Degrees and Certificates

Master of Science in Nursing, Psychiatric - Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration

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Why Choose the Psychiatric - Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration?

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) concentration is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide psychiatric and mental health care to individuals and families throughout the lifespan. Your course of study includes 24 credit hours of graduate nursing coursework and 22 credit hours of psychiatric nurse practitioner-specific coursework. Upon successful completion of the concentration, you will be eligible to sit for the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner certification examination offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The pass rate for the national certification exam for graduates of this program has been 100 percent since the first class, which graduated in the spring of 2015.

After obtaining your master’s degree and certification you will be qualified to:

  • Work with individuals, families, groups, and communities across the life-span
  • Offer primary mental health care services, including assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for acute and chronic mental health disorders
  • Offer the full scope of therapeutic services, including medication management and psychotherapy
  • Collaborate with other members of the health care team to provide the highest quality of care possible
  • Work in a variety of clinical settings including private practice, inpatient, outpatient, residential, and forensic environments

Second Master's Option

There is a second master’s degree option for this program primarily aimed at nurse practitioners from other specialties who wish to pursue the specialty of psychiatry. Admission requirements, as required by the Graduate School policies, are the same as the admission requirements for the program with the addition of a master’s degree in nursing.

Post-Master’s Training

We’re pleased to offer educational opportunities to post-master’s applicants. Please contact the College of Nursing and Health at 937-775-3954 to speak with someone about post-master’s training.



"Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs," U.S. News & World Report, 2019

U.S. News & World Report ranked Wright State's online graduate nursing programs No. 126 among all graduate nursing programs. The nursing program has a high certfication pass rate, excellent clinical site placements, and an outstanding reputation in the region with strong community partnerships. 


Academics and Curriculum

Nursing studentsView the Master of Science in Nursing program information and degree requirements in the Academic Catalog.

All coursework must be taken at Wright State unless transfer credit is sought. Decisions about accepting transfer credit will be made by the program director and will be based on official transcripts along with a review of the course syllabus. You may not transfer in more than half of the total required coursework.

All of the courses are offered online with the exception of the physical assessment course which is a one to two day on-campus requirement; and the three practicum courses, all of which have a required on-campus class on Tuesday evenings, in addition to the clinical hours required. 

Sample curriculum

Efforts will be made to meet your individual goals and to provide experiences in your geographic area. Clinical courses are supervised by the PMHNP faculty. The College of Nursing and Health faculty will work with you to facilitate clinical placement in appropriate practice settings for the depth and breadth of clinical experience necessary to be prepared for beginning practice.

Individualized plans, including those for part-time, transfer, and second master’s students, will be developed on admission by the director of the concentration.


Program Start: Fall semester

Admission to the program is based on cohort groups who complete the practicum sequence together at the end of the program and occurs on a rolling basis. A personal interview with the concentration director will be scheduled after the application is complete. Start dates are determined by admission dates.

Part-time, transfer, or second master’s students are encouraged. Such admissions are based on cohort availability and may vary as openings occur. The final practicum sequence is taught once a year.

Application to the College of Nursing and Health is a two-step process.


Apply to Wright State Graduate School.

Required documents: the documents listed below should be uploaded directly to your Graduate School online application. Please do not send these materials to the College of Nursing and Health.

  • Graduate School application (online)
  • Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Resume/curriculum vitae
  • Meaningful clinical experience essay illustrating your interest in psychiatric care (2 pages maximum)
  • Statement of professional goals (250 words maximum)
  • Provide name and email address of two references for letters of recommendation. These references must be able to speak to your abilities as a psychiatric practitioner, as well as professionalism and personal attributes. Appropriate references include current or most recent supervisor, faulty members from your nursing program, or previous employers.

When the Graduate School application is complete, notification will automatically be sent to the College of Nursing and Health, which will communicate application requirements.


Apply to the College of Nursing and Health

Required documents:

  • College of Nursing and Health application
  • BCII and FBI background check results

The College of Nursing and Health will provide instructions on how to complete the above steps once CONH receives notification of the completed Graduate School application. All CONH required documents should be sent directly to the CONH

Admission Requirements:

  1. Be a bachelor’s prepared nurse, having earned a B.S.N. in nursing from an accredited institution.
  2. Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale from your baccalaureate degree and any subsequent graduate work.
  3. Hold an unencumbered U.S. nursing license.
  4. Have a minimum of one year full-time, or two years part-time, experience in the field of psychiatry.
  5. Provide evidence of no criminal record on file through a clear BCI/FBI background screen.
  6. International students must provide proof of English proficiency by achieving at least the minimum score in one of the following:
    • TOEFL IBT: 79
    • IELTS: 6.0
    • Pearson PTE: 57
    • LEAP: 4

Program Outcomes

The MS graduate will:

  1. Examine 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. Demonstrate leadership skills necessary for ethical and critical decision making, effective working relationships, and a systems-perspective to promote high quality and safe patient care
  3. Apply quality principles within an organization and articulate the methods, tools, performance measures, and standards related to quality
  4. Apply evidence-based outcomes 
within the practice setting, resolving practice problems, working as a change 
agent, and disseminating results  
  5. Use communication strategies and patient-care technologies to integrate, coordinate, deliver, and enhance care
  6. Examine the policy development process and advocacy strategies necessary to intervene at the 
system level to influence health and health care
  7. Use communication strategies necessary for interprofessional collaboration and consultation to manage and coordinate care
  8. Integrate broad, organizational, client-centered, and culturally appropriate concepts in the planning, delivery, management, and evaluation of evidence-based clinical prevention and population care and services to individuals, families, and aggregates/identified populations
  9. Demonstrate advanced level of understanding of nursing and relevant sciences as well as the ability to integrate this knowledge into practice including both direct and indirect care components that influence health care outcomes for individuals, populations, or systems

Contact Information

For questions about the program, the admission process, or to check on the status of your application, please call the College of Nursing and Health at 937-775-3131.

Concentration Contact

Ann Bowling, Ph.D., APRN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CHSE
Title: Associate Professor
Phone: 937-775-2596
Fax: 937-775-4266

General Contact Information

Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Graduate School
344 Student Union
Dayton, OH 45435

College of Nursing and Health
Fax: 937-775-4571