Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Post-Graduate Certificate

The PMHNP Post-Graduate Certificate prepares the graduate-degree-prepared nurse to expand their scope of practice to include psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner across the lifespan. The coursework prepares the student to sit for a national certification exam the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to become a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner.

Our curriculum, beginning summer semester each year, is designed as an online program allowing you to study and participate in clinical experiences in your location. The clinical component comprises courses in wellness, therapy, and diagnosis and management of mental illness across the lifespan in outpatient and inpatient settings. Clinical courses are precepted by a practicing mental health professional in your community, arranged by the student with assistance from faculty and staff.

Applications for admission will be reviewed once per year by the Nursing Admission Review Committee. The most qualified applicants will be selected on a space-available basis. It may be necessary for some students to take undergraduate courses to meet prerequisites of selected graduate courses.

Candidates that do not meet all the admission criteria, but who wish to be considered for admission must submit a petition requesting special consideration along with their application materials.

Admission Criteria

  1. Graduate degree in nursing from an institution of higher education that is fully accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency, and from an ACEN- or CCNE-accredited graduate nursing program.
  2. A current valid and unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse in the U.S. In addition, an applicant must not have had a previous revocation, denial, suspension, or restriction of their license from any state or country. Current unrestricted licensure as a Registered Nurse in the state where the clinical experiences will be conducted.
  3. Minimum of one (1) year paid clinical work experience within the past three years as a Registered Nurse before the application deadline, documented on the submitted resume. Clinical work experience including direct care in a public health, community, hospital, or ambulatory care setting that serves patients across the life span is recommended.
  4. Evidence of capacity for graduate study.
    • A blended cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all previous course work on the submitted transcripts;
    • A Science GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale comprising grades in anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology, statistics, and chemistry courses;
    • Positive professional recommendations; and
    • Completion of an undergraduate- or graduate-level statistics course with a grade of B or better.
  5. Ability to articulate one’s professional goals, evidenced by the faculty interview, with applicant’s goals congruent with the objectives and resources of the Otterbein University Department of Nursing.

After review of the written materials, a selected pool of applicants may be required to participate in a faculty interview.

The following experiences are not criteria for selection, but are highly recommended:

  1. Demonstrated facility with computer-based office productivity tools, including word processing, electronic mail, and spreadsheet manipulation. This may be achieved by completing one or more of several online tutorials and face-to-face workshops; and
  2. Demonstrated facility with the most recent version of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (aka APA style). This may be achieved by taking one of several available tutorials, including the APA Tutorial available at the APA Website.

Curriculum Requirements

Total of 42 graduate credit hours. All courses are required. Credit hour total includes 9 credit hours of Advanced Practice Science Core Courses that may have been taken at another institution.

Note: A minimum grade of B minus (B-) is required in all courses. Students must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 throughout the program.

Advanced Practice Core Courses (Not required if equivalent courses were taken previously.)
NURS 6810 3 hrs Advanced Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Nurse
NURS 6820 3 hrs Advanced Pharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse
NURS 6830 3 hrs Advanced Physical & Health Assessment for the Advanced Practice Nurse
Psychiatric & Mental Health Advanced Practice Nursing Core Courses
NURS 7310 3 hrs Psychopharmacology & Prescribing
NURS 7320 3 hrs Neurobiology & Psychopathology
NURS 7330 3 hrs Psychiatric Diagnosis & Management: Adults
NURS 7340 3 hrs Systems Interventions: Individuals & Families
NURS 7350 3 hrs Psychiatric Diagnosis & Management: Children
NURS 7410 4 hrs Advanced Practice Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing: The Role in Health Delivery & Promotion
NURS 7420 3 hrs Clinical Psychiatric Internship I
NURS 7430 6 hrs Clinical Psychiatric Internship II
NURS 7440 5 hrs Clinical Psychiatric Internship III

Application Deadlines

Program of Study Annual Deadline Starting Term
Family Nurse Practitioner
BSN to DNP (MSN included)
Post-Graduate Certificate
Rolling* until April 1st Summer
Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
BSN to DNP (MSN included)
Post-Graduate Certificate
Rolling* until April 1st Summer
Master’s Degree to Doctor of Nursing Practice
Advanced Practice Focus
Nurse Executive Focus
Rolling* until April 1st Summer
Nurse Anesthesia
BSN to DNP August 1st Summer (yearly)
Associate’s Degree to Doctor of Nursing Practice, MSN Included
Family Nurse Practitioner, Associate’s Degree to DNP
Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Associate’s Degree to DNP
Not accepting applications at this time.

*Rolling – Application decisions will be made monthly, while seats remain available.

Application Process

  1. Complete the online application. Include your entire list of colleges/universities attended, and have your nursing license number ready. You do not need to log back into this application once submitted.
  2. Submit to the following documents, preferably as an MS Word or PDF file a resume with all professional experience documented. Also include leadership activities, scholastic awards, nursing organizational memberships, and community service, as applicable.
  3. Request from all institutions of higher education where you have earned credit, irrespective of number of courses taken, that an individual, official transcript be sent to The Graduate School, Otterbein University. They may be sent directly from the institution electronically to
  4. Please give an Otterbein University Graduate Nursing Recommendation Form to three individuals that can support your application to pursue graduate studies. Please choose a clinical supervisor, a peer (RN), and another clinician to complete and submit this form. You will complete the front of the form; your recommender will complete the back. Otterbein University reserves the right to contact persons providing recommendations and to contact a recommender to acknowledge receipt of a recommendation. Recommenders should email the form (required) and letter (optional) to

Students must submit documentation of meeting health requirements – including completion of the American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) curriculum – prior to starting classes, and must submit documentation of keeping health requirements current throughout their course of study.

Prior Credit Information: PMHNP Post-Graduate Certificate Program

Transfer Credit. The Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Post-Graduate Certificate will consider transferring credit for graduate level course work if:

  1. The course work is evaluated by the Director, PMHNP major, and course faculty, according to student coursework level.
  2. The transcript and syllabus reflect graduate level course work from an institution that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency and whose graduate nursing program is accredited by ACEN and/or CCNE.
  3. The content of the transfer course is equivalent to the course offered in the Otterbein University Post-Masters Certificate Program and PMHNP major.
  4. The course has been taken within the previous five years.
  5. The course was completed with a grade of B or higher. The actual grade is not transferred and thus will not be included in the Otterbein grade point average.
  6. No more than 6 hours of graduate semester credit will be accepted as transfer credit.
  7. Credit for life/professional experiences is not granted for the Post-Graduate Certificate Program.
  8. Courses eligible for transfer credit are NURS 6810 Advanced Pathophysiology for the Advanced Practice Nurse, NURS 6820 Advanced Pharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse, and NURS 6830 Advanced Physical and Health Assessment for the Advanced Practice Nurse.
  9. The Director, PMHNP major, brings any eligible transfer credit coursework to the DON Curriculum committee for a final vote to accept or deny the student’s request for transfer credit, and the Chair, Department of Nursing, concurs.

To request transfer credit, the student must submit the following information to the Director. Graduate Studies in Nursing, after admission to the program:

  1. A letter describing what transfer credit is being sought.
  2. Syllabus of the graduate course(s) for which transfer credit is being sought.

Proficiency Credit. The Post-Master’s Certificate offers students the opportunity to obtain proficiency credit for NURS 6830 Advanced Physical and Health Assessment for the Advanced Practice Nurse. The proficiency exam consists of a written exam on assessment content and the demonstration of a history and physical.

  1. The written exam must be passed before the student is eligible to perform the history and physical.
  2. The student must achieve a minimum of 80% on both components of the exam.
  3. The student may take the proficiency exam only once.
  4. The student must make an appointment with the course coordinator at least two weeks prior to the exam date. The contact information for the course coordinator can be obtained from the Department of Nursing (614-823-1614).
  5. The student must pre-register with the Department of Nursing using the Proficiency Exam Registration Form, at least two weeks before the exam date. (614-823-1614)
  6. A non-refundable fee for the proficiency exam must be paid in the nursing office at the time of pre-registration.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Program Tuition Estimates

The following fees are for tuition only. Additional lab, resource, and technology fees can be found on the fee schedule on the Business Office websiteAcceptance deposit fees that are credited towards tuition are: Nurse Anesthesia $1,000; all other degrees and certificates $500. Costs subject to slight increases each academic year.

Graduate Nursing Program MSN Tuition Estimate DNP Tuition Estimate
Family Nurse Practitioner, BSN to MSN/DNP $28,191 $46,989
Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, BSN to MSN/DNP $36,144 $54,942
Nurse Anesthesia (Click here for more cost info for the NA major) $104,350
Master’s Degree to DNP
Advanced Practice Nurse Focus $23,136
Nurse Executive Focus $23,136
Post-Graduate Certificate
Family Nurse Practitioner $22,407
Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner $29,637
Graduate Nursing Tuition Fees per Credit Hour
5000- and 6000-Level Courses $650 per cr hr
7200-, 7300-, 7400-, 7500-, 7900-, and 8000-Level Courses $750 per cr hr
7600-, 7700-, and 7800-Level Courses $1,300 per cr hr


Payment Options

To help you manage your graduate school expenses Otterbein offers the ePay payment system and resources you may research for scholarship opportunities (see non-Otterbein Sources of Aid below). We recommend that you speak with the graduate financial aid counselor at 614-823-1379. See the Business Office site for information about ePay.

Graduate Nursing Financial Aid Options

Graduate students are eligible for consideration for a variety of scholarships and loans.

Non-Otterbein Sources of Aid

National Scholarship Opportunities

Ohio Scholarship Opportunities

Loan Repayment Opportunities

Otterbein Financial Aid

For information about financial aid available from Otterbein, see the Office of Student Financial Services site.