Online PMHNP programs prepare registered nurses with a BSN for a challenging, rewarding, rapidly expanding career as an advanced practice nurse. Holistically caring for patients with mental health needs calls for adaptive leaders with mountainous clinical experience. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner programs online are becoming more and more readily available to registered nurses seeking their MSN, providing the opportunity to build the skills and experience necessary to become a practicing PMHNP.
Online PMHNP programs are designed to give you the flexibility to work while you learn, expanding your real-world experiences and making your professional development more accessible. ZipRecruiter reports that psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners earn a median annual salary of $142,454. Take into account the Bureau of Labor Statistics which predicts a 45% job outlook for nurse practitioners in various areas of medicine, and you’ve got one of the best paying, promising professional careers a NP can pursue.
However, it always pays to seek out a top online PMHNP program that best suits your wallet as well as your professional goals. Below is our editorially independent list of the 24 most affordable psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner programs online. We have compared the tuition of 42 online PMHNP programs from 42 regionally accredited schools to create this ranking. With a difference in tuition between the most affordable and most expensive at nearly $58,000, it pays to do your research before committing to your next academic endeavor.
Average Cost (In-state): ~$35,800
Least Expensive: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center ~$15,192
Most Expensive: Ohio State University ~$72,701.30
Our data-driven research creates a truly reliable system of scientific rankings. There’s no fancy formulas here. We meticulously calculate total full-time tuition—including any fees—for the most accurate total cost. Our rankings cannot be bought, and therefore factually showcase the cheapest online PMHNP programs. The online degrees listed above the gray dividing line are official 2021 “Best Buys” and cost less than the national average.
Most Affordable Online PMHNP Programs
|Rank||School / Degree||State||Price||Note|
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
East Carolina University
Midwestern State University
The University of Texas at Tyler
University of Southern Mississippi
University of Southern Indiana
University of Missouri-Columbia
Stony Brook University
Northern Kentucky University
Frostburg State University
University of South Alabama
East Tennessee State University
Old Dominion University
Eastern Kentucky University
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Indiana Wesleyan University
University of Colorado - Colorado Springs
Mount Marty University
|School / Degree||State||Price||Note|
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
University of South Carolina-Columbia
Frontier Nursing University
University of North Dakota
The George Washington University
Ohio State University
Accreditation & Program Notes
To qualify for a ranking, a program must be regionally accredited. Additional programmatic accreditation is noted in the rank table.
8 Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
10 Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
12 State Restriction Note: This program is only available in fewer than 15 states.
14 Program is no longer accepting new students.
These online college rankings are based on a GetEducated Spring 2021 review of regionally accredited online PMHNP programs. Total cost includes full-time tuition and fees and was valid at the time of collection and specific to the online learning program. School profiles for thein our directory may reflect a slightly different cost based on different editorial update schedules.
The published cost is an estimated sticker price for the entire online degree including fees. Actual costs may vary by student. Factors such as transfer credits, prerequisite courses, professional licensing and financial aid availability will affect final cost
Online schools do NOT pay to be included in any GetEducated online degree ranking. These rankings are editorially independent, open to any regionally accredited or candidate college that offers a master’s degree that is available at least 80 percent through online learning and that is open to enrollment by the public. If your online college is regionally accredited and not currently reviewed by GetEducated, please contact us for inclusion.
These rankings of the cheapest online schools for PMHNP programs may NOT be re-posted online or reprinted in any format without a license from GetEducated ®. Consumer finance bloggers and writers can contact our editors for a free custom article on the best psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner programs online for use on your website. Our mission: Help consumers GetEducated ® about the best online colleges for cost and credibility.
Career Guide: Online PMHNP Programs
If you have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and are currently working as a registered nurse, but want to advance your career into a new focus or direction, a master’s in science nursing degree with a concentration on mental health may be a great choice.
Even if you already have a master’s in the medical and healthcare profession, online PMHNP programs can help advance your knowledge and bring outstanding rewards to your career.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Programs Online
This is a master’s degree focused on advanced clinical work with psychiatric and mental-health patients. The education will train you to work in the medical industry, filling the important role of a nurse practitioner. However, with the focus on mental health, you’ll understand how to assess and diagnose mental health patients and provide therapy and treatment for people suffering from mental illnesses.
After completing online mental health nurse practitioner programs, students are able to provide high-quality mental care for children, adults, and the elderly, and plan healthcare strategies that reduce mental issues. When complete, you’ll be ready for testing for the appropriate certification, and you’ll have the skills to improve mental and psychiatric conditions among your patients.
People with nursing degrees focused on mental health work in a variety of settings. They are employed at psychiatric facilities, private practices, mental-health clinics, and correctional facilities. You can even find them at domestic-violence shelters, community-health centers, and schools of all levels.
While studying in psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner programs online, you’ll take classes that build your understanding of the human body and mind, as well as the healthcare industry in general. Core classes generally cover various health and science topics, such as advanced biology, anatomy, and chemistry. Courses focused on your mental-health concentration, however, will take a detailed look at diagnosing health conditions, creating interventions, and providing mental-health treatments. They will also cover the theoretical and clinical foundations of psychiatric care, helping you become one of the most important professionals in the healthcare industry.
- Median Salary: $109,820
- Job Growth: 52%
- Education: Master’s
- Training/Work Experience: None
Aperforms many of the essential healthcare duties, providing primary and secondary care for patients and families. From assessing patients to promoting healthy habits, nurse practitioners are highly valued in today’s healthcare industry. Most nurse practitioners have a specific area of focus, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or mental health.
This is a top-paying career, earning as much or more than many healthcare professionals who hold doctorates. The demand is also high, as this profession is expected to grow by 52% between 2019 and 2029.
- Median Salary: $80,370
- Job Growth: 3%
- Education: Doctorate
- Training/Work Experience: Internship
Aperforms many essential tasks that promote mental health and wellbeing. While online PMHNP programs will not provide the qualifications to work as a psychologist (you need a doctorate for that), it will provide a strong background in clinical care and mental health. In this sense, it makes an excellent background for these careers.
While the median pay for this profession is actually lower than a nurse practitioner’s, there is room for outstanding growth. The top 10% in this profession earn over $132,000, so there are plenty of options for high-paying jobs.
PMHNP Licensing & Certification Requirements
If you are going to work in the healthcare industry, you are virtually guaranteed to need licensing or certification of some kind. The only exception to this is if you are in a leadership or management role, with no direct contact with patients. But almost all others will need certification.
Nurse practitioners with focuses on mental health need certification through a specific group. In general, nurse practitioners are certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (), or the American Nurses Credentialing Center ( ). Other specialization boards also exist for various specialties.
In some cases, you may need experience, especially if you are working in a management or leadership career, such as a chief nursing officer position. Some online PMHNP programs may also require previous work experience in the nursing profession before enrollment. This experience is crucial for understanding the industry and deciding whether it’s the right career path for you.
The world is quickly recognizing the importance of mental health. By studying in one of the excellent mental health nurse practitioner programs, you’ll become a leader in this trend. You’ll not only advance your career, you’ll have the skills to provide mental-health support, support that can be endlessly critical for your patients!