Rasmussen University Launches Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Specializing in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rasmussen University, a Higher Learning Commission accredited university, today announced the launch of its Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing (PMHNP) specialization. The new Nurse Practitioner (NP) specialization is the fourth specialization in the University’s MSN portfolio, which enables students to advance their nursing careers to a new level of practice.

Mental health and psychiatric nurse practitioners are trained to care for patients with mental health issues, including but not limited to: anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders, which are increasing in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, almost 20% of adults and about half of adolescents struggle with some level of mental illness. The COVID-19 pandemic has also increased the need for mental health services in recent years, with many Americans now experiencing feelings of uncertainty and depression. According to a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll, nearly 9 in 10 registered voters believe there is a mental health crisis in the country.

“As the need for mental health services continues to grow, so does the need for PMHNP,” said Dr. Josh Hamilton, Dean and Director of Graduate Programs at Rasmussen University School of Nursing. “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected job growth between 2020 and 2030 for nurse practitioners working in state, local, and private addiction and psychiatric hospitals is 14 percent. The need is greatest in residential mental health and addictions facilities, with job growth projected at 25%. Our new PMHNP specialization plays a vital role in healthcare by providing students with the flexibility to return to school and positively impact mental health shortages within their own communities.

The PMHNP specialization at Rasmussen is designed for practicing nurses and combines online coursework with practical internship experiences in a student’s local community, giving them the flexibility they need and the advanced training they expect. Students can graduate in as little as nine terms or just over 27 months.

“We designed our PMHNP specialization with the goal of preparing nurses not only for a career in mental health, but also to become well-rounded practitioners and expert clinicians,” Hamilton said. “Every element of the specialization, from faculty interaction to online courses, is designed to complement compassionate patient care with psychiatric-mental health science.”

As part of the MSN PMHNP program, students will discover:

  • Autonomous learning through eleven-week courses that allow students to use their professional and personal experience to demonstrate certain skills more quickly, as well as slow down and spend time on areas they need to strengthen
  • Technology-Driven Nursing Courses that prepare students for future technological advances and innovations
  • Faculty of Nursing Graduated with a Ph.D. who will share their wealth of experience, knowledge and connections with the preparation of students in the field
  • A dedicated support team made up of advisors, professors, leaders, library resources, 24/7 support center and internship coordinators
  • Course and internship experiences that prepare students to take the PMHNP board certification exam
  • One last internship experience where students can choose the mental health population and setting they want to focus on

This is Rasmussen’s first nurse practitioner specialization. Rasmussen University also offers three other MSN specializations, including Nursing Leadership and Administration, Nursing Education and Health Technologies, Simulation, and Computer Science.

For more information on the new MSN PMHNP specialization, please visit https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/nursing/master-science-nursing/nurse-practitioner/.


Rasmussen University, a Higher Education Commission accredited university, is dedicated to changing lives and the communities it serves through innovative and flexible educational programs. As a pioneer in career-focused education since 1900, the University is defining a new generation of higher education that focuses on skills-based education, technology, and transferable skills. Rasmussen offers online and in-person undergraduate and graduate programs at 23 campuses across the country. The University is designed to elevate and support its students at every stage, from each student’s first degree to their last. Rasmussen is dedicated to global enrichment, serving the underserved, and meeting the changing needs of diverse students, communities, and economies. Rasmussen encourages its students, faculty, and staff to strive for academic excellence, community enrichment, and service to the public good. For more information about Rasmussen University, please visit www.rasmussen.edu.

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