Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner - Post-Masters Certificate (Online)

Post Graduate APRN Certificate Program: This program is for currently certified Master’s or doctorally-prepared nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists who wish to obtain the coursework needed to sit for certification in another specialty. The Post-Graduate certificate consists of 18 credit hours which includes a minimum of 500 clinical hours. When applying to the Post-Graduate APRN Certificate program, please select “Graduate Certificate” in the application system. Please note that the clinical hours are “required” for national certification and cannot be waived or negotiated.

The Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialty 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 Certification Exam.

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. 

Prefix Title Credits
Psychopharmacology for Advanced Practice (Optional Elective)3
NURS 660PMHNP Across the Lifespan I6
NURS 662PMHNP Across the Lifespan II6
NURS 664PMHNP Across the Lifespan III5
NURS 678Health Needs of Special Populations2
Total Credits19
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Psychopharmacology for Advanced Practice (Optional Elective)  
NURS 660 PMHNP Across the Lifespan I 6
NURS 662 PMHNP Across the Lifespan II 6
NURS 678 Health Needs of Special Populations 2
NURS 664 PMHNP Across the Lifespan III 5
 Total Credits19


  • Certificate students must complete 576 hours of supervised clinical practicum hours.  1 credit in a clinical course = 64 hours of clinical practicum
  • For PMHNP certificate students, NURS 514 Psychopharmacology for Advance Practice is optional because the New Mexico Higher Education Department limits graduate certificates to 18 credits. However, it is strongly recommended that students take this course to prepare them to meet the prescriptive practice and medication management competencies on the PMHNP certification exam.

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.