Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Enjoy 100% online classwork and assistance with clinical placement as you pursue a master’s in a specialty area with a rapidly growing need.

TWU’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program will help you gain skills to become a practitioner in this high-need advanced practice specialty area.

As of March 2023, 160 million Americans live in areas with mental health professional shortages, with over 8,000 more professionals needed to ensure an adequate supply.

The Commonwealth Fund, 2023

Students train in counseling

PMHNPs provide mental health services to individuals across the lifespan in various inpatient and outpatient settings. This care includes assessment, diagnosis and treatment of both chronic and acute conditions. Gain specialty training in counseling and substance use disorder.

Our program is 100% online and emphasizes the importance of both medication management and psychotherapeutic interventions. Weekly clinical supervision in all practicum courses helps students attain counseling skills necessary to provide high-quality psychiatric care. We encourage students to gain experience in a variety of clinical settings.

Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the ANCC Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Across the Lifespan) certification exam. 

Degree Plan

This program is currently limited to Texas Residents only.

Post-Master's Certificate

There is also a Post-Master's Certificate for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner available for qualified APRNs.

Admission criteria for the Post-Master's Certificate is identical to the admission criteria for the Master of Science in Nursing - Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and can be seen below. 

For more information on the Post-Master's Certificate, visit the TWU Graduate Catalog.

Post-Master's Certificate Plan

Program Information

  • Students will complete 45 total credit hours which include 18 credit hours in core NP content and 14 credit hours in psychiatric specialty content
  • Six specialty track courses require attendance in a synchronized evening class once a week
  • Students are required to complete 780 hours of preceptored clinical practicum
  • 12 months of psychiatric nursing experience is required before the first practicum in the PMHNP program

Admission Requirements

Admission to the M.S.N. (Nurse Practitioner)

Program Contacts

FNP Online Program:, 833-898-8986

Family Nurse Practitioner: Christiana Acho, DNP, APRN, FNP-C   

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: Susan Chrostowski, DNP, APRN, ANP-C 

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: Jeri Striplin, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC  

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner: Andrea Brooks, Ph.D., APRN, CNE, PPCNP-BC  

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: Misty Richmond, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC  

Women's Health Nurse Practitioner: Faheemah Hannah, DNP, APRN, FNP-C 

Nurse Educator: Elaine Wilson, PhD, RN, CPN 

Application Deadlines

Fall - February 15
Spring - September 15
Summer - 

Psychiatric Mental Health NP - Rolling admission

Admission Requirements

  • Current US RN license (unencumbered) uploaded into application
  • Basic statistics course (undergraduate)
  • BS or BSN degree from a nationally-accredited nursing program
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of course work toward the undergraduate nursing degree and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all prior graduate course work

Applicants who do not meet these criteria but have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the last 60 semester credit hours of course work toward the undergraduate nursing degree may be considered for provisional admission on an individual basis. Factors that may be considered in the admission decision are: GPA on any prior graduate course work, scholarly activities, professional leadership, and work history.

For applicants who have a baccalaureate degree in nursing and a master's degree in another field (or more than one graduate degree), the grade point average from all previously earned degrees and post-graduate work can be considered in making the admission decision.

Individuals who have a master’s degree in nursing may seek admission to a post-master’s certification program in one of three areas: nurse practitioner, nursing health systems management, or nursing education. 

Applicants who wish to transfer from another nursing program must provide evidence of eligibility to continue in the previous nursing program. Nine semester hours for programs requiring 39-44 semester hours, 12 semester hours for programs requiring 45 or more semester hours, may be transferred, if approved. A grade of B or higher in each course is necessary for semester credit hours to be considered for transfer.

Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP requires one year experience in an acute care environment. {Adult Gerontology Primary Care NP must be selected if not wanting Acute Care NP. This is often a mistake students make when applying and may require a new application and application fee.}  

This program requires the name, Email addresses, and phone number for two academic or professional references familiar with your academic capabilities, who can provide letters of recommendation to be requested through and submitted into the application. 

Psychiatric Mental Health NP requires experience in a behavioral health environment (one year full-time or two years part-time). Applicants are also required to:
1. Submit a copy of their current CV/resume, the name, email address, and phone number for two mental health practitioners/former faculty references familiar with your academic capabilities, who can provide letters of recommendation to be requested through and submitted into the application. 
2. A one-page essay about their desire to be a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. 
3. Applicants who do not possess experience in a behavioral health setting may be considered for provisional admission, in which case the required experience must be obtained before starting clinical practicum courses.

Pediatric NP Primary Care requires one year experience in a pediatric setting.  Applicants who do not possess experience in a pediatric setting may be considered for provisional admission, in which case the required experience must be obtained before starting clinical practicum courses.

Women's Health NP requires at least two years in any field of nursing of which one year should be in a women's health setting. Exceptions may be made based on other prior work experience, contributions to the community, scholarship, and references. Exceptions may be made in certain cases, However, this will require review by the WHNP Program Coordinator.

Applicants are also required to submit a copy of their current CV/resume, two letters of recommendation from women's health practitioners/former faculty, and a one-page essay about their desire to be a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner. 


Graduate Admission

Begin by reviewing your program's website to see if there are additional admission requirements and application deadlines prior to applying.  

  1. Apply online.
    Apply to Graduate Programs  via the TWU Online Graduate Application Portal following instructions below.  
  2. Submit transcripts to TWU.
    • Domestic Applicants must submit official transcripts for each college or university attended, both undergraduate and graduate. See the Information on Transcripts website for more details.
    • International Applicants are now required to provide an evaluation prepared by a NACES or AICE member evaluation service. International transcripts should not be sent directly to TWU. See the International Admissions website for more details.
  3. Submit Recommendation Requests
    If your program requires you to submit names for recommendations you will need to do it in the application.
  4. Pay the application fee.
    The $50 fee ($75 fee for International applicants), which applies to all new and returning applicants, can be paid by:
    1. Credit card - Pay Online through the application as the last step before submitting the application. The second portion of the application will not be available until the application fee has been received.
    2. Certified check or money order by mail or electronically - Payable to TWU, sent by mail to:
      TWU Admissions Processing, 304 Administration Drive, Suite 102, Denton, Texas 76204
      (include your full name and ID number).
    3. Cash (no personal checks) - Pay at the Bursar's Office. After paying, bring the receipt to Admissions Processing (down the hall in ACT).
    4. Fee Waivers - Graduate applicants who are certified McNair Scholars are eligible for a McNair Scholar Application Fee Waiver. TWU Alumni may be eligible for the Alumni Advantage Fee Waiver. Check your eligibility here: If eligible submit the request using the Application Fee Waiver Submission
    5. Following fee payment return to the application dashboard where supplemental application documents can be uploaded. The online application will list which documents are needed to fulfill the program admission requirements. You can also check the program's website.

For more information or assistance with the application or graduate admissions, visit the Graduate Admissions website.

Students who wish to apply for a Graduate Assistantship must meet the General Criteria for Appointment of Graduate Assistants


Misty M. Richmond, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC
Psychiatric-Mental Health Track Coordinator 

Page last updated 10:11 AM, May 8, 2024