PMHNP Post-Master’s Certificate Online

Your Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Post-Master’s Certificate helps position you to provide exceptional mental health care in your community.

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8 Weeks

8-week course terms allow for start dates throughout the year

2 On-Site Intensives

Get hands-on practice during in-person immersive experiences that help prepare you for clinical rotations


This APRN track is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education1

PMHNP Track Highlights

Preparation to make a difference in the mental health field

Flexible Schedule

Training in telehealth, special populations, and new trends in psychiatry

Flexible online coursework and study tools you can access on the go

Hands-on practice through on-site intensives and clinical practice hours

Why Choose a Post-Master’s Certificate - PMHNP?

Advance your career and prepare to make a meaningful difference in mental health care with a Post-Master’s Certificate in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). WCU’s online specialization is designed for experienced healthcare professionals passionate about addressing the complex mental health needs of individuals.

The PMHNP Post-Master’s Certificate integrates advanced online coursework in psychiatric assessment, diagnosis, pharmacotherapy, and therapeutic interventions with immersive in-person experiences in diverse mental health settings.

Whether you’re interested in working in outpatient clinics, psychiatric hospitals, or community mental health centers, WCU’s PMHNP certificate helps equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this challenging yet rewarding field.

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  • Flexible online and campus programs
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Explore the PMHNP program at WCU!

Overview: Online Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Track

Program Details: Post Master’s Certificate – PMHNP


Distance Education/Online

32 Credits

20 Months

5 Trimesters

Course Number Course Name Total Credit Hours
Number Name Hours
NURS 530 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology – APRN 3
NURS 676 Advanced Pharmacology – APRN 3
NURS 681 Advanced Health/Physical Assessment and Lab – APRN 4
NURS 682 Care Coordination and Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse 3
NURS 682L-A Advanced Healthcare Residency I 2
NURS 682L-B Advanced Healthcare Residency II 2
NURS 683 Neurobiology and Psychopharmacology 3
NURS 686 Psychiatric – Mental Health Care Across the Lifespan: Theory I 3
NURS 686L Psychiatric – Mental Health Care Across the Lifespan: Practicum I 3
NURS 687 Psychiatric – Mental Health Care Across the Lifespan: Theory II 3
NURS 687L Psychiatric – Mental Health Care Across the Lifespan: Practicum II 3
Total Credit Hours: 32.0
Tuition & Financial Aid

How Much Does the Post-Master’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program Cost?

We know school is a substantial commitment. At WCU, we want to equip you with all the information you need to make the right decision for your future.

Our goal is to give you a clear understanding of post-master’s PMHNP online tuition costs so you can be well-informed as you navigate the application and enrollment process. To assist you in your decision, we provide a breakdown below of the post-master’s PMHNP certificate program costs at West Coast University.

We offer several financial aid options — including scholarships, grants, and loan access — to help support you through your studies. We also offer reduced tuition rates for military personnel and their spouses. For more information about your financial support options, visit our financial aid page.

Post-Master's Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Tuition and Fees


Degree Type


Prior to Fall I 2024


Effective Fall I 2024

Total Program Credits 32 32
Program Length(full time) 5 trimesters  4 trimesters 
APRN Core(per credit x 32 credits) $785 $785 
Total Tuition Cost $25,120  $25,120 
STRF1 $0  $0 
Technology Fee2 $2,500


Estimate for Supplies & Licensure Preparation Fees3 $2,300  $2,300 
Program Fee (Clinical)4 $3,300  $3,300 
Estimated Total Program Costs (Texas) $33,220  $33,720 
Estimated Total Program Costs (California) $33,220 



Indirect Costs

8 Month Academic Year5    
  Prior to Fall I 2024  Starting Fall I 2024 
with parents off campus with parents off campus
Federal Student Loan Fee  $220  $220  $220  $220 
Living Expenses (Food & Housing) $2,384 $7,936 $2,496  $8,328 
Transportation $1,648 $1,648 $1,728  $1,728 
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $5,392 $5,392 $5,656  $5,656 
Total $9,644 $15,196 $10,100  $15,932 

Effective April 1, 2024, the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) assessment rate will be zero dollars and zero cents ($0.00) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges.

The State of California established the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) to relieve or mitigate economic loss suffered by a student in an educational program at a qualifying institution, who is or was a California resident while enrolled, or was enrolled in a residency program, if the student enrolled in the institution, prepaid tuition, and suffered an economic loss. Unless relieved of the obligation to do so, you must pay the state-imposed assessment for the STRF, or it must be paid on your behalf, if you are a student in an educational program, who is a California resident, or are enrolled in a residency program, and prepay all or part of your tuition.

You are not eligible for protection from the STRF and you are not required to pay the STRF assessment, if you are not a California resident, or are not enrolled in a residency program.

It is important that you keep copies of your enrollment agreement, financial aid documents, receipts, or any other information that documents the amount paid to the school. Questions regarding the STRF may be directed to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, 1747 N. Market Blvd. Ste 225 Sacramento, CA 95834, (916) 431-6959 or (888) 370-7589.

To be eligible for STRF, you must be a California resident or enrolled in a residency program, prepaid tuition, paid or deemed to have paid the STRF assessment, and suffered an economic loss as a result of any of the following:

  1. The institution, a location of the institution, or an educational program offered by the institution was closed or discontinued, and you did not choose to participate in a teach-out plan approved by the Bureau or did not complete a chosen teach-out plan approved by the Bureau.
  2. You were enrolled at an institution or a location of the institution within the 120-day period before the closure of the institution or location of the institution or were enrolled in an educational program within the 120-day period before the program was discontinued.
  3. You were enrolled at an institution or a location of the institution more than 120 days before the closure of the institution or location of the institution, in an educational program offered by the institution as to which the Bureau determined there was a significant decline in the quality or value of the program more than 120 days before closure.
  4. The institution has been ordered to pay a refund by the Bureau but has failed to do so.
  5. The institution has failed to pay or reimburse loan proceeds under a federal student loan program as required by law or has failed to pay or reimburse proceeds received by the institution in excess of tuition and other costs.
  6. You have been awarded restitution, a refund, or other monetary award by an arbitrator or court, based on a violation of this chapter by an institution or representative of an institution, but have been unable to collect the award from the institution.
  7. You sought legal counsel that resulted in the cancellation of one or more of your student loans and have an invoice for services rendered and evidence of the cancellation of the student loan or loans.

To qualify for STRF reimbursement, the application must be received within four (4) years from the date of the action or event that made the student eligible for recovery from STRF.

A student whose loan is revived by a loan holder or debt collector after a period of non-collection may, at any time, file a written application for recovery from STRF for the debt that would have otherwise been eligible for recovery. If it has been more than four (4) years since the action or event that made the student eligible, the student must have filed a written application for recovery within the original four (4) year period, unless the period has been extended by another act of law.

However, no claim can be paid to any student without a social security number or a taxpayer identification number.

2 Technology Fee includes student technical support, Office 365, blended and online course delivery/learning management system, mobile app, student portal technology and access, and required electronic course materials/software.

3 Supplies and licensure prep fees include a WCU identification card, background check, standardized patients, supplies, equipment for onsite intensives, and APRN predictor exams for APRN students. Supplies become student purchases once issued to students. Students who drop or have been dismissed after supplies have been issued will assume ownership for these items and will not be eligible for refunds. For details on all the supplies please contact the Bursar Office.  

Program Fee covers the establishment, on-going management, scheduling, coordination, site visits, and any other expenses related to clinical rotations. 

5 The purpose of the Cost of Attendance (COA) is to provide students and families with an estimated cost to attend West Coast University. The COA includes both direct and indirect cost estimates. Direct costs are paid directly to West Coast University and are shown separately for each program. Indirect costs are not paid to West Coast University and are estimates students may use to budget expenses they may incur while attending school. While actual indirect costs may vary, West Coast University estimates these amounts based on the number of months in an academic year and whether students will live with parents or off campus.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the program must meet the following requirements (Post-Master’s Certificates All Track Options):

  1. Completion of the application for admission.
  2. Completion of all university admissions requirements.
  3. Completion of a Master of Science (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from an ACEN-, CCNE-, or CNEA-accredited program, with a 3.0 GPA or better.
    1. Applicants can be conditionally admitted into the program by providing unofficial transcripts or a copy of the conferred nursing degree. Official transcripts which meet the requirements set forth must be received by the end of the add/drop period to be admitted to the program.
  4. A valid and unencumbered license as a registered nurse in any U.S. state or territory in which the student is licensed, including the state in which the student completes all assignments for the program.
    1. Military, federal, and foreign-educated nurses must meet this state requirement for nursing licensure.
    2. An active and unencumbered RN license(s) must be maintained throughout the program.
    3. A domestic or foreign medical degree is not equivalent to a nursing degree.

*Applicants submitting non-U.S. or non-English transcripts should refer to the International Admissions section of the catalog.

Additional Admissions Requirements Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Tracks Only:

In addition to the admissions requirements above, applicants to the post master’s certificate Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) tracks must also meet the following admissions requirements:

  1. Recommendation for admission by the program dean/director and admission committee members. Past academic performance and professional achievements will be evaluated using a rubric to determine the applicant’s level of qualification.
  2. A valid and unencumbered license as an RN in any U.S. state or territory in which the student is licensed, including the state in which the student completes practicum experiences.
  3. Post-master’s certificate applicants who have been dismissed from a previous WCU nurse practitioner program track do not qualify for admission into any of the post master’s certificate nurse practitioner tracks.
  4. Applicants will have a formal transfer of credit gap analysis prior to acceptance of admission.
  5. Applicants who do not meet full admissions criteria will not be considered.
  6. Applicants to the APRN tracks must have a minimum of one (1) year of direct patient care RN experience before entering APRN core courses as verified using the experience verification form.
  7. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care track applicants must have one (1) year of intensive care unit (ICU) experience as a registered nurse (RN) within the past 5 years prior to admission as verified using the experience verification form.
  8. Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track applicants must have one (1) year of registered nurse (RN) experience in direct patient care or a minimum of six (6) months of direct patient care experience in psychiatric mental health nursing (preferred) within the last 5 years prior to admission as verified using the experience verification form.
  9. All students will be required to complete the Supplemental Application Form.

*Students admitted to APRN tracks under previous admissions requirements and have withdrawn that have completed more than 75% of the credits associated with the program will be re-admitted to the previous version of their program using previous requirements.

For additional admission requirements, please visit our catalog.

Academic Calendar

New academic sessions begin, on average, every eight weeks. The number of trimesters needed depends on the program and pace selected for the PMHNP track. For the most updated start-to-completion schedule, view the Academic Calendar.

Clinical Placement

Meet Your Clinical Support Team

As you embark on the exciting journey of completing your on-site clinicals, you can rest assured knowing you will have support every step of the way. We have a Clinical Placements team that helps with preceptor and site selection and placement. We leverage our healthcare provider partnerships and other resources to help students get on the right track for their practicum experience.

If at any point during your program you find that you need advice to help make your clinicals a smoother experience, you can schedule a call with your assigned coordinator of clinical relations. We’re here to assist you from day one all the way through graduation!


Career Services

Support Through Your Job Search and Beyond

As a WCU graduate, you get access to our dedicated Career Services team! Get access to a variety of resources, including resume writing workshops, interview coaching, professional development, and help locating job posts that match your needs. 3


Featured Faculty

Meet the Dean

Donald Burdine, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC

Dean, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program

Donald Burdine is the Dean of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program at West Coast University, as well as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Burdine is dually certified as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center and a family nurse practitioner through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

In his role at WCU, Dr. Burdine focuses on the areas of faculty and student management, college orientations and program admissions oversight, curriculum development and course design, and compliance. He has over a decade of clinical nursing and education administration experience.

Prior to joining WCU, Dr. Burdine served as an MSN Program Director, Campus Administrator, and Assistant Professor. He additionally has acted as an independent nursing education consultant, aiding organizations with learning management system (LMS) integration, curriculum development, design, and internal process implementation.

Dr. Burdine has served on various committees and in leadership roles. He has served as a Graduate Nursing Policy Committee Chair (2022); APRN / NP Sub-Committee Chair (2021); Graduate Curriculum Committee (GCC) Chair (2020-2021); DNP Sub-Committee; APRN Taskforce; and Admissions, Progression, Retention, & Graduation (APRG) Committee Member. He is currently an active member of the PLN Leadership Team at WCU.

Dr. Burdine is a member of numerous professional associations, including the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (ISPN),  American Nurses Association (ANA), Florida Nurses Association (FNA), Central Florida Advanced Nursing Practice Council (CFANPC), National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), and Sigma Theta Tau International.


What’s an on-site intensive (OSI)?

Our On-Site Intensives (OSIs) allow you to get hands-on practice, learn unique skills, and obtain instructor feedback during mandatory in-person, immersive experiences that are necessary to prepare you for your APRN clinical rotations and practice.

What can I expect from clinical placements?

Our programs require students complete clinical hours for their degrees. For the MSN and Post-Master’s certificate programs, students must complete 500 clinical hours. RN to MSN students must complete 590 clinical hours.

When it comes to finding the right facility, WCU has a dedicated team to help you find a placement for clinical training that aligns with your goals.

Will my previous coursework transfer into the program?

We can evaluate your previous coursework for credit. The number of credits you are able to transfer depends on the specific program’s requirements. For example, for the RN to MSN program, you can transfer up to a total of 90 credits.

Speak to your advisor to learn more about the transfer credit policy for your desired program.

Will I learn from experienced faculty?

Our PMHNP faculty members are experienced, board-certified nursing professionals in the psychiatric-mental health field. As a WCU student, you will be matched with a PMHNP faculty advisor who can help provide personalized advice for your education and career plans. Additionally, the Remind app is a tool provided to all of our students that allows them to contact their professors when needed, ensuring you get the guidance you need during your learning journey.

Will I be eligible to sit for my certification exam?

Yes, after you complete one of our PMHNP tracks with the required clinical hours, you will be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Board Certification (PMHNP-BC) exam.

WCU also provides you with different tools to help review for your exam, including Lecturio and BoardVitals. Both tools are mobile-friendly platforms that will help you review materials so you can approach the exam with confidence.

How long does it take to complete the PMHNP post-master’s certificate??

You can earn your post-master’s PMHNP certificate in as little as 20 months


The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at West Coast University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 655 K Street, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, (202) 877-6791 (

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.

1 The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at West Coast University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 655 K Street, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, (202) 877-6791 (

2 American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

3 WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment.

Students enrolled through the Orange County campus must complete their OSI’s in California. Students enrolled through the Texas campus must complete them in Texas. Travel costs are not included in tuition and fees, and students are responsible for arranging transportation.