A specialized degree as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) allows you to provide a full range of psychiatric services to patients.

Our graduates work in outpatient mental health clinics, psychiatric emergency services, private practice and hospitals. They also provide primary mental health care that involves continuous and comprehensive services necessary to improve mental health, prevention and treatment of psychiatric disorders and health maintenance. PMHNPs diagnose, conduct therapy, and prescribe medications for patients who have mental health disorders. They may also serve as consultants or as educators.

Full time students complete the program in eight semesters. There is also a part time option for eleven semesters.  The full time study is not for the busy working professional, with the part time track providing an option for those that plan to continue working.  Both plans provide a seamless transition to the DNP program, for those graduates wanting to apply.

Graduates of UMKC are eligible to sit for national certification as a PMHNP by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Most states require certification from ANCC and often require collaboration with a psychiatrist for prescriptive practice. To learn more about your license requirements and scope of practice, contact your state’s Board of Nursing.

Three separate comprehensive graduate-level courses in:

  • Advanced physiology/pathophysiology, including general principles that apply across the life span.
  • Advanced health assessment, which includes assessment of all human systems, advanced assessment techniques, concepts, and approaches.
  • Advanced pharmacology, which includes pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacotherapeutics of all broad categories of agents.

Content in:

  • Health promotion and/or maintenance
  • Differential diagnosis and disease management, including the use and prescription of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions.
  • AND clinical training in at least two psychotherapeutic treatment modalities.


On Campus Intensive Requirements

Students are required to come to campus for an intensive each semester during their clinical courses.  Faculty and advisors communicate campus dates early so students can plan their schedules.

State Regulation Requirements

We are now a part of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) which allows us to offer online programs to students in other SARA states.  We are able to accept and enroll students into most of our online programs in 48 states, including Washington, DC. We highly recommend that you review this information prior to submitting your application. Please review the state regulatory map to verify the status of your state’s regulations.

How Does Online/Hybrid Distance Education Work?

The online/distance format provides increased flexibility to complete one’s study compared to the traditional classroom format.  We also offer in-state tuition regardless of your location.  Geography might separate you from your professor, but our faculty members are committed to personal attention. Professors can be reached by phone and email.

The 46-credit hour distance learning PMHNP program includes a minimum of 660-hours of clinical training. Most of the didactic learning is offered through synchronous and asynchronous learning activities through online learning platforms.

Students will be required to complete an onsite orientation and several onsite intensives during their psychiatric core courses. Clinical training with preceptors will begin in the specialty courses. Clinical experiences will include outpatient, inpatient and crisis settings. In addition, assessment, diagnostics, medication management and psychotherapy will be taught across the lifespan. Students obtain the clinical experiences with preceptors they select upon the approval by faculty.

We designed the graduate programs to give professionals flexibility. Our courses are conducted online, with some may require class/chat times.  Class/chat times are scheduled on Thursdays or Fridays and are communicated well in advance.

Students use the Web-based software, Canvas for their online courses. Courses are conducted in synchronous and asynchronous modes depending on the professor and class. You can log on to find homework, class assignments, a class list, a syllabus and more at any time. The program allows students to engage in interactive learning with faculty and other students in an online platform.

Spring 2025 Clinical Institute: Wednesday, January 15th & Thursday, January 16th

*Held via Zoom

 Summer 2025 Clinical Institute: Wednesday, May 28th & Thursday, May 29th

*Held via Zoom


STANDARD Spring Sample Plan of Study MSN PMHNP STANDARD Summer Sample Plan of Study MSN PMHNP (PDF) EXTENDED Summer Sample Plan of Study MSN PMHNP (PDF) FULL/PART Time Sample Plan of Study BSN-DNP (PDF)  Certificate Sample Plan of Study (PDF)



Corrina Beck
Senior Student Services Coordinator (A-K)
Georgia Freidhof
Senior Student Services Coordinator (L-Z)
Dr. Erin Ellington
Psychiatric Mental Health Track Coordinator