Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, DNP

Nurse helping a patient.

PMHNP -The Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner specialty track prepares the student to provide behavioral health care across the lifespan. Our innovative program ensures that you have a strong foundation in evidence-based practice while providing you with the skills to diagnose and treat both behavioral health and substance use disorders. PMHNP students learn to skillfully prescribe psychotropic medication and provide psychotherapy for patients with behavioral health diagnoses. You will engage in an interprofessional learning environment that enables you learn about telemedicine, primary care, substance use disorders and neuropsychiatric disorders. Upon completion, our graduates are eligible to sit for certification for the American Nurse Credentialing Center. Our board certification scores consistently exceed national benchmarks and our graduates are highly regarded for employment opportunities in inpatient and outpatient care settings, specialty settings and the school environment. View the 3 Year Plan of Study and the 4 Year Plan of Study.

View the plans of study for our current students.

Meet Your Lead Faculty, Dr. Joy Lauerer

Joy Lauerer
Joy Lauerer, DNP, RN, PMHCNS-BC

Lead Psychiatric
Mental Health Track
Telephone: 843-792-7646

My name is Dr. Joy Lauerer and I’m currently the lead PMHNP faculty and led the development the PMHNP program at MUSC. I became a Psychiatric mental health APRN over 25 years ago years ago. I attended Wayne State University, graduated with an MSN and have specialized in the diagnosis and treatment for children and adolescents with behavioral health disorders. In 2015 I graduated with a DNP from The University of Alabama. I have been a passionate psychiatric mental health nurse for many years and am very active nationally in the APNA as Co- Chair of the Child /Adolescent council.

My current practice site is at Meeting Street Academy @ Brentwood, an elementary school in an under resourced community in North Charleston. I have been a preceptor for PMHNP students and love having the opportunity to mentor and provide a specialized child and adolescent experience. I love being a nurse educator and teaching PMHNP students is truly an honor.