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Post-Graduate Certificate


  • One Year and Three Months, Full-Time Program
  • 100% Online Coursework
  • Clinical Placement Support

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For those who have already earned your master's or doctoral degree in nursing, Cleveland State University’s online Post-Graduate Certificate – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program offers a fast and affordable pathway to a new specialized career without completing an entire additional degree program. This program prepares you to serve patients of all ages in the mental health care field through proper assessment, diagnosis and treatment techniques of those with mental health disorders. Become prepared to provide patients with an evidence-based plan of care that may include pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions for the treatment and prevention of acute, episodic and chronic mental health disorders.

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For more than 50 years, Cleveland State University has delivered quality nursing education with a mission of inspiring innovation and inclusivity, promoting health equity and wellness, and educating with excellence. For those who want to explore a new specialization and opportunities in nursing, CSU’s online Post-Graduate Certificate – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner offers a pathway to advance your career. With combined higher education and hands-on real-world experiences, you’ll develop advanced practice skills to provide mental health care to those in need in your community. Coursework includes focused study on such topics as psychiatric mental health assessment, theoretical foundations for psychiatric-mental health nursing, neuropsychopharmacology, and more. 

  • 100% online coursework 
  • You will complete 780 clinical hours near your community 
  • Clinical placement services are provided as part of the program 
  • You can complete this program full-time in one year and three months 
  • Taught by dedicated, experienced professors, many of whom are tenure-track and active in initiatives and research
  • Strong community-focused program 
  • Gain the skills and hands-on experience needed to take the next step in your career as you prepare for certification


Curriculum Sample

This course builds on the knowledge of advanced health assessment with a focus on clients with co-morbid physical and psychiatric conditions commonly seen in psychiatric/mental health settings. Emphasis is placed on communication, organized health assessments related to identification of co-morbidity and interrelationship of physical and psychiatric conditions. This course includes 30 hours of clinical practice experience activities.

This course builds on advanced pharmacology principles, focusing on developing the scientific knowledge and clinical management skills needed to care for clients with psychiatric/mental illnesses. Course content will include the care of those in diverse populations who have a wide range of psychiatric issues. Appropriate use of psychopharmacology in the care of clients across the lifespan, including elderly, adult, adolescent and children, will be examined. Emphasizing evidence-based practice, clinical decision making, and a holistic approach, students learn prescribing practices that integrate with other interventions in the care of clients with mental health illness.

This course focuses on the psychiatric/mental health status of the adult client in diverse populations. Included is the impact of psychological, sociological and cultural processes upon the mental health of adults and older adults. Specific theories of mental health and psychotherapy for diagnosing and treating acute and chronic mental health issues in these populations will be examined, with ethical, legal and policy considerations impacting the care of the adult with psychiatric/mental illness.

This course focuses on the knowledge and skills to diagnose and treat family members who are facing dysfunctional intra-family behavioral patterns. Using family therapy theories, the students will learn how to promote, improve, and maintain the mental health of family members. The relationship of stress to mental health within the family will be explored, with the impact of stressors on intergenerational family members examined. The influence of cultural norms upon the family will also be explored.

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We’re here for you and ready to help you with enrollment and answer your questions about the program, including tuition, admission requirements, curriculum details and more.

Forensics in Nursing by the Numbers

0 %
Projected PMHNP positions from 2016-203
0 %
of adults who have a substance abuse disorder do not receive treatment


median total annual income for full-time PMHNPs

Clinical Placement Services

Our clinical placement services team will work with you to find clinical placement opportunities in your area. However, as a student you will be responsible for key parts of the placement process. These FAQs can help you better understand the clinical placement services provided as part of your PMHNP nursing education experience at CSU.


How does the clinical placement process work?

You’ll work directly with your dedicated clinical placement team who will help identify a suitable clinical placement site within a reasonable distance from your home and coordinate the preceptor details.


How do I prepare for nursing clinicals?

You’ll work with and remain in close communication with your placement team throughout your program. This team will advise you to ensure you complete all requirements, meet deadlines and have completed all requirements on your nursing clinicals checklist.


When can I expect to receive details regarding clinical placement?

Prior to each clinical start date, your placement team will notify you of your clinical assignment and start date. Once confirmed and communicated, you’ll be encouraged to work with your preceptor to establish your schedule.


What can I expect from my clinical experience?

Each individual clinical placement will be its own unique experience due to the variety of health care environments students will work in. During your clinical rotations which go hand in hand with your nursing courses, you’ll work under the close supervision of your preceptor and, indirectly, the CSU clinical faculty.

Frequently Asked Questions

To become a PMHNP, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and pass the NCLEX-RN to become a licensed RN. The next step is to earn your MSN with a concentration in Psychiatric Mental Health and clinical experience work. Upon certificate completion, the graduate must take and successfully pass a national certification exam to become a certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

The total annual median income for full-time PMHNP professionals is $137,000 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners deliver holistic mental health care and work with clients across the lifespan with mental health disorders or substance abuse problems.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners practice in hospitals, community health centers, primary care facilities, private practices, schools/universities and more.

Yes. Cleveland State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

You’ll work directly with your dedicated clinical placement team who will help identify a suitable clinical placement site within a reasonable distance from your home and coordinate the preceptor details. However, as a student you will be responsible for key parts of the placement process.

This five-semester program can be completed in one year and three months. It requires 36 credits of online coursework and 780 clinical hours.

The online Post-Graduate Certificate PMHNP program costs $614.25* per credit hour for in-state students ($22,113.00 total* + fees) and $615.25* for out-of-state students ($22,149.00 total* + fees).

*Tuition rates as of 01/22/2024. Rates are subject to change. Visit for current rates. 

Yes. You’ll learn alongside faculty who conduct cutting-edge research across a range of areas. Our faculty members are dedicated, caring and experienced professionals who are committed to excellence in nursing education, research and service.


Dedicated Student Support

A CSU enrollment advisor can answer your questions and guide you through the application process. Click the button below to fill out a form and start the conversation.

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