The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track, a total of 47 credits, prepares students to provide specialized primary mental health care to patients across the lifespan from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic groups who are experiencing psychiatric and mental health problems. Focus is on the evidence-based treatment modalities of Family Systems Theory, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Brief Solution Focused Therapy with particular emphasis placed on holistic patient care.

Nurses graduate ready to assess, diagnose, and provide comprehensive care in a variety of settings, including emergency rooms, outpatient, telemedicine, behavioral health clinics, extended care facilities and residential treatment sites.

Complete your Core and Support Courses Online or On Campus.

Villanova's core and support courses prepare students with the foundational knowledge required of all graduate students and are offered asynchronous, synchronous and hybrid.

Clinical courses must be completed in-person and enable students to build on existing skills, broaden the knowledge base related to Psychiatric-Mental Health across the lifespan and gain the knowledge and skills essential to independent or collaborative practice in a variety of care settings.

Clinical Placement

All clinical courses must be completed in person. Villanova Nursing secures MSN student clinical placement in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware in settings that provide for interdisciplinary collaboration among health professionals. Faculty and students will mutually select sites and activities to fulfill the program’s required 730 direct care hours.

Upon completion of the program all graduates will be able to:

  • Integrate foundational and advanced knowledge of the psycho-pathophysiology of complex mental health problems in the clinical management of clients/patients in a variety of mental health settings.
  • Communicate effectively with the client/patient, family and the interdisciplinary health care team regarding client/patient mental health issues and management plan.
  • Apply appropriate therapeutic and behavioral interventions for mental illness management for diverse populations and specific clients/patients across the lifespan.
  • Evaluate evidence for opportunities for innovation and change in clinical practice.
  • Apply appropriate client/patient education, health promotion and disease prevention strategies to optimize safe and quality care outcomes for mental health issues.
  • Implement strategies to foster and maintain therapeutic relationships with clients/patients, families and/or groups.
  • Apply appropriate referral and consultation strategies in managing mental health issues across the lifespan.
  • Assess best practices for the use of advanced information and communication technologies to support client/patient and team communication.
  • Model professional and ethical behaviors in practice and leadership roles
  • Advocate for practice environments that are supportive of practitioners’ professional development and well-being.

CORE COURSES: Complete in-person or online.

NUR 8964

Clinical Ethics:  Theory and Practice


NUR 8904

Nursing Research: The Practice Connection


NUR 8902

Development of Nursing Science


NUR 8906

Leadership Strategies in Nursing



SUPPORT COURSES: Complete in-person or online.

NUR 8903

Advanced Pharmacology


NUR 8901

Advanced Pathophysiology


NUR 8910

Advanced Physical Assessment


NUR 8400

Lifespan Psychotherapeutic Clinical Modalities


NUR 8401

Psychiatric Mental Health Issues & Psychopharmacology Across the Lifespan Part I


NUR 8402 Psychiatric Mental Health Issues & Psychopharmacology Across the Lifespan Part II 2


CLINICAL COURSES: Completed in-person within Pennsylvania, Delaware or New Jersey.


NUR 8409

Management in Psych-Mental Health I


NUR 8410

PMH-NP Practicum I (120 hours)


NUR 8411

Management in Psych-Mental Health II


NUR 8412

PMH-NP Practicum II (305 hours)


NUR 8413

 Management in Psych-Mental Health III


NUR 8414

PMH-NP Practicum III (305 hours)




Mary Terhaar, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN
Professor & Associate Dean for the Graduate Nursing Programs

Jan Campbell, BA, MS
Assistant Director, Graduate Nursing Programs

MaryAnn Cantrell, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN
Professor, Director, PhD Program

Debra Shearer, EdD, MSN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC
Director, Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Track

Jodie Szlachta, PhD, CRNA, FAANA
Nurse Anesthesia Program Director, Associate Clinical Professor


PhD Program Inquires & Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice Inquires:
Sandi Schultz

Assistant Director, Doctoral Programs

DNP Nurse Anesthesia Inquires:
Recruitment and Enrollment Department

MSN Inquires (Nurse Practitioner Tracks & Nurse Education Tracks):
Recruitment and Enrollment Department


PhD and Post-Master’s DNP Transcripts:

DNP Nurse Anesthesia Transcripts

MSN Transcripts:


Villanova Graduate Nursing Program