Doctor of Nursing Practice: Psychiatric-Mental Health N.P.

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Available - On Campus
Available - Distance Education
Program Credits

The Doctor of Nursing Practice Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track offers specialized doctoral-level training for Registered Nurses who have a bachelor’s degree to become a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. The D.N.P. PMHNP program emphasizes clinical reasoning at the highest level, preparing graduates to be nursing leaders who deliver patient-centered care as members of interdisciplinary teams emphasizing evidence-based practice, quality improvement and informatics.

The program is available in a traditional on-ground format or via distance learning option. Coursework culminates in an evidence-based DNP project that provides opportunities for innovation and collaboration in areas such as patient-centered care, system influences on care providers, and population-focused healthcare. The program can be completed in 3.5 to 4 years. A plan of study will be developed with the academic advisor to meet individual student needs.

RMU also offers students the Access to Interprofessional Mental Health Education (AIME) program, whose mission is to expand the number of psychiatric mental health care providers and educate future Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners to provide evidence-based holistic care as part of an interprofessional team to individuals of all ages experiencing mental health problems.

The PMHNP DNP Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the PMHNP certification exam through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB).


Contact Information

Stephanie Jacobs, DNP, FNP, CNM, PhD-C

Director, DNP Program

Assistant Professor of Nursing

412-397-6885 (office)

Kirstyn M. Kameg, DNP, PMHNP-BC, FAANP

Coordinator, PMHNP Program 

University Professor of Nursing


4-Year Course Plan

Year 1 - Fall Semester

  • NURS 8050 Applied Statistics for Evidence Based Practice
  • NURS 8010 Advanced Pathophysiology
  • NURS 8040 Clinical Teams & Teamwork I

Year 1 - Spring Semester

  • NURS 8110 Advanced Pharmacology
  • NURS 8130 Advanced Physical Assessment/Diagnosis
  • NURS 8135 Advanced Physical Assessment/Diagnosis Practicum

Year 1 - Summer Semester

  • NURS 8120 Health Promotion/Clinical Prevention
  • NURS 9010 Principles of Biological Psychiatry
  • NURS 9120 Health Assessment of Children & Adolescents
  • NURS 9125 Health Assessment of Children & Adolescents Practicum

Year 2 - Fall Semester

  • NURS 9110 Psychopharmacology Across Lifespan
  • NURS 9210 Psychiatric Diagnosis Across Lifespan
  • NURS 9215 Psychiatric Diagnosis Across Lifespan Practicum
  • NURS 8020 Research Theory

Year 2 - Spring Semester

  • NURS 9310 Management of Psychiatric Disorders Across Lifespan I
  • NURS 9315 Management of Psychiatric Disorders Across Lifespan I Practicum
  • NURS 8030 Principles of Epidemiology

Year 2 - Summer Semester

  • NURS 9330 Psychotherapeutic Interventions with Individuals
  • NURS 9335 Psychotherapeutic Interventions with Individuals Practicum
  • NURS 8150 Integrating Research & Practice

Year 3 - Fall Semester

  • NURS 9320 Management of Psychiatric Disorders Across Lifespan II
  • NURS 9325 Management of Psychiatric Disorders Across Lifespan II Practicum
  • NURS 8230 Clinical Genetics

Year 3 - Spring Semester

  • NURS 9510 Psychotherapeutic Interventions with Families
  • NURS 9515 Psychotherapeutic Interventions with Families Practicum
  • NURS 8140 Evidence-Based Practice for Advanced Nursing Roles

Year 3 - Summer Semester

  • NURS 8060 Health Policy
  • NURS 8070 Health Care Economics
  • NURS 9130 Information Systems and Evidence-Based Practice

Year 4 - Fall Semester

  • NURS 9410 Psychiatric Considerations in the Geriatric Population
  • NURS 9415 Psychiatric Considerations in the Geriatric Population Practicum
  • NURS 8210 Health Law & Ethics

Year 4 - Spring Semester

  • NURS 9610 Practice Management Issues/Role Integration
  • NURS 9620 Applying Evidence-Based Practice in Health Care Settings
Admission Requirements
DNP Faculty Bios

Faculty ImageDr. Stephen Foreman is Professor of Health Economics at Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA where he teaches health economics, health policy, statistics and health law and ethics in the University’s graduate programs.  Dr. Foreman has been a Fulbright Scholar at the Crimea State Medical University, Simferopol, Crimea, where he lectured and conducted research in comparative international health policy. His research focuses on structure, performance and strategy in health insurance, hospital and physician markets and health insurance data. His work includes the international economics of aging, economic mechanisms as they relate to corruption and the economics of human trafficking.  Dr. Foreman holds a Ph.D. in Health Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, a J.D. with Honors from the University of North Carolina and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government where he was a Littauer Fellow.

Faculty ImageDr. Susan Hellier is a professor at Robert Morris University where she teaches women’s health, research, and physical assessment in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.  In addition, she is on the medical staff at Magee Women’s Hospital of UPMC where she works in the obstetrical/gynecological out-patient clinic.  Her research focus is education of healthcare providers.  She is an experienced presenter at conferences and well-published in women's health topics. Dr. Hellier received her Ph.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, her DNP from Waynesburg University, and her nurse practitioner training at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Faculty ImageDr. Kirstyn Kameg is a University Professor of Nursing at Robert Morris University and Coordinator of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. She has been a nurse educator and practicing Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner since 2000. She has published and presented extensively on topics related to mental health nursing. Her research interests include use of simulation as an educational methodology in the psychiatric specialty and interprofessional education. Dr. Kameg also maintains a private practice diagnosing and treating individuals across the lifespan with mental health diagnoses.

Faculty ImageDr. Lisa Locasto is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.  She earned her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Robert Morris University.  Her research interest is childhood obesity.  In addition, Dr. Locasto manages a pediatric weight management program at a pediatric primary care office. Her recent publications include “Effect of the dedicated education unit on nursing student self-efficacy: A quasi-experimental research study”, “The development of an electronic headache pain diary for children who experience headache as a symptom of concussion”.  She has also presented on “Outcomes Using an Electronic Food and Activity Tracking Device with Children”.

Faculty ImageDr. Denise Ramponi is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing & Health Sciences.  She earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Waynesburg University.  Her research interests center around education regarding advanced practice procedures and simulation.  Dr. Ramponi’s most recent publications include “Using simulation to teach primary gynecological procedures”, “Dental procedures”, and “TMJ dislocations and relocation procedures”.  

Faculty ImageDr. Luann Richardson in an Associate Professor at Robert Morris University School of Nursing and Health Sciences. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Nursing Practice Degrees at the University of Pittsburgh. She is certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner, Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her academic interests include Integrative care, gero-psychiatry and advanced practice clinical issues. Dr. Richardson has published numerous publications on advanced practice issues and has presented nationally. 

Faculty ImageDr. Carl Ross is a University Professor of Nursing at Robert Morris University. He earned his Doctorate of Philosophy at Duquesne University. He is also a certified Family Nurse Practitioner and maintains a steady practice in gerontology. His research interests center around international, men’s, and transgender health, in addition to critical care nursing and disadvantaged students. Dr. Ross has published several articles and received multiple grants in his areas of expertise. Some titles include: “Preparing nurse practitioner students for international experiences using skills acquisition.”, “The older adult experiencing sepsis”, “Long-term Bisphosphonate Therapy: Possible Link to Rare Femur Fracture.” In addition to publishing, Dr. Ross recently completed his 101st trip to Nicaragua where he provides nursing students an international experience.

Additional Program Information

Sample Courses:

These are some of the classes for students in this academic program:

Advanced Physical Assessment
Healthcare Policy
Healthcare Economics

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