Nursing Practice (Psychiatric/Mental Health) - Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a doctoral degree for nurses at the highest level of nursing practice. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has proposed that the DNP degree will be the level of entry for all advanced practice nurses by 2020. Practice-focused doctoral nursing programs prepare leaders for the highest level of practice and is the terminal practice degree. The core DNP courses prepare the DNP graduate for Population Health Leadership. Although the coursework for these programs is web-based, the clinical component consists of over 1000 contact hours. Anyone interested in pursuing a nurse practitioner doctorate must make certain that they can accommodate the intensive time commitment that these programs require.

The Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track prepares nurses for advanced practice with a focus on mental health issues across the lifespan. The curriculum builds upon four core PMHNP competencies: advanced health assessment (physical and psychosocial); diagnosis (diagnosis of mental disorders, pathophysiology, and neurophysiology); psychotherapy (individual, group, and family); and medication management (pharmacology and psychopharmacology). Other courses develop competencies in health care systems, best-practice research utilization and translation, and health care quality improvement. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Exam.

In order to complete the DNP program, each student is required to generate a project that reflects their advanced coursework in leadership, research translation, and clinical knowledge and skills.

New Mexico State University is a full member of the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements consortium (SARA). Students will need to check the NMSU SARA website before application to determine if NMSU has a reciprocity agreement with their home state before application is made.  State Boards of Nursing may regulate NMSU's ability to have APRN students in clinical practice in the home state of out of state students. Please refer to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing's APRN Distance Education Requirements website and contact with Nursing Graduate Advisor to confirm eligibility to conduct clinical training in states outside of New Mexico. 

For application information, visit the School of Nursing website or contact the Nursing Graduate Advisor for more information about application and admission requirements at (575) 646-7770. 

Course Requirements

Prefix Title Credits
DNP Core Courses
NURS 511Advanced Pathophysiology for Clinical Nursing3
NURS 512Advanced Clinical Pharmacology3
NURS 515Advanced Health Assessment3
NURS 567Nursing Informatics3
NURS 603Introduction to Population Health1
NURS 612Healthcare Policy and Ethics3
NURS 622Clinical Data Management and Analysis2
NURS 642Strategic and Financial Planning for Population Health Programs3
NURS 648Interdisciplinary Leadership and Role Development for Practice Excellence3
NURS 649Innovations and Health Care Organizations3
NURS 651Quality Improvement in Healthcare3
NURS 653Evidence-Based Practice for Nurse Practitioners3
NURS 657Population Health and the Environment3
NURS 679Introduction to the DNP Project1
NURS 685Epidemiology for Advanced Nursing Practice2
NURS 686DNP Project I1
NURS 687DNP Project II1
NURS 688DNP Project III1
NURS 689DNP Project Practicum (This course is taken 3 times 1 cr. each)3
NURS 690Doctoral Nursing Seminar1
NURS 697Professional Roles for Advanced Practice Clinical Nursing3
PMHNP Specialty Courses
NURS 514Psychopharmacology for Advanced Practice (Optional Elective)3
NURS 660PMHNP Across the Lifespan I ((3/3*) * didactic/clinical credits)6
NURS 662PMHNP Across the Lifespan II ((3/4*) * didactic/clinical credits)7
NURS 664PMHNP Across the Lifespan III ((1/4*) * didactic/clinical credits)5
NURS 678Health Needs of Special Populations ((2/2*) * didactic/clinical credits)4
Total Credits74
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
NURS 603 Introduction to Population Health 1
NURS 651 Quality Improvement in Healthcare 3
NURS 679 Introduction to the DNP Project 1
NURS 697 Professional Roles for Advanced Practice Clinical Nursing 3
NURS 648 Interdisciplinary Leadership and Role Development for Practice Excellence 3
NURS 653 Evidence-Based Practice for Nurse Practitioners 3
NURS 685 Epidemiology for Advanced Nursing Practice 2
NURS 689 DNP Project Practicum 1
NURS 622 Clinical Data Management and Analysis 2
NURS 642 Strategic and Financial Planning for Population Health Programs 3
NURS 686 DNP Project I 1
NURS 689 DNP Project Practicum 1
Second Year
NURS 511 Advanced Pathophysiology for Clinical Nursing 3
NURS 567 Nursing Informatics 3
NURS 649 Innovations and Health Care Organizations 3
NURS 687 DNP Project II 1
NURS 515 Advanced Health Assessment 3
NURS 612 Healthcare Policy and Ethics 3
NURS 657 Population Health and the Environment 3
NURS 689 DNP Project Practicum 1
NURS 512 Advanced Clinical Pharmacology 3
NURS 688 DNP Project III 1
NURS 690 Doctoral Nursing Seminar 1
Third Year
NURS 514 Psychopharmacology for Advanced Practice (Optional Elective) 3
NURS 660 PMHNP Across the Lifespan I (3/3 - didactic/clinical credits) 6
NURS 662 PMHNP Across the Lifespan II (3/4 - didactic/clinical credits) 7
NURS 678 Health Needs of Special Populations (2/2 - *didactic/clinical credits) 4
NURS 664 PMHNP Across the Lifespan III (1/4 - didactic/clinical credits) 5
 Total Credits74