BSN to DNP, Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Doctor of Nursing Practice, Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The program takes an innovative, technology-enriched approach that develops nursing experts that base decisions on the best evidence available, providing patient-centered care. The BSN to DNP, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program provides emphasis on mental health across the lifespan, and may include practices with individual, group or family psychotherapy.

This program of study allows the FPMHNP graduate to be eligible for the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) national certification examination. Core concepts include emphasis on neuropsychopathology, psychopharmacology, psychiatric mental health differential diagnosis and treatment, and advanced psychiatric mental health assessment. In addition to Psychiatric and Mental Health alternative emphasis areas include:


The program is delivered using a blend of seven, 4 day immersion sessions at the Irvine campus; internships/clinical practice in hospitals, clinics and health centers; and online lectures, demonstrations and exercises.

 View DNP Entry Options

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Scientific Underpinnings for Practice: Integrate nursing science with knowledge from biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, ethics, and organizational sciences as the basis for advanced practice nursing and new approaches to care delivery.
  • Organizational and Systems Leadership: Create environments that support quality improvement across systems.
  • Clinical Scholarship: Create and disseminate innovations in evidence-based practice.
  • Information Systems and Patient Care Technology: Evaluate emerging technologies for their utility in advanced nursing practice.
  • Health Care Policy:  Evaluate health policy and advocate for patients and the discipline.
  • Interprofessional Collaboration: Create collaborative interprofessional relationships to improve patient and population health outcomes.
  • Clinical Prevention and Population Health: Evaluate the social, cultural, and environmental dimensions of population health in practice patterns/systems.
  • Advanced Practice Nursing: Independently assess, diagnose, treat, and manage undifferentiated patients.

Admission Requirements

  1. Admission to the BSN to DNP program is granted to individuals who apply and meet the standards for admission to a graduate program.
  2. Complete a Musco School of Nursing and Health Professions application available online at
  3. Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or a National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) accredited program. Applicants who have a Bachelors in something else and have completed either a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Nursing, or the equivalent of the BSN in the first year of a Master Entry Nursing Program, passed the NCLEX and are licensed, may be considered for admission.
  4. Official transcripts from all regionally accredited institutions where baccalaureate and/or post-baccalaureate coursework was completed or attempted.
  5. Graduate Record Exam (GRE): Analytical Writing Score (minimum score of 4.0) from the General Test. Request that scores be sent electronically to Brandman University. See web site (Not required if you have a masters degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution.)
  6. Current and detailed resume or curriculum vita.
  7. Self-evaluation and goal statement.
  8. Three recommendations.
  9. Unencumbered RN license from the state where you plan to do your clinical hours, or date for NCLEX scheduled before classes start. NCLEX must be passed for enrollment with application for license pending.
  10. The NCLEX must be passed by the end of the first session of enrollment to continue in the program.
  11. Personal interview as needed. (required by the end of the first session):

  1. Proof of a negative TB Skin Test.
  2. Proof of completion of Hepatitis A and B immunization or titer.
  3. Proof of two doses of MMR or titer.
  4. Proof of Tetanus/Diphtheria (Tdap) immunization within the past 5 years.
  5. Proof of Chicken Pox (Varicella) immunization or titer.
  6. Background Clearance.
  7. Copy of current CPR “Level C” Certification (Health Care Provider) that will not be expiring in the next 12 months.
  8. Proof of current negative drug screen.
  9. Proof of annual Influenza Immunization.
  10. Additional laboratory tests, immunizations, and/or documentation may be required for clinical courses by certain health care agencies.
  11. Professional Liability Insurance (1mil/3mil).

Graduate Science Core (15 credits)

*NURU 600 Theoretical Foundations of Evidence-based and Advanced Practice Nursing 3
NURU 601 Transitions in Practice: The Advanced Practice Nurse as DNP 3
NURU 602 Developmental, Cultural and Spiritual Care Across the Lifespan 3
*DNPU 701 Biostatistics for Clinical Practice 3
*DNPU 704 Evidence-based Thinking for Scholarship and Practice III 3


DNP Essentials (24 Credits)

DNPU 700 Healthcare Policy, Organization and Delivery 3
DNPU 702 Innovations in Technology and Information Access 3
DNPU 703 Leading Through Innovation 3
DNPU 705 Health Communication 3
DNPU 706 Transforming Healthcare through Outcomes Management 3
DNPU 707 Clinical Residency I 3
DNPU 708 Application of DNP Clinical Scholarly Project 3
DNPU 710 Seminar in Evidence-Based Thinking for Scholarship and Practice 3


Advanced Practice Core (19 credits)

*NURU 603 Advanced Health Assessment Across Lifespan and Cultures 4
*NURU 604 Clinical Practicum: Advanced Health Assessment Across the Lifespan and Cultures 3
NURU 605 Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan 3
NURU 606 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics Across the Lifespan 3
NURU 609 Genetics Across the Lifespan 3
NURU 610 Synthesis of Advanced Practice Management, Role and EBP 3


Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (15 credits)

NURU 641 Psychopharmacology Across the Lifespan 3
*NURU 642 Management in Lifespan Psychiatric and Mental Health Care 3
*NURU 643 Practicum in Psychotherapeutic Treatment Modalities 3
*NURU 644 Complex and Chronic Problems in Psychiatric and Mental Health Care 3
*NURU 645 Practicum for Complex and Chronic Problems in Psychiatric and Mental Health Care 3

*Students in these courses are required to attend the face-to-face immersion

Total Credits 73