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Discover the Shortest Online PMHNP Certificate Programs

Discover the quickest online PMHNP certificates with this guide. Explore top programs, key features, strategies for further shortening your studies, and more.

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A woman with long gray hair and glasses sits facing another person, holding a clipboard. Both are in a brightly lit office with large windows in the background. The scene suggests a professional meeting or interview.

Healthcare is an ever-evolving landscape, particularly in the mental health field. For current nurses looking to advance their careers or take them in another direction, becoming a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) offers a rewarding and challenging path. You’ll work with patients to help them address their mental health concerns and live happier, more productive lives.

If you don’t want to spend ages back in school to go this route, the shortest online PMHNP certificate programs can help you get started in less than a year. Plus, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to complete your degree. We’ve sifted through the myriad online options to present you with programs that prioritize quality education, a streamlined curriculum, and an accelerated pathway to a more advanced career. The three programs below offer rigorous courses that are entirely online and offered by esteemed faculty who work in the psychiatric nursing field. Plus, they’re some of the shortest online PMHNP certificate programs around. Keep reading to get started.

Inside the Shortest Online PMHNP Certificate Programs

The shortest online PMHNP certificate programs aren’t just quick to complete, they’re also extremely practical, offering training that allows you to work directly with clients who have a variety of mental health conditions. The three programs below are among the top-rated in the country and help you get your degree as quickly as possible.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University is a renowned institution, particularly in the medical field. Its Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate is entirely online but includes experience at a clinic near you. You’ll get the skills to treat patients in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities.

As one of the shortest online PMHNP certificate programs, the Johns Hopkins option consists of 17 credits and 500 clinical hours. The whole program may be completed in as few as three semesters.

To gain acceptance, students need a GPA of at least 3.0 and must have a master’s from an accredited college or university. Students must also provide three letters of recommendation, both academic and professional; a current resume; and a current RN license from an authorized state.

After completing the program, students have the necessary experience and education to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification.

Liberty University

Liberty University is a Christian university that offers a 100% online postgraduate degree for PMHNPs. It’s a one-year commitment segmented into eight-week courses and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The program is designed for current nurse practitioners with a master’s or doctorate degree looking to specialize in the mental health field. Getting the certificate from Liberty University prepares students to sit for the PMHNP certification exam.

Liberty University approaches all its degrees with a focus on Christian values. This means providing healthcare professionals with the skills to address mental health issues while also addressing their spiritual needs. After graduation, students will be prepared to work in health clinics, hospitals, psychiatric facilities, mental health agencies, correctional facilities, and veterans’ psychiatric facilities.

Ohio University

Ohio University’s online postgraduate PMHNP certificate program is designed to expand the skills of current nurses and prepare them for work in the mental health field. The program is accredited by the CCNE.

Among the shortest online PMHNP certificate programs, Ohio University’s coursework is three semesters long and can be completed full-time or part-time. It’s a low-cost program, particularly if you live in Ohio. This 20-credit program costs $633 per credit for Ohio residents, totaling $12,660 for the entire program, or $652 per credit for out-of-state residents, totaling $13,040 for the entire program. Plus, veterans, active military members, alumni, and corporate partners automatically receive a 15% scholarship.

Student outcomes from the program include the ability to incorporate evidence-based practices into the mental health system. Plus, students learn how to collaborate with a variety of healthcare teams to find the right treatment plans for patients from all backgrounds.

Features of Accelerated PMHNP Certificate Programs Online

Each of the shortest online PMHNP certificate programs looks slightly different. Specific lengths vary; some include clinical experiences while others don’t. Generally, each program aims to teach students the same principles and give students the same career outcomes. Look for the universal features of top programs we’ve listed below to guarantee you receive the best instruction possible.

Accreditation & Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

Not all PMHNP programs are accredited, but it’s vital that students seek out ones that are. Accreditation means a program meets certain criteria and is taught by reputable faculty that have genuine experience in the field.

Additionally, only accredited universities and programs qualify for federal financial aid. If you’re unable to qualify for aid, you’ll need to seek out other financing avenues or work more hours during your degree program. This means you may end up spending longer on your degree than you otherwise planned.

Credit Transfer Policies

Since all PMHNP programs require students to already have a nursing degree, chances are some courses that you’ve already taken are similar to those offered in the certificate or degree. Certain degree programs allow you to transfer these courses. This speeds up the degree, helping students graduate early without taking repetitive courses.

That said, not all schools allow you to transfer credits. Certain universities want you to take courses over again because they may teach them differently than other universities. If you’re looking to transfer credits, be sure you understand the policies for any program you’re considering.

Flexible Scheduling

Most online degrees are desirable because they offer flexible scheduling. Typically, you can complete your coursework wherever you are; some programs even allow you to tune into classes as it fits your schedule rather than at a set time. The shortest online PMHNP certificate programs are designed for busy nurses looking to advance their career or change their specialties, so they’re created with maximum flexibility in mind.

Intensive Curriculum

Just because you’re getting your degree online doesn’t mean the coursework will be a breeze. All these programs are offered by reputable, accredited universities with high standards. The format of your classwork may differ, but the content will be the same as what students take on campus.

Expect to take courses with highly educated faculty who challenge you and expand your knowledge in the medical field. In other words, for the shortest online PMHNP certificate programs, professors are going to shove as much information as possible into the condensed timeframe.

Strategies to Shorten Your PMHNP Program

While getting the most out of your PMHNP program is important, many students also want to complete their degree as quickly as possible — especially if they’re seeking promotions or new positions. There are steps you can take to further shorten you online PMHNP program and graduate on their own schedule, some of which we’ll explore below.

Capitalize on Summer/Winter Sessions

If you can commit to full-time study, loading up on courses during the regular school year as well as during off seasons can help you get through your degree more quickly. Summer and winter sessions, if offered by your university, can help you take extra courses to apply to your certificate program.

Not all universities offer these extra programs, but online programs often have more flexibility. Check with your university and your advisor to see if fitting summer and winter courses into your schedule can help you graduate faster.

Develop a Detailed Academic Plan

Developing a detailed academic plan provides a structured roadmap for efficiently completing the shortest online PMHNP certificate programs’ degree requirements. By meticulously assessing program prerequisites and course sequences, students can strategically schedule courses, even doubling up on them as needed.

Make sure you discuss your schedule ahead of time with your academic advisor. Seeking guidance from your advisor will yield valuable insights into course selection and opportunities for fast-tracked pathways.

Earn Credit by Examination

If you’ve taken advanced-level exams that cover the same material you’ll learn in a classroom, some programs allow you to apply that exam toward your credit hours. Typically you need to get a certain grade on these exams to have them count toward credit. Not all certificate programs allow you to transfer exam results, however, so it’s imperative that you check with your school’s registrar.

Take Advantage of Concurrent Enrollment

Online courses offer a level of flexibility that in-person programs simply can’t provide. One level of flexibility is the ability to complete multiple degrees or certificates at the same time. For example, a nurse may be enrolled in one of the shortest online PMHNP certificate programs at the same time that they are earning a degree in another nursing field.

Taking on two certificates helps you become an even more well-rounded healthcare professional and gets you two degrees in half the time. Plus, when applying for future jobs, you’ll look more competitive to employers.

Answering Your Questions on the Shortest Online PMHNP Programs

It’s natural to have questions about the shortest online PMHNP certificate programs, even after getting this far in our guide. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about PMHNP programs, including how they work, how difficult they are, and how much a PMHNP can expect to earn.

Are accelerated online PMHNP certificate programs accredited and by whom?

Yes, accelerated online PMHNP certificate programs must be accredited. Common accrediting bodies include the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, offering the CCNE accreditation, and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Are FNP to PMHNP certificate programs offered online?

Yes, FNP to PMHNP certificate programs are available online. However, it’s important to note that while these programs allow you to complete necessary classes online, they sometimes have in-person lab and clinical requirements as well.

How difficult is the PMHNP exam and will an online program prepare me?

The PMHNP board certification exam, offered by the ANCC, consists of 175 questions and must be completed in three and a half hours. After you complete an accredited PMHNP online program, you should be well prepared to take the exam.

How much do psychiatric nurse practitioners make?

How much you can expect to make as a psychiatric nurse practitioner varies based on factors such as where you live and the demand for PMHNPs in your area. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a PMHNP makes a mean hourly wage of $59.94 and a mean annual wage of $124,680.

What is the most affordable online PMHNP certificate program?

The most affordable online PMHNP programs tend to be ones offered in the state where you live. In-state students often get discounted rates, even for online programs. For example, Ohio residents pay just $633 per credit for the PMHNP program at Ohio University.

Will I be able to work while completing an accelerated online certificate program?

The shortest online PMHNP certificate programs are designed to work around busy nurses’ schedules and offer a flexible learning model. Often, you’ll be able to log on to your classes and complete coursework when it’s best suited for you. However, each program has different expectations and time requirements for students, so ask plenty of questions before you enroll.