Online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

The COVID-19 pandemic, and resulting lockdowns, have created a host of mental health challenges for millions of Americans—exacerbating an already fatigued mental health care system. From increased anxiety and depression to elevated substance abuse cases, the health care system is facing overwhelming demand for mental and behavioral health services while also facing a shortage of providers.

The online Master of Science in Nursing – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program at Northeastern University prepares nurses to provide a broad range of mental health services to children, adolescents, adults, and families. Using a biopsychosocial framework, you can develop an understanding of human development, causes of psychiatric disorders, and proven treatments.

Northeastern’s online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program emphasizes diagnostic decision-making skills, psychotherapeutic interventions, and psychopharmacology across the lifespan. PMHNPs can work in a variety of settings, including mental health centers, hospitals, residential programs, schools and outpatient practice facilities. Upon completing the curriculum, graduates are eligible to sit for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification through the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC).

The online PMHNP program prepares mental health practitioners to:


Apply classroom learning in an array of health care settings

Nurse on computer screen

Effectively use information technologies in providing care to individuals, families, and communities

Chat bubbles

Collaborate and communicate with fellow clinicians and other institutions to ensure coordination of care for individuals, families, and communities

Medical chart

Provide leadership across diverse cultural and practice settings in providing primary health care to individuals, families, and communities


Graduate with experience by completing 600 hours of precepted clinical learning

Almost 25% of adults with mental illnesses are not receiving treatment, according to a report from Mental Health America titled “The State of Mental Health in America 2022.” This number has not declined since 2011 and can be traced back to a lack of mental health providers.

As an PMHNP student, you’ll benefit from Northeastern’s emphasis on experience as you progress through your program, plus:

  • Earn your degree from a renowned university with a long and established history of nursing education and success
  • Benefit from a school that has spent more than 40 years providing experiential learning to its students
  • Be able to support local, national, and global communities, including underserved and diverse populations
  • Study at a top-tier research institution focused on innovations such as safe, effective alternatives to opioids, new drugs and drug-delivery systems, and more
  • Prepare to work for a variety of medical facilities or start your own private practice
  • Gain a holistic approach to creating patient-centered change and improved patient outcomes

Accreditation and Rankings

CCNE Accreditation Badge

Baccalaureate, master’s and doctor of nursing practice programs at NEU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

American Nurses Credentialing Center Accreditation Logo

Northeastern’s School of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program Admissions

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0, with grades of ‘B’ or better, is required in all undergraduate clinical courses
  • Successful completion of a statistics course that includes probability theory and hypothesis testing
  • Three letters of recommendation (academic and professional)
  • Curriculum vita
  • Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited USA program (a baccalaureate degree in another field will be considered at the discretion of the Program Director.)
  • Current RN license
  • One-year direct patient care experience. PMH experience recommended, but not required. Experience in working with individuals with mental health needs is desirable.
  • Letter of intent to study
  • Personal interview
  • 3 references
  • Official transcript from a baccalaureate program if applicable