Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Post-Graduate Certificate

Nurse with a patient

Program Overview

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Post-Master’s certificate program prepares advance practice nurses to provide evidenced-based care for patients with complex psychiatric mental health needs. PMHNPs work with individuals and families to develop a diagnosis and then design and implement a plan of care. Responsibilities may include prescribing medication or providing individual, family or group psychotherapy.

PMHNPs provide care across the lifespan for children, families, adults and older adults. PMHNPs work in a variety of clinical settings, including inpatient, outpatient and residential facilities. Telepsychiatry has also created many opportunities for PMHNPs to provide virtual care.

Plan of Study

Through our accessible, asynchronous online format, our courses are delivered to best meet the needs of the working advanced practice nurse. Our curriculum is designed to be completed in four semesters and only requires three campus.

PMHNP Certificate Plan of Study

For more information on admissions requirements, please visit our Admissions page.

Meet Your Lead Faculty, Dr. Joy Lauerer

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Joy Lauerer
Lead Faculty
Telephone: 843-792-7646

Joy Lauerer is an associate professor in the College of Nursing. She received her Bachelor’s degree from The University of Toledo and her Masters of Nursing from Wayne State University. Joy completed a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at The University of Alabama.

Joy is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. She has maintained a private practice treating preschoolers to young adults with mental health issues for the past 15 years. Joy’s research interests include adolescent self-care and teaching children and adolescent’s strategies to promote and protect health over a lifetime. Joy has received numerous awards for her work in the community with vulnerable populations.

Joy has expertise treating children and adolescents with behavioral health issues. She is currently practicing in a school based tele psych clinic with the MUSC telehealth center and at One 80 Place. She has received The Golden Lamp award an unprecedented 4 times chosen by the students as the nurse they would most like to emulate as a professional nurse. Joy also received The Palmetto Gold award in 2014 for excellence in nursing education.

In 2016 Joy received The APNA award for Innovation in Education and in 2017 was elected for a three-year appointment as the co- chair of the child adolescent council. In 2021 Joy was selected to Co- chair a tele mental health committee for APNA.Joy is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, The American Psychiatric Nurses Association, and The American Holistic Nurses Association.

Joy teaches courses in the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.