2019-2020 Catalog 
    May 24, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, DNP

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The Doctor of Nursing Practice, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program prepares Registered Nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Master’s degree as a psychiatric mental health health care leader.

Students of the program are equipped to provide a wide range of services to adolescents, adults, children, and their families in a primary care facility, hospital or community health center, outpatient mental health clinic, private practice, psychiatric emergency services, or skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNP) diagnose, conduct therapy, and prescribe medications for patients who have psychiatric disorders, medical organic brain disorders or substance abuse problems. They are licensed to provide emergency psychiatric services, psychosocial and physical assessment of their patients; treatment plans, and manage patient care. They may also serve as consultants or as educators for families and staff. The PMHNP has a focus on psychiatric diagnosis, including the differential diagnosis of medical disorders with psychiatric symptoms, and on medication treatment for psychiatric disorders.

The PMHNP program at USF is a post-graduate program. Students complete much of their core DNP courses prior to starting their NP core and PMHNP role courses. Curriculum plans include options for baccalaureate (BSN-DNP PMHNP) or master’s-prepared nurses (MSN-DNP PMHNP). Course schedules are designed for both full and part-time students and are responsive to the needs of the working nurse professional. This program is delivered as hybrid format (some in-person and online coursework). Classes are held in at the Hilltop campus in San Francisco on Teaching Weekends (Friday-Saturday) twice a month, plus practica hours.



BSN-prepared students have the option to complete a concurrent master’s degree in Nursing (MSN) or Public Health (MPH). Courses for the master’s degree are completed during the first two (2) years of the program. The MSBH is an all in-person program. Courses meet at the Hilltop campus in San Francisco up to two (2) times per week. The MSN courses are completed online. The MPH program can be completed in-person or online.

USF also offers a post-graduate APRN certificate program for the Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, and post-graduate APRN certificate programs at the University of San Francisco, School of Nursing and Health Professions are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

The DNP FNP program is included in the accreditation of the DNP degree program in the School of Nursing and Health Professions.

Graduates meet the outcome competencies and practice standards of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for the DNP. In the program, students complete 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice, complete the DNP qualifying examination and complete an evidence-based practice project.


Please check our State Authorization Status List for the states and territories from which we can enroll students in specific online degree programs.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the DNP program the graduate will be able to:

  1. Combine knowledge in nursing, ethics, and the medical sciences to develop and evaluate practices and models of patient care delivery.
  2. Develop and evaluate effective strategies for managing ethical dilemmas present across the health care, technology, and research fields.
  3. Use analytic methods to design, implement, and evaluate best-practice models for patient care and care delivery.
  4. Effectively develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-based approaches to advance the field and systems of health care delivery.
  5. Demonstrate leadership in the development and implementation of institutional, local, state, federal, and international health policy.
  6. Advocate for social justice, equity, and ethical policies in health care.
  7. Advance the effective use of health care information systems to ensure high-quality outcomes.
  8. Effectively lead quality improvement and patient safety initiatives.
  9. Effectively communicate and collaborate with health care teams in developing and implementing organizational and practice models, health policy, and standards of care.
  10. Analyze and synthesize various data related to patient health information.
  11. Conduct a comprehensive assessment of health in complex situations, incorporating diverse approaches to design, implement, and evaluate interventions.
  12. Analyze the relationship among practical, organizational, population, fiscal, and policy issues to educate individuals and colleagues effectively.
  13. Develop relationships and partnerships with patients and other professionals to facilitate optimal patient care outcomes.
  14. Advance the mission and core values of the University of San Francisco.

Major Requirements (54 units)

Complete a minimum of 54 units of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner courses (600:7999). See adviser for course selection.

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