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.


Current students can visit the Master of Science program's Collaborative Learning Environment site to access the curriculum (MyAccess credentials required).

For individuals applying for admission for fall 2024, the sample curriculum for the BSN Entry to DNP — Advanced Nursing Focus pathway can be viewed on our Curriculum webpage

One-Year UC PMHNP Postgraduate Certificate Program

The UCSF School of Nursing, in collaboration with the UC Davis and UCLA Schools of Nursing, has launched a new online certificate that will prepare 300 psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) by 2025. We plan to open the application cycle in 2023 for 2024 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.)


Jane Abanes, PhD, DNP, PMHNP-BC, assistant professor - Specialty Coordinator
Katerina Melino, MS, PMHNP-BC, associate professor - Specialty Coordinator
Kara Birch, DNP, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC, associate professor
Annesa Flentje, PhD, associate professor
Shauna King Hollis, MSN, PMHNP-BC, assistant professor
Chelsea Landolin, MS, RN, NP, associate professor
Cherry Leung, PhD, RN, associate professor
Andrew Penn, MS, ANP, PMHNP-BC, professor
Beth Phoenix, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor
Matt Tierney, MS, NP, FAAN, professor
Sandra Weiss, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor
Monifa Willis, MS, PMHNP, assistant professor

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: Jane Abanes ([email protected]) and Katerina Melino ([email protected]