Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

DNP Psychiatric Mental Health

BSN-DNP Degree, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with Specialization in Substance Use and Addiction Disorders

Loyola University Chicago offers the nation's first BSN-DNP: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with a specialization in Substance Use and Addiction Disorders. The program is designed as a post-BSN entry DNP. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a practice-focused degree that equips nurses to further enhance the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Nurse practitioners provide direct patient care at the advanced practice level. DNP students will be involved in patient history taking, physical examination, diagnostic testing, diagnosis, and treatment. The population-focused curriculum provides education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems thinking

As the terminal practice degree for nurses, a DNP offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs. The DNP program provides nurses in advanced practice, including nurse administrators and nurse educators, with the knowledge and skills to provide innovative leadership to the profession.

Program Structure

• The degree offers part-time and full-time enrollment. Average time to completion is between 4-5 years.
• The program offers hybrid and online courses.

Clinical Practicum Opportunities

DNP students will be required to complete practicums that focus on acquiring the advanced skills and knowledge to meet the competencies to practice as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

The hallmark of a successful DNP student is the ability to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their specialty and to effectively communicate this expertise to others. Students will exhibit the ability to do so through a final capstone project, which is usually completed in one year, in conjunction with practicum immersion experiences.

Loyola has collaborative partnerships in health care settings throughout the Chicagoland area. Many of these sites are in medically underserved areas. Faculty members design the clinical practicums and guide students in the selection of appropriate clinical sites

Expectations after Graduation

DNP graduates are qualified to work as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, focusing on clinical practice, healthcare leadership, and clinical education roles.

• Graduates of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner BSN-DNP program are eligible to sit for the ANCC certification examination.

Program Distinctions

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing has been successfully educating graduate nurses for more than 50 years. The School is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Loyola’s DNP program centers on the “Health of the Public” and using evidence-based practices to improve outcomes. The program focuses on populations at risk for disease, populations experiencing alterations in health, across the globe, and systems that promote safe and efficient health care environments. The program emphasizes leadership in implementing transformational change in your area of practice.


Faculty and clinical preceptors are experts in their fields and hold national certifications in their areas of specialization. They have a wide variety of clinical and research interests and are well respected in their areas of professional specialty.


An RN license is required in the State of Illinois and 2,000 hours of recent clinical nursing experience in psychiatric mental health prior to beginning the first practicum.

Contact Information

For further information about academic programs, or to arrange a visit, please contact:

Graduate Programs in Nursing
Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
Loyola University Chicago
P • 708.216.9101
E • schoolofnursing@luc.edu
W • LUC.edu/nursing