Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Contact Information

Sandra Talley
Office: (775) 682-7162
Fax: (775) 784-4262

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) track prepares advanced practice nurses to care for individuals and families with behavioral and mental problems. This specialty track within the MSN program prepares graduates to assess, diagnose, intervene (e.g. psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy), and provide follow-up to facilitate ongoing levels of wellness. The PMHNP is prepared to provide psychiatric and mental health care in a variety of treatment settings (e.g. hospitals, jails, home care, and outpatient clinics) and participate with other members of the health care team. With a shortage of mental health professionals and increasing demand for expert mental health care in rural health settings, the PMHNPs scope of practice brings critically relevant skills needed to care for persons experiencing the full range of psychiatric and mental health problems.

Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Integrates scientific findings from nursing, biopsychosocial fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement, and organizational sciences for the continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings.
  2. Provide advanced, ethical, evidence-based nursing services for multi-cultural and ethnic individuals, families, aggregates, and select populations.
  3. Apply patient-care and communication technologies to deliver, enhance, integrate, and coordinate care.
  4. Collaborate with other professionals and members of the community to provide optimal health care to individuals, families, special populations, and communities with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.
  5. Respect diversity and address complex health care needs of persons, including the unserved and under-served, populations and communities, in the role of nurse leader, educator and/or advanced practice nurse.
  6. Participate in the ethical organization, management, and policy negotiations of health care delivery systems to use advocacy strategies to influence health and healthcare.
  7. Participate in the application of safe patient care and quality healthcare practices.
  8. Participate in the development of nursing as a science, through the use of theory, research, and scientific processes while acquiring a foundation for doctoral study.

Admission Requirements

This is a two-step process, wherein the applicant must first meet the university's Graduate School requirements as well as the Orvis School of Nursing MSN requirements. Both schools must receive all application materials on or before March 1 for consideration for the fall semester.

  • Have an overall undergraduate grade-point average of at least a 3.0.
  • Complete a baccalaureate degree with an upper-division major in nursing from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited nursing school. The baccalaureate degree curriculum must include the following specific course work:
    • Statistics
    • Growth and development (must cover lifespan)
    • Basic research
    • Health assessment
  • Have verification of current licensure to practice as a registered nurse in the United States. Students must be eligible to practice as a registered nurse in Nevada.
  • Submit a statement of intent including graduate-study goals.
  • Provide three letters of reference to the graduate program director using the form on the OSN website.
  • Successful completion of a graduate level applied statistics course prior to fall admission.
  • Submit scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). (Optional, required for those students applying for the MSN/MPH program of study).

An interview may be required.

The total of required units for completing the degree varies according to the option the student selects. The minimum number of required units for completion of the MSN is 35. With graduate advisor approval, MSN students may apply more than 3 S/U units to the 35 units required.

Applicants who plan to apply graduate-level credit earned at another university to the University of Nevada, Reno may be able to satisfy specific course requirements in the nursing program. Applicants must provide specific course information for review to determine if the transferred courses are equivalent to university requirements. If approved, such courses may be included in the official program of study.

Program Requirements

NURS 701 - Mental Health Assessment Across the Lifespan (2 units)
NURS 702 - Advanced Pharmacology for Mental Health (3 units)
NURS 703 - Advanced Mental Health Therapies: Individual (3 units)
NURS 704 - Advanced Mental Health Therapies: Group and Family (3 units)
NURS 716 - Advanced Ambulatory Pharmacy (1 to 3 units)
NURS 717R - Advanced Pathophysiology (3 units)
NURS 721 - Assessment and Diagnosis within PMH Settings (3 units)
NURS 722 - Interventions & Treatment Planning within PMH Settings (3 units)
NURS 723 - Advanced Therapeutic Interventions within PMH Settings (3 units)
NURS 724 - Advanced Management of Patient & Systems within PMH Settings (3 units)
NURS 726 - MH Diagnosis & Management of Children & Adolescents (2 units)
NURS 727 - Mental Health Diagnosis and Management of the Adult (2 units)
NURS 730 - Mental Health Diagnosis & Management of the Geriatric Client (2 units)
NURS 735R - Intro to Knowledge Development and Scientific Inquiry (3 units)
NURS 736 - Health Care Policy and Social Justice (3 units)
NURS 737 - Populations and Aggregate Health Issues (3 units)
NURS 750R - Advanced Health Assessment (3 units)
NURS 795 - Comprehensive Exams (1 unit)
NURS 798 – Research Project (1-3 units) OR
NURS 797 - Thesis (1 to 6 units)

Program Total Hours (52-54 units) and requires the completion of 720 clinical hours.

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