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Psychiatric–Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification Eligibility Criteria
(across the lifespan)
(Formerly known as Family Psychiatric–Mental Health Nurse Practitioner)

Credential Awarded: PMHNP-BC

Eligibility Criteria

Hold a current, active RN license in a state or territory of the United States or hold the professional, legally recognized equivalent in another country. International Applicants: Learn about additional requirements for candidates outside the US.

Hold a master's, postgraduate, or doctoral degree* from a family psychiatric–mental health nurse practitioner program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (formerly NLNAC | National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission). A minimum of 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours must be included in your nurse practitioner program.

Three separate, comprehensive graduate-level courses in:

  • Advanced physiology/pathophysiology, including general principles that apply across the life span
  • Advanced health assessment, which includes assessment of all human systems, advanced assessment techniques, concepts, and approaches
  • Advanced pharmacology, which includes pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacotherapeutics of all broad categories of agents

Content in:

  • Health promotion and/or maintenance
  • Differential diagnosis and disease management, including the use and prescription of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions

AND clinical training in at least two psychotherapeutic treatment modalities.

*Candidates may be authorized to sit for the examination after all coursework for the degree is complete, prior to degree conferral, provided that all other eligibility requirements are met. Please note, Validation of Education form and transcript showing that coursework is completed are required before authorization to test will be issued. ANCC will retain the candidate's exam result and will issue certification on the date the requested documents are received, all eligibility requirements are met, and a passing result is on file.