The Importance of Psych Certification for Nurse Practitioners

According to Heather Shlosser, Director of Frontier Nursing University’s (FNU) Psychiatric Mental-Health Nurse Practitioner (PHMNP) program, now is the time to enter mental health care.


“There is a national shortage of mental health care providers,” said Dr. Shlosser. “Compound that with primary care shortages and the issue becomes very significant. FNU’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Care Nurse Practitioner program teaches students to look at the whole picture- mind, body and spirit - so they can provide both primary and psychiatric care.”


In short, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses that seek to improve mental health care and the overall health status of communities. They have a focus on lifetime care for individuals and are committed to promoting mental health through assessment, diagnosis and treatment of behavioral problems, mental disorders and comorbid conditions.


Now taking applications for its summer term, FNU’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialty track option is offered for practicing nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who have completed a master’s degree. Students can complete a post-graduate certificate with the option to complete a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

“With this certification, there are numerous avenues nurses can choose,” said Dr. Shlosser. “Crisis intervention, substance abuse, community mental health centers, primary care settings, specialty medicine, cardiology, women's health...the list continues.”

In 2018, the PMHNP specialty track will expand to registered nurses seeking a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with entry options for RNs with a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in nursing. Students who successfully complete the program can apply for the national certification exam.


“We encourage students to continue their studies and earn a doctoral degree with the FNU DNP,” said Dr. Shlosser. “There is an even greater shortage of doctorally prepared NPs.”

For more information on FNU’s PMHNP program, go here.