Illinois State University’s Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) is proud to announce the launch of a new psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) certificate program, offered fully online. The program, available for licensed advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who are nationally certified as family nurse practitioners, prepares students to obtain certification as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. The sequence is currently accepting applications for a summer 2021 start. 

MCN’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Jessica Sullivan DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Mental health is foundational for overall health. As recently as 2019, 4.8 million of Illinois’ 12.7 million residents lived in a designated mental health professional shortage area. MCN’s PMHNP certificate aims to elevate APRNs to step into and fill that gap, equipping APRNs with the knowledge, training, and certification necessary to meet patients’ mental health care needs. 

MCN’s FNP sequence leader Jessica Sullivan DNP, APRN, FNP-BC explains: “Given their nursing background focused on caring for the whole person, coupled with their ability to assess, diagnose, and treat illness, nurse practitioners are perfectly positioned to help fill this critical need in our communities.”

The certificate is a 5-course, four semester program offered fully online. Curriculum focuses on population health and treatment of common psychiatric disorders across the lifespan. Topics include psychopharmacology, psychotherapeutics for advanced psychiatric mental health nursing, and three courses that deep-dive into advanced psychiatric mental health nursing practice. 

PMHNPs: Meeting mental health care needs in our community


“Building on the family nurse practitioners’ education and clinical experience, our psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certificate program will provide the additional training needed for nurse practitioners to fully incorporate behavioral health services into their patient care. In addition to learning through coursework and clinical hours, our program aims to develop a collaborative network of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners as well as other mental health professionals to help meet the mental health care needs of our community and beyond,” says Melinda Roth MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC, an instructional assistant professor for the program. 

“Mennonite College of Nursing is dedicated to improving health–locally, regionally, and globally–through exceptionally well prepared nurses. One of the things I love most about MCN is that we are a college that sees a need in our community and does what is necessary to meet that need. McLean County has already seen that impact in area schools with our America’s Promise Schools project, in rural and underserved areas through ANEW,  and in the primary care setting through our CAUSE grant-funded research initiative. I can’t wait to see how this program adds to that impact,” explains Dean Judy Neubrander.

For more information, interested students can visit

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