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 Provide Mental Health and Psychiatric Care Across the Lifespan

The Doctor of Nursing Practice – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (DNP PMHNP) is the optimal pathway for those seeking to practice at the forefront of the evolving mental healthcare field.

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Develop & apply essential competencies to provide safe, evidence-based mental health psychiatric care for individuals & families

The online BSN-DNP Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track (DNP-PMHNP) prepares future nurse practitioners to practice at the forefront of nursing through demonstrated educational excellence and a commitment to serving individuals and populations in need.  

Baylor University’s DNP online is the optimal pathway for registered nurses with a BSN who are seeking preparation at the highest level of nursing practice. Graduates of the online DNP-PMHNP program are prepared as exemplary nursing leaders and visionary nurses who can actively shape and improve patient outcomes, policy and processes within the framework of mental health and wellbeing. 

  • Examine the theoretical, conceptual, and clinical models of mental health and addictions for diverse populations 
  • Apply evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment, tools, and methods for promoting safe, patient-centered care  
  • Apply theoretical and conceptual models of individual, family, and group psychotherapy, pharmacological therapeutics, and non-pharmacological care in treatment across the lifespan 
  • Analyze management processes to coordinate the primary care and complex care needs using theoretical foundations and evidence-based practice guidelines 

 Online DNP - Psychiatric Mental Health NP Fast Facts

The requirements to apply for the online BSN-DNP PMHNP program are: 

  • BSN from a regionally accredited school of nursing 
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA 
    • Courses taken pass/fail will not be eligible for admission
  • One (1) year of full-time experience as a practicing professional nurse by the first day of class 
  • Current unencumbered RN license 
  • Complete an acceptable written personal statement 
  • Three letters of recommendation, as follows: one must be from an immediate supervisor, one must be from a peer nurse, and one must be from an MSN, DNP, or PhD-prepared nurse 
  • No GRE or MAT Required

 Why Nurses Choose Baylor

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Our faculty are award-winning experts in their specialties, providing exceptional instruction & guidance.

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Our dedicated advisors offer personalized support for students' growth & success.

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Baylor University, a renowned research institution, is ranked among the top graduate schools for DNP programs.


Our online DNP program offers 6 clinical tracks for nurses to excel & pursue their ideal careers.

Do I Qualify?

See below for a list of states in which we accept applicants for the online DNP-PMHNP program:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
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 DNP PMHNP Curriculum At-A-Glance

Get More Program Details

The online DNP-PMHNP program focuses on delivering mental health care and facilitating strong therapeutic relationships with patients experiencing acute and chronic mental psychiatric disorders. View sample courses:

Use of advanced pharmacotherapeutics, herbals and dietary supplements for primary health care across the life span. Drugs used to treat and manage common illnesses and conditions are the focus of the course. Content includes indication, selection, adverse effects, and client education related to use of prescribed medication. Clinical decision-making and review of laws governing prescriptive authority are also emphasized.

This course focuses on interviewing techniques and gathering of pertinent patient information needed to conduct a psychiatric assessment and develop a diagnosis and evidenced based treatment plan. Emphasis is placed on psychiatric illness across the lifespan and the application of theoretical and conceptual models of theory. Students will develop competency to provide evidenced based psychotherapy techniques for individuals, family, and groups based upon client assessment and diagnosis as well as develop self- awareness skills. 

This course exams the theoretical, conceptual, and clinical models of mental health and addictions for diverse populations across the lifespan and the role of the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Emphasis is on the comprehensive evaluation of patient symptoms, development of diagnostic skills utilizing standard diagnostic frameworks, and instruments to develop patient centered plans of care centered on health and wellness. 

Emphasis is on the theoretical and conceptual models of group psychotherapy, pharmacological therapeutics, and non-pharmacological care in treatment of adults, children, and families across the lifespan. Students will develop evidenced based psychotherapy techniques for groups based upon client assessment and diagnosis as well as develop self- awareness skills. Implementation of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner leadership role in a collaborative practice model is emphasized.

Clinical Placement Support

Clinical placement is a required educational component of Baylor’s online nursing programs. The hands-on learning, supervision and applying theory into practice prepare you for your future role in the field. Many students also find potential employment opportunities at their placement site upon graduation.


How Does This Benefit You?

At Baylor, we believe you are only as successful as your training—that’s why we collaborate with our students to identify and secure sites and preceptors for all clinical rotations. Our staff will sort through the logistics of clinical placement so you can focus more on coursework and building competencies as a nurse.


How Does the Clinical Placement Process Work?

As a newly enrolled student, you’ll partner with our clinical team to determine unique placement needs. We’ll collaborate with you to identify placement opportunities, including locating and securing a quality site and preceptor during your program. You’ll be responsible for several preparation tasks, including filling out forms, passing a drug screening, background check and proof of recommended vaccinations.


What is the Placement Experience Like?

During your placement experience, you’ll have access to faculty and resources to support you on and off-site, including mentorship and guidance for procedures, patient interactions and proficiencies. At the end of your rotation, you and your preceptor will review requirements and complete any surveys. You may receive new details for your next clinical experience if you have multiple rotations.


What Can I Expect from My Preceptor?

Your preceptor is your on-site role model and will help you develop as a nurse during your clinical rotation. They will focus on helping you bridge gaps between theory and practice, orientate you to the practice setting, help you plan clinical assignments, provide 1:1 supervision, give daily feedback and complete required paperwork on your behalf.


I knew Baylor was the right fit for me because they are holistically training providers in leadership, policy change, and preparing them for the entire role.

Rachel Berry (Carmichael) | DNP-FNP

Nursing student in the online DNP program at Baylor University Online
Dr. Spies reached out to me to do some graduate research assistant work for her. And that was exciting for me because it's something I was definitely interested in.

Lucinda Bush | DNP-FNP

student representing the online nursing programs at Baylor University online
I chose Baylor for my DNP-FNP degree because the university has an exceptional academic reputation, which captured my interest.

Saidara Eribo | DNP-FNP

student representing the online nursing programs at Baylor University online

 Baylor Nursing By The Numbers

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100% certification pass rate for FNP and Nurse-Midwifery graduates.
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Baylor University is ranked higher than 98% of nursing schools in Texas in 2024 -
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Baylor’s DNP program is ranked higher than 83% of the Best DNP Programs in the nation for 2024 - U.S. News & World Report

 Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Baylor University's Online DNP-PMHNP program

Students typically complete the DNP program in the following timeframe. Please note that actual length to program completion will vary depending on the student's background and selected track.

  • BSN holders typically complete our DNP program in three (3) years and four (4) months, skipping the Master’s degree program entirely
  • MSN holders typically complete our DNP program in 18 to 24 months

The following practitioner degree disciplines may be eligible to transfer to the online DNP programs:

  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

A Doctor of Nursing Practice is the optimal pathway for registered nurses who are seeking preparation at the highest level of nursing practice. As a terminal degree, a DNP degree is the highest level of education in the field and represents the most advanced nursing degree available. There is no further opportunity for educational advancement within this profession. Graduates of Baylor’s online DNP program are prepared as exemplary nursing leaders and visionary nurses who can actively shape and improve patient outcomes, policy, processes and the future of nursing.

DNPs earn a higher average salary than an MSN (on average) and have more overall options for career goals. Many DNP graduates enter into positions with more responsibility to care for both individual and population health needs as nursing team leads and other expanded roles. The career outlook for DNPs is anticipated to be very strong as the AACN is advocating to require a DNP for all APRN roles by the year 2025.

A variety of financial aid is available to online students. Find more information on our Tuition & Financial Aid page.

Unfortunately, the online DNP-Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program is not currently available at the Post-Master’s level. Please check back again as this may change.

Baylor University's Louise Herrington School of Nursing understands the needs and challenges of busy RNs. Our online coursework allows you to balance your career with your other commitments.

 DNP vs. MSN?

The DNP is a terminal degree that prepares nurses for leadership, given the constantly changing demands of the U.S. healthcare system. Currently, steps are being taken to transition the DNP degree as the standard for entry-level advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). While the profession is not yet there, earning your DNP helps future-proof your career as a qualified nurse leader.

According to AANC, nurses desiring an APRN education with the choice between a doctoral or master's level preparation would find it far more cost-effective to spend additional time towards their DNP and be prepared for future practice.

"Job opportunities are far greater, and it provides you with the knowledge and expertise to have a seat at the board table," according to Angela Renee Stewart, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, AOCNP, TTS, Clinical Assistant Professor at Baylor University, Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

 The Baylor University Online Experience

Find out why Baylor University’s Online DNP degree program is the best choice for registered nurses seeking preparation at the highest level of nursing practice.

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Featured in U.S. News & World Report for the 2023-2024 Best Nursing Schools.

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#1 Nursing College in Texas ranked Baylor as the #1 Best Nursing School in Texas.

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We rigorously adhere to the accreditation standards established by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)**.

**The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Baylor University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.


Focus on Your Future

A dedicated Enrollment Advisor can answer your questions and guide you through the application process. Begin by filling out a form and starting the conversation.

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