Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: Robert Morris University Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner | Robert Morris University


"The DNP has opened many professional doors for me. I moved into an top level executive position at my institution after completing my degree and I am quite sure that the combination of the degree itself in addition to the skills was essential in obtaining the position."
—Michele Lucatorto, Cohort 2, Master's to DNP Completion Program

More and more children and adolescents require treatment for mental health disorders, but a shrinking number of health care providers are available to help them, according to national health care experts. That’s why Robert Morris University has become one of the first nursing schools in Pennsylvania to offer a doctoral program to educate nurse practitioners to provide mental health care for patients of all ages, including children.

RMU received a three-year, $923,000 grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support this initiative, formally known as the Access to Interprofessional Mental Health Education (AIME) project. The grant will expand RMU's existing DNP program and allow for the purchase of distance-learning technology.

RMU's Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (D.N.P.) program prepares psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners to diagnose mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, prescribe medications, and conduct psychotherapy. 


More about the School of Nursing and Health Sciences >

A requirement for admission to the program is national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP), or Adult PMHNP. All students applying to the program will undergo a transcript review. Necessary pre-requisites include graduate level courses in Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, and Advanced Physical Assessment/Diagnosis. Other admission requirements include:

  • All final & official transcripts
  • A master's or doctoral degree in nursing from an accredited college or university
  • National certification as a nurse practitioner
  • A minimum QPA of 3.25*
  • Current CV or resume
  • Essay on goals and expectations for education and career
  • A faculty interview
  • 2 professional letters of recommendations
  • Current unrestricted licensure as a registered nurse

 *If the QPA is below 3.25 the student may be given the option of taking the GRE for admission consideration

RMU's D.N.P. curriculum emphasizes teamwork and team building among health care practitioners, including physicians, social workers, pharmacists and others. In designing the program, RMU incorporated all five of the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) recommendations regarding the future of health professions education: patient-centered care, interdisciplinary teams, evidence-based practice, quality improvement and better use of informatics.

Two program options are offered:

  • DNP Completion Program and Curriculum - For advanced practice nurses with master's degrees
  • B.S.N. to D.N.P. Program and Curriculum - For registered nurses with bachelor's degrees interested in nurse practitioner preparation 
For advanced practice nurses who already have a master's degree, the D.N.P. Completion Program combines an appealing format with specially targeted content to provide the perfect extension of knowledge and abilities. The coursework moves students to the next level of their careers, incorporating a broader knowledge of health care in today's complex market.

The Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program prepares advanced practice nurses to:

  1. Apply nursing science and clinical reasoning at the highest level of practice to plan and implement care.
  2. Utilize expert communication and leadership skills with interdisciplinary teams to create improvements in health care and complex health care delivery systems.
  3. Integrate theory, clinical inquiry, information technology, and evidence-based practice for clinical decision-making and the provision of patient care.
  4. Lead health care provider teams to systematically evaluate outcomes and implement quality improvements based on evidence-based practice.
  5. Generate a culturally competent practice environment.
  6. Influence health policy to improve health care delivery and outcomes for all stakeholders.
  7. Partner with other health care providers to form an inter-professional team to advance high-quality, safe, patient-centered care.
  8. Lead initiatives to promote disease prevention and population health.
Most of our graduate programs can be completed in 27 months or less, through in-class, online or hybrid study. Take classes one night a week through your course of study. Admission is rolling and classes start fresh every eight weeks. You can also choose to pursue your degree full- or part-time.

RMU’s nursing program has a unique focus on business, communications, global perspective and technology in addition to strong clinical skills, and preparation for the licensing exam to become a registered nurse. Handheld computer technology enables students to store software applications and data at their fingertips. Students also learn to care for patients in state-of-the-art clinical facilities as well as in RMU's up-to-date nursing laboratory, where bedside computers and patient simulators assist in developing clinical decision-making skills. Students also have the opportunity to travel internationally to better understand global health issues.

The School of Nursing and Health Sciences faculty is committed to providing opportunities for you to be fully engaged in your college experience. Our high quality, practicing faculty members are acutely aware of the current healthcare environment and can provide expert guidance in navigating through the changing milieu of best practice for patients.

Program Director
Judy Kaufmann, Dr.P.H., CRNP, joined RMU in June 2007 as the D.N.P. program director after teaching at the University of Pittsburgh since 1995. As director, she oversees recruitment, administration and curriculum development, and also teaches. She has practiced as a nurse practitioner across the lifespan, with specialized experience in women's health, orthopedics and internal medicine. She holds a doctorate in public health from the University of Pittsburgh.


In an effort to help students meet their education expenses, Robert Morris University offers the following tuition payment options. On the posted due date, payments are accepted until 5 p.m. in the Student Support Center. Payments may be made via ePay after the deadline.

Payment Options

Payment Methods

Robert Morris University accepts tuition payments by cash, check, money order or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover). Tuition payments may be made to the Office of Student Financial Services by mail, phone (412-397-6260), or online via the RMU website at Students should log in to Sentry Secured Services and go to Financial Status in eServices to use the ePay - PayNow option. ePay is available 24 hours a day to process credit card or check payments.




Contact Us

For more information on any of our graduate programs, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 1-800-762-0097 or email