or better is required for admission.
  • Applicants who do not have a BSN (BS in Nursing) cannot be accepted into the online MSN programs but should consider the MSN direct entry as a second degree – MIDAS Program.
  • A strong applicant will have a 3.0 GPA.

To be considered for admission, students must submit the following:

Get Started on Xavier University’s free online application. You can begin the process in just a few clicks. Lorem ipsum dolor.


One official transcript directly from all colleges or universities that you have attended for any undergraduate and graduate course work. Applicants must have a degree from a regionally accredited university. Send transcripts to:

Xavier University
ATTN: Admission Processing Center
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207-5131

For electronic transcripts, send to:

2 letters of recommendation from professional references who are able to assess your potential for success in this program.

GPA Requirements are:

  • 3.0 out of 4.0 in the last two years of undergraduate matriculation; or,
  • 2.7 cumulative GPA in undergraduate matriculation; or,
  • 2.5 cumulative in the last 2 years of undergraduate matriculation with 5 years of work experience in a criminal justice or related field.

Applicants not meeting the GPA requirements can submit official test scores for the GRE, MAT or LSAT.

  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam): The minimum score requirements is 143 on the verbal section and 3.0 of the analytical section
  • MAT (Miller Analogies Test): The minimum scoring requirement for the MAT is 390
  • LSAT (Law School Admission Test): The minimum scoring requirement for the LSAT is 138
  • Call (513) 745-3360 or email to request a MAT or GRE test booklet. If you have previously taken the GRE and want to have your scores sent to Xavier, please contact GRE at 888 GRE-SCORE. Visit the LSAT website for more information.



Admission Information for MSN Applicants

Xavier welcomes students from outside the United States to enroll in its online programs. However, some countries do not formally recognize foreign online degrees. This may have implications for enrolling in subsequent degree programs or for securing employment requiring these credentials. It is students’ responsibility to determine whether the online degree will be recognized in their country of residence or in any country in which they plan to work. Additionally, students should inquire in their country of residence how the collection of student data may be used and whether they will be subject to additional withholding taxes in addition to the cost of tuition.

  • All international students are strongly encouraged to submit an official third-party course-by-course evaluation of their high school and/or college transcripts from an international credential evaluation service accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.
  • International students must pass either the TOEFL or IELTS exam if English is your second language.
  • International students may have additional application requirements.
Note: International students in the U.S. cannot enroll in an online degree program to fulfill the legal requirement for an F-1 or J-1 visa.

State Authorization

Xavier University is authorized to offer fully-online programs in most states. View the complete list of approved states by programs on the State Authorization page. Students must reside and complete practicum hours in approved states only.


Get More from Your Education with a Graduate Degree from Xavier

At Xavier, we understand that no two degree programs and no two students are alike. Therefore, we structure every online degree program to address the unique needs of individual students and have created unique fee structures for each degree program, as well.

Students enrolled in Xavier’s online programs take classes with the same world-class faculty as our traditional students.

Dr. Cathy Messinger recently joined Xavier and will be the Track Coordinator of the Nurse Practitioner Programs. She graduated with her MSN with an FNP focus from University of Nebraska College of Nursing in 1997. She graduated with her DNP from the University of Iowa in 2013 and her post-master’s as a PMHNP from Western Kentucky University in 2019. She has taught graduate nursing students since 2002 including FNP, DNP, and PMHNP students. She taught at Clarkson College in Omaha, NE and assisted with the revision of their FNP program and she assisted with the development of the PMHNP and PMHNP post-master’s program at Texas State University before coming to Xavier. Dr. Messinger has remained in active practice throughout her teaching career and has been in rural family practice, Cardiology, and emergency medicine. She currently has a PMHNP clinical practice in rural Kentucky.  Dr. Messinger is passionate about mental health for all and has a particular interest in substance use disorders. Dr. Messinger loves to educate nurse practitioner students and help them become their best selves who bless the lives of their future patients with compassionate and excellent clinical care. Email Dr. Messinger at