Admissions & Program Information
USF Health - College of Nursing






















Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Advanced Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing |
Curriculum Overview | Admission Requirements
Advanced Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing


Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing (PMHN) is considered a “Specialty” in advanced nursing practice. Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses have a minimum of a Master’s degree in psychiatric-mental health nursing and have broad background in both the behavioral and biological sciences, including pharmacological science. Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners provide counseling psychotherapy based on relevant theory and empirical evidence. In most states, Psychiatric ARNPs have the have the authority to prescribe psychiatric medications.
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) assess, diagnose, and treat individuals or families with psychiatric problems/disorders or the potential for such disorders. They provide a full range of primary mental health services to individuals, families, group and communities, function as psychotherapists, educators, consultants, advanced case managers, and administrators.  In Florida, Psychiatric/Mental Health ARNPs have the authority to prescribe non-controlled psychiatric medications. Qualified to practice independently, Psychiatric/Mental Health ARNPs offer direct care services in a variety of settings.
Practice Settings for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners

Sub-specialization is encouraged and includes work with children, adolescents, adults, elderly, families, alcohol or substance abusing clients, genetic counseling, and consultation/liaison practice. Theory and supervised clinical experience form the foundation for work as a primary therapist for individuals, groups, and families. The program draws on the psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, developmental, biological, and family systems models. Attention is given to issues related to improving and increasing access to mental health services that meet the needs of diverse populations, both rural and urban.
“Cast from the shackles which bound them, this Bell shall ring out for the mentally ill and victory over Mental Illness.” – inscription on the Mental Health Bell – Mental Health America
The program offers coursework that provides educational preparation necessary to take  the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Adult or Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Exam. Adult PMHNPs are certified to practice with clients 13 years of age and older. Family PMHNPs are certified to practice with all age groups. A graduate who completes this educational program and passes one of the ANCC certification examinations for advanced practice psychiatric and mental health nursing is eligible to be licensed in the State of Florida as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) with Prescriptive Authority.