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College of Nursing > Doctoral Degree and Certificate Options > Doctor of Nursing Practice; Certificate Options; & > Psychiatric-Mental Health NP (PMHNP) > Psychiatric -Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (DNP) Program Information
About Rush University
The Role of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) online PMHNP program prepares graduates to function as psychiatric nurse practitioners. The central focus is on clinical practice where students develop knowledge and skills in the behavioral and biological disciplines and apply their learning to the treatment of psychiatric disorders within individuals, families and groups. Emphasis is placed on the development of practitioners who will be prepared to function autonomously in a variety of clinical settings.

The changing demands of the nation's complex health care environment require that nurses serving in specialty positions have the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise possible. The BSN/MSN - DNP with specialty certification curriculum builds on traditional clinical master's programs by providing additional education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, systems leadership and other content areas that will lead to improved clinical outcomes in complex systems.

 Important Program Information


On-Campus and Online Information Sessions available! It is highly recommended to attend one of these sessions if you would like to learn more about the program from faculty and staff.

Program Highlights and Opportunities

The Rush psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program is ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report!

  • The Rush University College of Nursing pyschiatric mental health nurse practitioner program is available to both bachelor's- and master's-prepared nurses wishing to attain a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (DNP).
  • The program is delivered in an online format.
  • The PMHNP program offers clinical experiences in a wide variety of settings. Practicum sites include outpatient community mental health centers, psychiatric home health agencies, day hospital and therapeutic day school settings, as well as other community facilities.
  • Career prospects are quite diverse. PMHNPs function independently and collaboratively with health care team members to provide comprehensive health care that will maximize care outcomes. Opportunities include clinical practice and/or consultation, as well as teaching, research and administration. 

Certification and Accreditation
Completion of the program provides eligibility for certification as a lifespan psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner by the American Nurses' Association American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Once ANCC certification is granted the graduate is eligible to apply for state licensure where available.

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