How does the program help prepare me for today’s psychiatric healthcare needs?
All of our nursing programs deliver a student-centric, evidence-based education that includes topics relevant to an evolving healthcare environment. As a PMHNP student, you will receive in-depth learning around psychiatric conditions, treatment, therapy management, and other modalities. Our curricula also address telehealth, special populations, and upcoming trends in psychiatry.
What’s an “Onsite Intensive” (OSI)?
Our Onsite Intensives (OSIs) are designed to give you a more comprehensive and hand-on look at how to write patient notes, deal with medical conditions involving psychiatric implications, and a panoply of in-person healthcare skills. This combination of skill-building, residency, and didactic work will help prepare you to join the fight to end mental health stigma and provide much-needed treatment to so many underserved and stigmatized patients.
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 clinical team to help you find a placement for clinical training that aligns with your goals.
Because our program focuses on lifespan care, students who want to begin researching clinical sites can consider:
- Offices of physicians
- Hospitals (state, local, and private)
- Outpatient care centers
- Educational services
- Offices of other health practitioners3
Will my previous coursework transfer into the programs?
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 90 credits.
Speak to your advisor to learn more about the transfer credit policy for your desired program.
Will I learn from experienced faculty?
Every faculty member that teaches in our programs is an experienced nursing professional, active in relevant clinical practice, and nationally board-certified. Additionally, WCU professors are accessible to students. Through the Remind app, faculty members are only a call or text away.
If you need career insight or advice, you will be paired with a PMHNP faculty advisor that can provide one-on-one guidance as needed.
How long does it take to complete the programs?
Our accelerated program pace allows you to earn your degree faster, taking more classes per trimester. Our Working Professional pace lets you take fewer classes per trimester, providing flexibility when you need it.
Below are the time-to-completions for our PMHNP tracks:
- MSN (Accelerated Pace) – 20 months
- MSN (Working Professional Pace) – 36 months
- RN to MSN (Accelerated Pace) – 32 months
- RN to MSN (Working Professional Pace) – 44 months
- Post-Master’s Certificate – 20 months
Will I be eligible to sit for my certification exam?
Yes, after you complete the program, you will be eligible to sit for your certification exam. WCU offers two tools to help you prepare for the examination: Lecturio and BoardVitals. Both tools are mobile-friendly platforms that will help you review materials so you can approach the exam with confidence.
1 American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). https://www.aanp.org/news-feed/are-you-considering-a-career-as-psychiatric-mental-health-nurse-practitioner
2 American Psychological Association (APA) https://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/survey Retrieved October 2021.
3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm
Students enrolled through the Orange County campus must complete their OSIs 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 and lodging.
WCU distance education programs are delivered out of the Orange County and Texas campuses and may not be available to residents in all states.
Practice experience is required in order to graduate from the RN to BSN, RN to MSN, MSN, DNP degree and Post-Master's certificate programs.