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Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP

Overview

As a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), you'll be qualified to diagnose and treat acute episodic and chronic mental illnesses.

You'll be trained to focus on patient wellness through health promotion/disease prevention, teaching, and coaching. Christian moral and ethical principles serve as the guide for care-giving, communication, collaboration, and decision-making as a PMHNP.

  • Our program is offered in both full- and part-time settings through an online, in-class, or hybrid format.
  • Our students complete clinical requirements in our network of nationally-ranked clinical facilities throughout the Lehigh Valley and beyond.
  • You'll experience a broad range of clinical settings including hospitals, care facilities, and hospital-to-clinic settings.
  • Clinical Placements coordinated by the University

Graduates of our program are eligible to take the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The required 60-hour advanced pharmacology course, coupled with the 30-hour Psychopharmacology course, exceeds the minimum required for prescriptive authority in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Full-time or part-time class schedules*

  • Full-time students can complete the program in two calendar years
  • Part-time students can complete the program in three calendar years

Online, hybrid and in-class courses

  • Complete core courses completely online or in a hybrid format
  • Advanced core and specialty/clinical courses are in a hybrid format
  • Hybrid courses meet, at most, one night per week from 5-9pm at the Center Valley campus

*Full-time status dependent on seat availability in the desired track

Important Program Information

Admissions Requirements

MSN Admissions Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an ACEN or CCNE accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • An active registered nurse license or eligibility for licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. New Jersey licensure as a registered nurse is also required prior to beginning the clinical sequence for all MSN programs.
  • Evidence of the equivalent of 12 months full-time nursing practice within the last three (3) years
  • For the Post-Graduate Certification Programs, evidence of a minimum of one (1) year of experience as a practicing licensed registered nurse within the past two (2) years

How to Apply

*For applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement, completion of the GRE or MAT will be required to be considered for admission to the program

*International applicants (regardless of citizenship) for whom English is a second language must submit English proficiency test scores (TOEFL, iBT, IELTS, or CAE) as part of their application. An official copy of test results must be sent by the testing agency directly to the Division of Nursing at DeSales University, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA 18034. Visit the following websites for up-to-date information:

* All exams must have been taken within two years of application to a DeSales program.

Nurse Practitioner applicants are admitted twice a year as per the following deadlines:

  • The deadline is January 1 for an April (Spring semester) start
  • The deadline is May 1 for an August (Fall semester) start

The admission process and entrance requirements are rigorous; demonstrating minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the MSN program.

Additional Requirements for the PMHNP

  • Evidence of the equivalent of 12 months full-time experience as a practicing psychiatric RN within 18 months of application completion.
  • Students will be required to continue to work as a psychiatric nurse while in the program if they have less than 2 years of psychiatric nursing experience prior to program acceptance.
  • All admission to the PMHNP program will be at the discretion of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program Coordinator.

Curriculum

The curriculum for the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program combines an exciting blend of theoretical and applied learning.

Here is a sampling of courses you'll take*:

 Core Graduate Nursing Courses

  • NU 522: Health Policy, Organization, and Financing
  • NU 530: Applied Research
  • NU 538: Health Informatics, Quality and Safety

Advanced Practice Nursing Core Courses

  • NU 622: Advanced Physical Assessment
  • NU 626: Pathophysiology
  • NU 628: Advanced Pharmacology

Specialty/Clinical Courses

  • NU 742: Assessment and Diagnosis in Psychiatry
  • NU 743: Evaluation & Treatment in Psychiatry
  • NU 744: Role Development with Special Populations in Psychiatry

PMHNP Curriculum Summary

  • 14 Courses plus Portfolio
  • 51 credits
  • 75 Clinical Laboratory Hours
  • 675 Clinical Practicum Hours

*View all required courses and MSN program outcomes in the Graduate Catalog.

Facilities

DeSales University is home to some of the most advanced simulation technology in a university setting.

Simulation captures the key characteristics and behaviors of real life clinical events and gives students the opportunity to practice clinical skills, repeat procedures, fine-tune processes, and observe the impact of their choices — all without harm to patients. 

The DeSales family of Human Patient Simulators (HPS)

HPS, also known as high-fidelity manikins, are life-like models of the human body with software/computer equipment components to mimic human bodily functions. The HSC maintains several HPSs, including a pregnant mother and new-born infant.

Clinical Skills Lab 

Our clinical skills suite provides both a 12 bed in-patient and a 12 bed out-patient practice environment. Students can practice a wide variety of clinical skills with low fidelity mannequins. Task Trainers help students gain expertise in technical procedures and clinical skills such as foley catheter placement or pelvic examination for undergraduate students and more advanced skills such as central line placement or peripheral IV insertion, for our graduate students.

Standardized Patient Program

This on-campus suite replicates a functioning healthcare office, complete with a waiting room, and 8 fully equipped examination rooms. Standardized Patients are real people who are specially-trained to portray different patient scenarios, where they are treated as real patients by DeSales students. They actively participate in the instruction, practice, and assessment of the physical examination skills of our students, nurses, and physician assistants. Become a standardized patient 

Education Management

Our Education Management Solutions, Inc. system (EMS) provides a comprehensive solution for the labs;. Digital AV software and hardware allow faculty to capture both the simulations and standardized patient environments for further review. The results provide a digital video record of individual and team performance, which assist in evaluating a student’s performance when faced with realistic clinical challenges.

Simulation Lab in Gambet Center at DeSales The labs in the Gambet Center are outfitted with audio-video technology as well as integrated simulation management and skills evaluation software to allow the instructors to manage clinical skills training and patient exam protocols.

Video: See the Sim Center in Action  

 

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) are as follows.

  • Tuition/credit hour: $855
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Re-admission Fee: $50
  • Graduation Fee: $120
  • Laboratory Fee*: $250
  • Returned Check Service: $30

*Laboratory fees are due on registration for: NU 551, NU 552, NU 553, NU 622, NU 625, NU 711, NU 712, NU 713, NU 715, NU 717, NU 719, NU 729, NU 731, NU 735, NU 737, NU 739, NU 742, NU 743, NU 744

Tuition Deferment

DeSales University offers graduate students the opportunity to defer payment of their tuition when they will be receiving reimbursement from their employer or when they are eligible to receive financial aid. A copy of your employer's tuition reimbursement policy must be forwarded to the Treasurer's Office and/or all necessary financial aid paperwork must be filed with the Financial Aid Office before tuition deferment is granted. 

Tuition deferment is a privilege given to graduate students at DeSales and can be revoked if this privilege is abused. Please note that you, as the student, are responsible for payment of your tuition balance in the event that your financial aid/loans or employer reimbursement is not received by the Treasurer's Office.

Tuition Reimbursement

When a student is eligible for tuition reimbursement from his/her employer, written evidence of eligibility is required. The student is responsible for requesting this reimbursement from his/her employer. In cases where reimbursement is contingent upon successful completion of the course(s) and the student either withdraws or does not achieve a grade sufficient to warrant maximum reimbursement, the student is ultimately responsible for payment for the course(s).

Refund on Withdrawal

A refund of tuition payments will be made to a student who withdraws from a course. In all cases, credits will be calculated from the date the student completed the official withdrawal form, and the rebate will be based on the schedule shown below. 

Refunds apply to tuition only. If a student is allowed to enroll by use of the deferred payment procedure, any funds due the University are immediately due and payable upon withdrawal.

Withdrawal during the add/drop period is 100% of tuition refunded. The schedule below is for withdrawal after the first class after the close of the add/drop period. 

The refund policy is based upon the number of classes held up to 
the date of withdrawal.

  • Withdrawal after 1st class: 80% of tuition refunded

  • Withdrawal after 2nd class: 65% of tuition refunded

  • Withdrawal after 3rd class: 50% of tuition refunded

  • Withdrawal after 4th class: 25% of tuition refunded

  • Withdrawal after 5th class: No refund

DeSales Simulation Lab

Simulation Lab

DeSales University is home to some of the most advanced simulation technology in a university setting.

Simulation captures the key characteristics and behaviors of real life clinical events and gives students the opportunity to practice clinical skills, repeat procedures, make mistakes, fine-tune processes, and observe the impact of their choices — all without harm to patients. 

Explore the Sim Lab

CCNE Accreditation

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate programs at DeSales University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

CCNE - Accredited

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Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)