Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MS/CAGS)

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Application Deadlines:
Boston Campus
Aug 1 for Fall 2023

Aug 1 for Fall 2023
Nov 1 for Spring 2024

GRE: Not required


The graduate program in Advanced Practice Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing at Northeastern University is designed to prepare nurses to provide a broad range of mental health services to children, adolescents, adults, and families throughout the lifespan in community mental health centers, residential programs, schools and outpatient practice settings.

Since students are in various stages of career development we offer specialized and flexible program options. This program is offered in two modalities and both options allow you to enroll part-time or full-time, based on your schedule.

The Online program offers coursework online while you attend your clinical rotations locally. Most of the coursework is asynchronous* with a few synchronous remote meetings in some courses. Students in the online program will come to Northeastern’s campus twice during the program for long weekend clinical intensives to connect with faculty, perfect clinical skills and prepare for certification exams. 

The Boston on-ground program is offered in a hybrid format with some synchronous lectures and on-campus meetings in the program. Classes are offered during the late afternoon and early evening hours to accommodate the multiple responsibilities of adult learners.

  • For nurses who have a Baccalaureate Degree in nursing, the Master of Science (MS) option is a 43 semester-hour program.
  • For nurses with master’s preparation in other nursing specialties the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) option is a 24 semester-hour program.
  • For those who wish to pursue a career in nursing and possess a baccalaureate degree or higher in a related (non-nursing) field, the Direct Entry MS option is available.

Upon completion of the Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Nursing graduate program curriculum, graduates are eligible to sit for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification, across the lifespan through the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC).

*Asynchronous courses are not live class so you can do them in your own time.

The Northeastern University Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Anesthetist Programs prepare nurses for professional licensure as Nurse Practitioners within a population focus or as Nurse Anesthetists. The program in which you are enrolled prepares you to practice in any state, based on the information posted on each state’s nursing licensure website as of 2021. Please refer to the complete list of state licensure requirements here: professional licensure disclosures on the University’s Consumer Information page. Please contact your program director with any questions about professional licensure.

Learn more about our
online concentrations.

Tuition and Fees
Online courses are offered at a discounted rate. Students admitted to an online program will take all courses online at the discounted rate. Students admitted to the Boston campus program may also have access to the online discounted rate for core courses at the discretion of the program director and when room is available in the online section.


The curriculum of the Northeastern University Psychiatric Mental Health Graduate Nursing program has a lifespan focus, with core course content covering all ages.

Degree Options:

  • BSN to Master’s (traditional) 43 Semester Hrs
  • Bachelor’s from another field to MSN (Direct Entry Nursing MS Program) 104 Semester Hrs
  • Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) 24 Semester Hrs (for NPs or CNSs with other certifications)

The program emphasizes a biopsychosocial framework to develop the understanding of human development, etiology of psychiatric disorders, and treatment modalities geared towards working with individuals across the lifespan and their families. The course of study emphasizes diagnostic decision making, psychotherapeutic interventions, including individual, family and group therapies, and psychopharmacology across the lifespan. We are known for our emphasis on the needs of children and families.

Sample Curriculum

Psychiatric Mental Health MS Curriculum

Professional Core

  • NRSG 5118 Health Care Systems and Professional Role Development (3 Credits)
  • NRSG 5121 Epidemiology and Population Health (3 Credits)

6 Credits

Research Core

  • NRSG 7105 Translating Research Evidence into Practice (3 Credits)
  • NRSG 7110 Evidence Based Practice Research Application (2 Credits)

6 Credits

Clinical Core

  • NRSG 6115 Health Assessment (3 Credits)
  • NRSG 5126 Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice (3 Credits)
  • NRSG 5117 Pharmacology (2 Credits)

8 Credits

Psychiatric Mental Health

Theory Courses

  • NRSG 6282 Clinical Psychopharmacology (3 Credits)
  • NRSG 6281 Dimensions of Clinical Practice (3 Credits)
  • NRSG 6283 Psychobiological Bases of Mental Disorders (3 Credits)
  • NRSG 6286 Contemporary Psychotherapies: Theory and Practice (3 Credits)

12 Credits

Practicum Courses

  • NRSG 6480 Psychiatric Nursing Practicum I (5 Credits)
  • NRSG 6481 Psychiatric Nursing Practicum 2 (5 Credits)
  • Electives (2 Credits)

12 Credits
Total Credits 43

Psychiatric Mental Health CAGS Curriculum


Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS)

  • NRSG 6282 Clinical Psychopharmacology (3 Credits)
  • NRSG 6281 Dimensions of Clinical Practice (3 Credits)
  • NRSG 6283 Psychobiological Bases of Mental Disorders (3 Credits)
  • NRSG 6286 Contemporary Psychotherapies: Theory and Practice (3 Credits)
  • NRSG 6480 Psychiatric Nursing Practicum I (5 Credits)
  • NRSG 6481 Psychiatric Nursing Practicum 2 (5 Credits)
  • Electives (2 Credits)

Total Credits 24

Admissions Requirements

Applicants to the Family Nurse Practitioner program must have a current US Nursing license for admission to the program. GRE scores are not required. To apply, applicants must also have the following:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0, with grades of ‘B’ or better, is required in all undergraduate clinical courses
  • Successful completion of a statistics course that includes probability theory and hypothesis testing
  • Three letters of recommendation (academic and professional)
  • Curriculum vita
  • Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited USA program (a baccalaureate degree in another field will be considered at the discretion of the Program Director)
  • Current RN licensureAt least 1 year of active full-time nursing experience. Attention will be given to former nursing positions that required a high level of independence. One year of psych experience is highly encouraged but not required.
  • Letter of intent to study
  • Official transcript from baccalaureate program and all college coursework

Please note that all letters of recommendations and Official transcripts must be submitted via NursingCAS.

Experiential Learning

Students apply classroom learning in an array of health care settings or educational settings. Clinical practica are available across a variety of sectors of the health care system primarily in the Boston area, including private, public, and community based settings, community mental health centers, outpatient clinics, residential and public schools. Faculty advisors choose from available clinical sites that are appropriate to the learning needs and goals of each student. Northeastern University School of Nursing is committed to the unique needs of clients from diverse groups in urban and underprivileged areas.

Online Program Experiential Learning

Northeastern will partner with students to identify clinical placements within 100 miles of their home. Online students will be responsible for identifying and proposing a clinical preceptor for review and approval by their program director.

Northeastern will work to ensure clinical affiliations are in place but require 6 months to expedite contracts.

Students will have two 2-3 day clinical intensives over weekends.


To the Psychiatric Mental Health NP Program