As the need for mental health resources grows in our society, so does our need for skilled psychiatric nurse practitioners.


One in five adults in the United States experiences mental illness within their lifetime. Perhaps you've known someone impacted by mental illness or a mental health condition or you have dealt with one yourself. You can help improve the lives of people with mental illness by enrolling in Loyola Nursing's Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (NP) track. 

Launched in Fall 2019, the Psychiatric Mental Health NP track prepares graduates with the knowledge and skills to effectively diagnose, treat, and care for patients with mental health needs. Guided by our Jesuit mission, the Psychiatric Mental Health NP track focuses heavily on ethics, social justice, care of the whole person, and prioritizing care for underserved or marginalized populations. Students will strengthen the communities they serve by increasing access to high-quality mental health care for individuals, families, and communities.

Our Commitment to You


Graduates of Loyola's Psychiatric Mental Health NP track will gain the following knowledge, competencies, and professional values to develop, deliver, and evaluate mental health care at the highest level of nursing practice.



You will learn: 

  • The role of neurobiological and socioecological factors in mental health conditions
  • Advanced pharmacology, pharmacotherapeutics and psychopharmacology science to manage or treat mental health symptoms
  • Individual, family, and group therapeutic intervention and modalities
  • Ethical, legal, and societal implications and policy considerations for mental health care
  • Population health principles and concepts
  • Theoretical, conceptual, and evidence-based foundations for advanced practice nursing care for patients in psychiatric mental health settings
  • Methods of advanced physical and health assessment and history taking
  • Advanced physiology of health and illness
  • Systems thinking principles and concepts
  • Resource management in healthcare
  • Quality improvement principles and practices
  • Health care policy and advocacy
  • Health care economics and finance
  • Decision-making tools and processes
  • Leadership in advocacy in the role of an advanced practice nurse



You will be able to: 

  • Conduct psychiatric mental health evaluations
  • Conduct advanced physical assessments and health histories
  • Develop therapeutic rapport with clients and their families using clinical interviewing skills
  • Promote mental health through the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of behavioral and mental health conditions
  • Develop mental health care plans
  • Prescribe and manage medication and therapeutic interventions
  • Provide person and family-centered care within the context of populations and communities
  • Analyze trends, issues, and evidence in health care and health care systems
  • Integrate the best evidence and patient preferences into the development, delivery, and evaluation of care at the highest level of advanced nursing practice
  • Foster and maintain team partnerships in collaborative health care environments



Our program is committed to preparing nurse leaders that value:

  • The hallmark characteristics of a Jesuit education:
    • Commitment to excellence
    • Faith in God
    • Service that promotes justice
    • Values-based leadership
    • Global awareness.
  • Ethical and moral judgement
  • Eliminating mental health disparities
  • Seeking to improve mental health care across populations and communities
  • Promoting patient safety and excellence in nursing practice
  • Engaging in leadership activities through intra and inter-professional collaboration
  • Ensuring equity in health policy
  • Accountability to patients, society, and the profession
  • Advancing psychiatric nursing care through education, research, practice and policy


Substance Use and Addiction Specialty

Deepen your understanding of mental health by learning how addiction impacts psychiatric mental health care and treatment options. Explore Loyola Nursing's Substance Use and Addictions specialty.



The Psychiatric Mental Health NP program is a blended format with both online and in-person instruction, including Immersion weekends at Loyola's Health Sciences Campus. Many students are working professionals with families, so we offer both part-time and full-time options to fit your schedule.

With our rigorous curriculum and significant number of credit and clinical hours, we seek to prepare you to successfully take the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification board in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Across the Lifespan).  



The DNP can be completed in 72 credit hours or about four to five years. 



The hallmark of a successful graduate student is the ability to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their specialty and communicate this expertise.

Core Courses: 

  • Theories & Concepts for Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Research for Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Population Focused Health
  • Leadership and Roles in Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Health Care Policy and Economics
  • Social Justice and Ethics in Health Care
  • Statistics for Health and Biological Sciences
  • Evidence Translation for Advanced Clinical Practice
  • DNP Scholarly Project

Role (NP) Courses: 

  • Advanced Health Assessment across the lifespan
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Basic diagnostics for advanced practice
  • Family focused health promotion and disease prevention

Population (Psychiatric Mental Health) courses:

  • Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Nursing Across the Lifespan I & II
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Assessment Across the Lifespan
  • Psychopharmacology Across the Lifespan
  • Psychotherapeutic Modalities for Individuals, Groups, and Families


  • Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Nursing Practicum



DNP students are required to complete practicums that focus on acquiring the advanced skills and knowledge to meet the competencies to practice as a psychiatric mental health NP. Faculty design clinical rotations and place students with preceptors. Loyola maintains academic-practice partnerships throughout the Chicago metropolitan area with a focus on working in underserved communities.

An RN license and a minimum of 2,000 hours of recent clinical nursing experience in psychiatric mental health is required before beginning your first practicum.



You must be a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited program to apply. Admission is competitive and based on the strength of application materials and interview.

Begin your journey in Psychiatric Mental Health! Learn about the specific degree requirements and apply today.

Questions? Contact Program Track Director Barbara Preib Lannon, PhD, PMHNP-BC at bpreiblannon@luc.edu


Tuition and Financial Aid

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and Loyola's Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the financial resources to make their education at Loyola affordable.