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Fall 2024 Applications due by May 24th

Yale School of Nursing

Online MSN in Psychiatric-Mental Health

Curriculum Overview 

Nearly 50 million people in the United States report experiencing mental health challenges, but too often, finding care can be difficult. This crisis of unmet care is expected to continue growing, as the U.S. is predicted to face a shortage of at least 14,000 psychiatrists in the next few years. The need for skilled mental health practitioners is clear, and the online PMHNP program at Yale prepares you to answer that call.


What will you learn in the Online MSN?

The online PMHNP specialty in the Master of Science in Nursing program equips graduates with the expertise, perspective and clinical competencies essential to assess, diagnose, and treat mental health patients across the lifespan. 

Throughout this unique three-year online master’s degree, Yale PMHNP students complete a specialized course of study that emphasizes whole health and bridges the gap between physical and mental health care. Students learn to screen for mental health and substance use disorders, diagnose, prescribe medications, perform mental health assessments, educate patients, and coordinate the delivery of care across healthcare teams. 

Advanced nursing students also develop and reinforce soft skills, including communication, time management, leadership, and collaboration through in-person and asynchronous coursework.   Graduates will be prepared to diagnose, treat, and prescribe as advanced practice psychiatric nurses.

Key Competencies

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner curriculum equips students with all of the skills and competencies they will need for successful practice as psychiatric nurse practitioners:

  • Screen for and diagnose mental health and substance use disorders in patients of all ages.
  • Conduct mental health assessments to establish a patient’s individual needs.
  • Coordinate and execute therapy interventions for patients in crisis.
  • Educate patients, families, and communities on the importance of mental health.
  • Create collaborative care plans between practitioners, social workers, psychologists, and other health care professionals.
  • Prescribe medication for acute and chronic illnesses.
  • Deliver psychotherapy.

Clinical Placements

Our placement philosophy at Yale School of Nursing centers around the need for increased access to quality mental health care across all regions and demographics. We strive to train well-rounded providers with the competencies to work in a variety of psychiatric settings and with patients of all age groups. We believe that through clinical experiences, in collaboration with our community partners, we can positively contribute to the education of future leaders in a vital, in-demand health profession.

  • Clinical placement begins in term 5 of the program 
    802.5 hours of clinical hours in a clinic setting (within 90 miles of your address) 
  • 120 Clinical seminar hours: Meet 1-2 hours a week per term
  • Minimum of 2 placements: 
    • Terms 5-7: Lifespan placement (3 populations: under 18, 18-65, over 65) 
    • Terms 8-9: If possible, within your preferred population 
    • You are expected to be at your clinical site for the duration of your placement (15 weeks) regardless of completed clinical hours 

Synchronous Class Times

Study and learn during live sessions with renowned Yale faculty, your peers and preceptors.   Take advantage of real-time interaction, feedback, and engagement.

Class times may range from 3-9 pm ET.

Term 1 Thursdays
Term 2 Wednesdays
Term 3 Tuesdays
Term 1  Mondays
Term 2 Wednesdays
Term 3 Tuesdays
Term 1 Thursdays
Term 2 Mondays
Term 3 Wednesdays

The YSN online Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialty of the Master of Science in Nursing prepares graduates to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) PMHNP board certification exam. As of 2022, Yale School of Nursing Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner graduates have a 100 percent first-time and overall pass rate on board certification exams.

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