Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)


The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialty:

  • Advances and transforms psychiatric nursing care through education and research;
  • Empowers students, clinicians and our communities to provide public service with a focus on promoting diversity and health equity; and
  • Advocates for advanced practice psychiatric nursing leadership at local, national and global levels.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) provide a full range of primary mental health care services, including biopsychosocial assessment and diagnosis of patients with mental illness and co-occurring disorders. Treatment modalities include both medication and psychotherapeutic management. PMHNPs work in a variety of settings, including inpatient, emergency and community-based mental health services. Our students are provided the opportunity to complete clinical placements across the Bay Area, which have included: Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, UCSF Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics, the VA, San Francisco Department of Public Health, Sutter Health, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and Marin County Mental Health Services.

This specialty prepares students to respond to the mental health needs of persons across the lifespan. In addition to foundational coursework for all advanced practice roles, PMHNP coursework includes psychiatric assessment and symptom management, psychopharmacology, and therapy modalities.

Certifications and Licenses

Graduates may apply for American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) national certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. For information about ANCC PMHNP certification, see the ANCC website for details.

For licensure in the State of California as a nurse practitioner, details are available on the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

I hold a Which path is right for me?
Bachelor's degree in nursing or am a registered nurse with a non-nursing, four-year bachelor's degree seeking an advanced practice role Master of Science Program (Deadline: Feb. 1, 2023)
Master of Science degree without NP foundation (i.e. MS Nursing Admin) and seek state certification in psychiatric mental health specialty Two-year PMHNP Post-Master's Certificate (See additional information below. Deadline: Feb. 1, 2023)
Master of Science degree with a NP, CNS, CNM or CRNA foundation, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) licensure in California, and seek state certification in psychiatric mental health specialty One-year UC Multi-Campus PMHNP Post-Master's Certificate (See additional information below.)


  • View the sample curriculum for the PMHNP Master of Science specialty. Please note that courses are subject to change.
  • Curriculum for two-year PMHNP post-master's students closely resembles the master's degree curriculum above but varies based on students' previous academic program. Contact the specialty coordinator for consultation on an individualized post-master's curriculum.
  • For the one-year Multi-Campus PMHNP Post-Master's Certificate, view the curriculum plan here.

Post-Master's Certificate Program

There are two paths for post-master's study leading to Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification for those who are already graduate prepared nurses.

  • Two-Year UCSF PMHNP Post-Master's Certificate: Applicants who are not yet nurse practitioners but hold a non-clinical master's in nursing are eligible for this two-year training. Like the master's degree students, students will complete a minimum of 500 hours of clinical training to meet competencies in the PMHNP role. Contact the specialty coordinator for consultation on an individualized post-master's curriculum. Applications open this summer for September 2023 entry. Learn about the format, admissions requirements and how to apply. (Please note that post-master's applicants do not need to fulfill a statistics requirement.)


Annesa Flentje, PhD
Deborah Johnson, DNP, PMHNP-BC
Shauna King Hollis, MSN, PMHNP-BC 
Chelsea Landolin, MS, RN, NP
Cherry Leung, PhD, RN
Amanda Ling, MS, PMHNP-BC
Katerina Melino, MS, PMHNP-BC
Andrew Penn, MS, ANP, PMHNP-BC
Beth Phoenix, RN, PhD, FAAN
Matt Tierney, MS, NP, FAAN
Sandra Weiss, PhD, RN, FAAN
Monifa Willis, MS, PMHNP

Contact Us

Primary contact for all admissions questions about this specialty: Michele Keating
[email protected]
(415) 476-1381

Please contact the specialty coordinators listed below only if you are an existing student enrolled at the School of Nursing. All applicants should contact Michele Keating listed above.

Specialty Coordinators: Amanda Ling ([email protected]) and Katerina Melino ([email protected]