Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Lifespan)

Vanderbilt’s leadership in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing offers you many opportunities.

Are you ready to learn from experienced, practicing faculty in a variety of first-rate clinical settings? Does being prepared for advanced practice in a field where nurses with your skills and knowledge are in high demand sound appealing? Vanderbilt’s leadership in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing offers you these opportunities and more.


What Will You Do as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?

You will provide care to individuals, families or populations who are at risk for developing or who have common, acute or chronic mental health problems, illnesses or crises. Using advanced clinical judgment and practice, you will assess, diagnose, plan, implement, intervene, manage and evaluate holistic plans of care – including treatment with psychotropic medications; individual, group and family psychotherapy; crisis intervention; case management and consultation. You’ll also be able to evaluate and monitor co-morbid occurrences and conditions secondary to mental health. To help meet the growing demand for mental health services, you will be prepared to work collaboratively with psychiatrists and other mental health care professionals to deliver much needed mental health care to underserved populations in both rural and urban settings.


Who Will You Serve?

PMHNPs coordinate multidisciplinary service and facilitate mental health care and education for individuals, families and institutions. They address the psychosocial needs of:

  • Youth at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders
  • Adults coping with stressful and emotional circumstances
  • Elderly at risk for emotional and cognitive decline
  • Serious and persistent mentally ill
  • Individuals with Forensic Psychiatric problems
  • Individuals coping with chronic medical conditions
  • Individuals suffering from substance-related problems
  • Vulnerable populations: incarcerated, homeless, victims of violence and abuse, etc.


Where Will You Practice? (clinical sites)

The Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner has many practice settings from which to choose – both during your Vanderbilt program and upon graduation and certification:


  • Community Mental Health Centers (urban and rural)
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Domestic Violence Shelters
  • Home Health Agencies
  • In-patient Psychiatric Facilities
  • Industry
  • Private Psychiatric Practices
  • Psychopharmacology Clinic
  • Psychiatric Consult Services
  • Residential Substance Abuse Facilities
  • Schools
  • State Psychiatric Facilities
  • Urban Nurse-Managed Clinic
  • Veterans Administration Psychiatric Facilities


How Will Vanderbilt Prepare You for Practice?

Diverse in scope and dynamic in practice, the Vanderbilt School of Nursing Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing program integrates the biological, psychological, social and spiritual elements of mental health care in a holistic manner. This program addresses both the opportunities and challenges for family psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners in the current managed care environment. Vanderbilt’s program focuses on trends that affect practice in mental health care, including increased emphasis on biological factors in mental illness, shorter hospital stays, enhanced community models of care and the authority in many states for family psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners to prescribe medications. You will receive mentoring and individual attention from faculty who are all active in practice. You will gain experience with a wide range of clinical populations and practice models through the excellent clinical placement sites that are available.


Modified Class Schedule

The PMHNP specialty program is one of several specialties at Vanderbilt School of Nursing offered in a modified learning (block) format that allows students to attend graduate school without having to relocate or give up employment.

Through distributed course delivery methods, courses offered in blocks of time on campus (including weekends), online conferencing, and clinical practicum placement in your home area where possible, you can earn your MSN degree without being away from home for extended periods. Due to State Boards of Nursing and/or State Higher Educational rules, the School may not be able to provide clinical placements in your location of choice, but every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate your placement request.