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What Are the Best Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs?

Get information on programs that can prepare you for a career as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Learn about rankings and accreditation for the top three schools with these programs.

What Should I Look for in the Best Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs and Schools?

High national rankings, affiliations with teaching hospitals recognized for quality psychiatry programs, clinical opportunities and a range of program options may characterize top psychiatric nurse practitioner programs. You may want to look for a school that is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is located in the state in which you intend to practice. Below are some schools you could consider.

What Are Three Top Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs?

University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

This Ivy League university's nurse practitioner program for psychiatric and mental health was ranked fifth in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 evaluations. Penn's two advanced practice programs in psychiatric and mental health (PMH) nursing programs can be completed in 14 months of full-time or 2-5 years of part-time work. While enrolled in a nursing program, you will have access to a simulation lab and state-of-the-art equipment. These psychiatric nursing degrees are offered:

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Psychiatric and Mental Health
  • Post-Master's Psychiatric Nursing Option for Clinical Nurse Specialists

University of Pittsburgh in PA

In 2019, University of Pittsburgh's nurse practitioner program in psychiatric and mental health ranked seventh, according to U.S. News & World Report. The School of Nursing is identified as a Center of Excellence in Technology by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Its post-baccalaureate certificate in nursing research could help you develop graduate psychiatry and mental health research skills. The Center for Innovation in Clinical Learning can support your program. These degree programs are offered:

  • Post-MSN Certificate Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health

Yale University in New Haven, CT

Yale tied for third for its psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner program in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 evaluation. While enrolled in a master's degree or certificate program in psychiatric and mental health nursing, you might access resources from the Center for Enhancing Health Outcomes for Vulnerable Populations or the Center for Self and Family Management of Vulnerable Populations. These programs are available in psychiatric and mental health:

  • MSN in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate in Psychiatric and Mental Health

Ten More Top Schools for Psychiatric Nursing Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
University of California4-year, PublicSan Francisco, CA$13,000
University of Washington 4-year, PublicSeattle, WA$16,500
Rush University4-year, Private, not-for-profitChicago, IL$37,000
Vanderbilt University4-year, Private, not-for-profitNashville, TN$48,000
University of Virginia4-year, PublicCharlottesville, VA$19,000
New York University4-year, Private, not-for-profitNew York, NY$45,000
University of North Carolina4-year, PublicChapel Hill, NC$12,000
Johns Hopkins University4-year, Private, not-for-profitBaltimore, MD$56,000
University of Illinois4-year, PublicChicago, IL$17,000
University of Maryland4-year, PublicBaltimore, MD$16,500

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education