Become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner to assist clients with mental illnesses.

There is a critical shortage of health care providers that specialize in mental health services. Staggering statistics indicate that there is a great need for professionals that are trained in assessing, diagnosing, planning, intervening and treating clients with mental illness. Be a part of the solution by learning to use a variety of psychotherapeutic techniques, medication management and treatment strategies for individuals, families and groups.

Regis University provides an experiential education for hands-on learning in and out of the classroom. Preparation will cover psychotherapeutic skills development and medication management. This includes assessment, diagnosis, planning, intervention and treatment of clients with mental illnesses using a variety of techniques for individuals, groups and families.

Integrated into your education and practice are classes and studies on:

  • Behavioral health
  • Neurobiology
  • Psychopathology
  • Psychiatric assessment and diagnosis using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
  • Psychosocial issues, including those related to development and trauma
  • Advanced psychopharmacology
  • Evidence-based treatment strategies (pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic)
  • Care and treatment of individuals across the lifespan
  • Care of mental illnesses that are comorbid with general medical illnesses
  • Legal and ethical concepts
  • Cultural implications

Because of Regis’ Jesuit roots, you will gain a thorough understanding of the practical tools needed to be an effective practitioner while considering the moral, cultural and socially just implications of practice. Our mission demands that every individual’s human dignity is respected, the whole person is cared for and the most marginalized of our society are served.

Help our country diminish tragic statistics such as:

  • 1 in 6 people in the United States have a mental health condition
  • 56 percent of American adults do not receive needed mental health treatment
  • Half of all state and federal prisoners show signs of significant mental illness
  • Colorado is ranked 6th for suicide in the United States
  • Less than 1/3 of Coloradans receive needed care, especially in rural and frontier counties

Format: The PMHNP program is only offered in traditional format. In-person classes are taught on the Northwest Denver Campus, and classes are held one day per week. You will be expected to be present from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The program begins in the summer semester.

Clinical Rotations: Clinical experiences begin during the fourth semester (second year) and are divided between the last three semesters of the program. The clinical experience encompasses 630 hours. These experiences apply theory to authentic learning experiences.

Degree: Graduates are awarded the Master of Science, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialization and will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. They are able to enroll on the Colorado Advanced Practice Registry maintained by the Colorado Board of Nursing and will be eligible to obtain Prescriptive Authority (RXN) in the state.

Length of Program: This nurse practitioner program is completed in six semesters of study (two years).

Semester I (6 credit hours)
NR 600 Advanced Practice Leadership and Theoretical Frameworks
NR 605 Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice
Semester II (7 credit hours)
NR 607 Pharmacology for Advanced Practice
NR 630 Advanced Practice Assessment
Semester III (10 credit hours)
NR 608 Health Care Policy
NR 670 Psychopharmacology for Advanced Practice in Psychiatric Nursing
NR 671  Psychiatric Assessment and Psychopathology Across Life Span
Semester IV (8 credit hours)
NR 602 Research in Nursing
NR 672 Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice I
Completion of clinical hours
Semester V (8 credit hours)
HCE 604 Ethics in Society
NR 673 Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice II
Completion of clinical hours 
Semester VI (8 credit hours)
NR 651 Professional Integration
NR 674 Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice III
NR 699  Comprehensive Evaluation
Completion of clinical hours

Please note: For official program requirements based on academic year, please refer to the academic catalog.

Download a printable fact sheet with program details.

Take the next step and apply or attend an information session or webinar.

You can email your admission counselor with questions at

Application Process


Application Opens: September 1
Application Deadline: January 1
Program Start Date: Summer Semester (May)

  1. Submit the Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS) application online at
  2. Submit three recommendation forms directly through NursingCAS. Select professional and/or academic references that can address your academic, professional, and leadership potential. One recommendation must be from your current employer or supervisor. The recommendation forms provided must be used. 
  3. Submit (upload) a one-page typewritten statement (double-spaced) that addresses the essay question per the NursingCAS application instructions.
  4. Submit (upload) a current resume noting professional and volunteer experiences and relevant healthcare certifications.
  5. Request official university and/or college transcripts to be sent directly to NursingCAS. Official transcripts should not to be sent directly to Regis University. Arrange for NursingCAS to receive a separate official transcript from each regionally accredited U.S. university and/or college you attended. NursingCAS will not verify your application until all official transcripts and other required materials are received. See NursingCAS for Transcript Request Forms. 
  6. A personal interview may be required.

Materials in support of an application for admission become the property of Regis University and will not be provided or returned to an applicant.


  • A nursing baccalaureate degree from a NLNAC or AACN-CCNE accredited program.
  • Minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • A grade of "C" or better in all undergraduate nursing courses.
  • An active, unrestricted or unencumbered Registered Nurse (RN) license in the state in which the student's clinical/practicum experience will be completed.
  • Two years of clinical practice in mental health nursing as a Registered Nurse (RN) is preferred for all applicants.
  • Completion of an undergraduate statistics course with a grade of "C" or better (may be taken after current admission but prior to NR 602).
  • Current American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS) for health care professionals certification.
  • Eligibility for this program is pending the successful completion of a drug screening and a criminal background check. View the complete list of disqualifying offenses.
  • A complete health history and physical examination record indicating the student is physically able to meet the objectives of the program and is appropriately immunized is required after admission to the program.
  • If English is not your native/first language, you must meet either of the following language proficiency requirements:
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – Internet-based: Minimum score of 82 (24 Writing, 20 Speaking, 22 Reading, 16 Listening), Computer-based: Minimum score of 213. Regis University's TOEFL code is 4656.
    • Applicants that have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited US institution do not need to provide a TOEFL score.

Admission to Regis University does not guarantee professional licensure. To learn more about licensure requirements, visit the Disqualifying Offenses and Eligibility of Licensure Notification.


The FNP program has a competitive admissions process where students are selected based on a number of factors, including cumulative GPA, current resume, three recommendation forms, work experience and the personal statement. A personal interview may be required.


Due to regulatory requirements in the states listed below, Regis University’s Loretto Heights School of Nursing is unable to accept or enroll students who intend to reside and/or do clinical in any of these states while pursuing RN-BSN, MS Nursing, Post-Graduate Certificate, or DNP education through any of our distance learning formats. View all State Authorization details.

Louisiana | New York | North Dakota | Oregon (APRN only)

Visit our Cost of Tuition page to see the tuition and fee schedule for the MS, Nursing: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program.

Regis University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and Regis University’s Loretto Heights School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

What is the application deadline?
The application deadline is April 15 for classes beginning in the summer semester (May).

What are the prerequisites for the program?
You must meet the admissions requirements which include a current unencumbered RN license, a BSN from a regionally accredited institution and a cumulative GPA above 2.75. You must also submit all application materials before the deadline.

How long does it take to complete the program?
The program is designed to be completed in six semesters of study (two years).

What is the class schedule?
In-person classes are offered on the Northwest Denver Campus, and classes are held one day per week. You will be expected to be present from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. This program begins in the summer semester.

When do I attend clinicals?
The clinical component of the PMHNP program begins in the fourth semester (second year). Clinical schedules are arranged by the individual student in collaboration with the Clinical Support Unit and are variable throughout the week. Student flexibility is essential in meeting clinical requirements.

Is the program offered online?
No. The PMHNP program requires attendance at the Northwest Denver Campus for face-to-face classes one day per week from 8 a.m. – 5p.m.

How much does the program cost?
Please see our Cost of Attendance page for current tuition and fees.

Do you require an academic reference from a college instructor?
No. We require three letters of reference on the forms provided in the application. One reference must be from your current employer or supervisor and the other two can be either professional or academic.

Are students required to have laptops?
Yes. All nursing students, including PMHNP students, are required to bring a laptop to class.

Expected technical specifications for the laptop include the following:


  • Recommended screen size: 13 inches or greater
  • Required Wi-Fi compatible
  • Required Operating System: Windows: 7 or higher, Mac: OS X 10.9 or higher
  • Required memory: minimum 4GB
  • Required hard disk space: minimum 60GB
  • Required battery: minimum two-hour life, four hours or higher recommended
  • Recommended backup battery: minimum two-hour life, four hours or higher recommended


  • MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint (MS Office recommended)
  • Browser: most recent version of IE, Firefox, Safari or Chrome
  • Current version of Respondus Lockdown Browser
  • Current version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash