Post-MSN Certificate - Psychiatric Mental Health (Lifespan)



The Post-MSN certificate will allow current acute or primary care certified nurse practitioners or psychiatric mental health certified clinical nurse specialists to attain a second certification in psychiatric mental health nursing. The didactic coursework will provide the knowledge and skills psychiatric mental health APRNs require to be successful and follows the required competencies. The clinical experiences will allow psychiatric mental health students to refine the role-specialized skills, behaviors and attitudes in the care of patients with psychiatric disorders across the life span. The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) certificate program meets the current recommendations of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties.


Applicants to the certificate program must have the following: 

  • Unencumbered, active advanced practice nursing (APRN) license in state where practicums will be conducted.
  • Evidence of national certification as a nurse practitioner in acute or primary care or as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in psychiatric-mental health nursing.
  • Preferred nursing GPA of 3.0 (Applicants who attended a program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be a competitive applicant).
  • Preferred cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate and graduate coursework (official transcripts for all post-secondary school coursework are required).
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from a nationally accredited program.
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from a nationally accredited program (Applicants who attended a program that issued pass or fail grades for all classes will not be a competitive applicant).

*Acute care or primary care nurse practitioners (NPs) or Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) in psychiatric mental health can apply for the certificate program (Clinical progression will be evaluated with on-campus Learning Intensives 2, 3, & 4 that are part of the DNP program and occur in courses: NRDNP 864, 865, & 866).

*CRNAs and non-psychiatric mental health CNSs are not eligible for this program.

Applicants must submit official transcripts, a resume or CV, essay, and references to complete the application. GRE scores are not required for this program. 

Application Process

  1. Complete an application through NursingCAS (Nursing Centralized Application Service).
  2. Submit transcripts from ALL colleges attended through NursingCAS.
  3. Complete an essay within NursingCAS.
  4. Upload a resume or CV within NursingCAS.  
  5. Provide three references from professionals knowledgeable about the applicant’s academic and nursing leadership potential within NursingCAS.
  6. All application materials within NursingCAS must be received and verified by the posted application deadline. Please note that once your application is in complete status with NursingCAS, it can take several weeks for it to be verified. We recommend that you apply early.
  7. Complete a separate supplemental university application through Enrollment Management at MUSC by the posted deadline. 

Additional Considerations

TOEFL Scores

The score report of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all applicants whose native language is not English. A TOEFL score of at least 80 is required.

International Applicants

MUSC College of Nursing degree programs are unable to admit international students requiring an F-1 visa. Applications will only be accepted from U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or those holding other valid nonimmigrant visa classifications that allow participation in lawful study while in the United States.

State Authorization

MUSC College of Nursing online programs are approved to offer distance education to students in all SARA states and California.  Additional information can be found here.

Out-of-State Clinical Experiences

Out-of-state applicants and students are responsible for contacting their State Board of Nursing to determine any requirements that are needed in order to complete clinical rotations as a distance student. The NCSBN provides a quick search of Prelicensure Distance Education Requirements per state. Students should notify their Program Director upon entry if there are requirements that our school must complete for Board of Nursing approval. Currently, we cannot accept applications from students from Washington, Arizona, Louisiana and Oregon. 


Use of Marijuana and/or CBD Products

Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug and is illegal to purchase in South Carolina. Apart from a narrow and limited scope of codified/documented medical exceptions, it is illegal for individuals to use marijuana/tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in South Carolina. Although cannabidiol (CBD) products may be purchased and used in South Carolina, please be aware that CBD products may contain higher levels of THC than represented on packaging and use of CBD products can result in a positive drug screen for THC/marijuana. Be aware that current drug testing methods cannot accurately ascertain the origins of THC metabolites (i.e., whether from marijuana or CBD products). Your academic program has the authority to conduct random and/or scheduled drug testing; if your test result is reported as positive for THC metabolites (even if you only used a CBD product), your ability to be accepted into the program, progress in the program, and/or successfully complete the program may be negatively impacted.

Scholarship Eligibility

MUSC offers scholarships for which you may be eligible. Some are awarded based on academic achievement; others are awarded based on community service, for example. However, the majority of scholarships awarded at MUSC are based on financial need. This means those scholarships are only awarded to students who need some financial assistance to cover the cost of tuition and fees. If you would like to be considered for a financial need-based scholarship, you must have an up-to-date Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. Make sure you list Medical University of South Carolina on your FAFSA form, along with MUSC’s code: 003438. We encourage you to submit the FAFSA as early as possible. It is recommended to submit the FAFSA in January if you plan to enroll in the Fall.

Federal Aid Notice

Due to federal funding guidelines, federal financial aid is unavailable to students who participate in the Psychiatric Mental Health Certificate program.

Application Deadlines

Start Term Application Type Available Deadline
Spring 2025
Regular July 1, 2024 Sept 15, 2024


Admissions decisions for the Post-MSN Certificate program are made approximately one month after the deadline.