Samford University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program prepares graduates to provide comprehensive mental health care to those who are in need of psychiatric services. Students learn to evaluate, diagnose, manage, and provide specialized treatment to people with mental health disorders.

Millions of Americans are affected by mental health conditions. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults experience mental illness in a given year, and one in five youth experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. These staggering statistics showcase why the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration adds value to any DNP advanced practice degree.

Graduates meet the eligibility criteria to sit for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification exam through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Why Samford?

Nurse practitioner students

  • Earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree online
  • Participate in cutting edge, web-based learning with clinical experiences close to home
  • Access all coursework and resources anywhere, anytime and from any internet-connected electronic device
  • Complete clinical hours in a variety of mental health care sites across the United States
  • Receive instruction from experienced nurse practitioners and physicians who are dedicated to excellent patient care and student education
  • Receive close, personal attention from highly educated and experienced faculty who are readily available to you
  • Experience a rich tradition of high academic standards and quality education practices
  • Access to Samford’s beautiful campus and all the amenities that Samford has to offer
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner graduates are eligible to sit for the certification examination for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners through American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

Admission Information

Admission Deadline

Entry Month: May
Slate Application Deadline: November 1 

Admission Criteria

  • Unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse
  • Master's degree from a CCNE, CNEA or ACEN (formerly NLNAC) and institutionally accredited college or university in the area of primary care family nurse practitioner
  • Master's degree cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Completion of required prerequisites (Advanced Physical Assessment, Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Pathophysiology)
  • A video interview submission
  • American citizens or permanent residents who learned English as a second language must score at least 575 (paper) or 90 (internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • If accepted, a non-refundable fee of $750 is required to secure admission to the program. This fee is applied to the first semester's tuition.

Application Requirements

  • Transcripts can be sent electronically to or by mail to:
    Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing
    Graduate Student Services
    800 Lakeshore Drive
    Birmingham, AL 35229
  • Three letters of recommendation – two professional (at least one supervisor) and one academic
  • Personal statement indicating career plans and likelihood of success in graduate study
  • Professional resume
Out-of-State Applicants
Out-of-state applicants to any of our distance-accessible programs should become familiar with their state’s regulations governing distance accessible programs. Prospective students who plan to conduct Samford’s distance education/clinical in a state other than Alabama, should contact their state’s Board of Nursing and Department of Education for specific rules and regulations pertaining to students enrolled in out-of-state programs. Students residing in states with strict rules and regulations for distance education may not be eligible to receive an offer of admission.
We currently do not accept applications from graduate nursing applicants residing in:
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Louisiana
  • New York
  • Oregon

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Practicum & Clinical Hours

This program of study requires clinical hours with patients across the lifespan in a psychiatric mental health setting. The minimum number of clinical hours per course are noted in red on each plan of study below. Students should anticipate spending an average of 16-20 hours each week in clinical rotations (clinical courses only). 

The Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing has affiliation agreements with several clinical agencies across numerous states, with the majority being in the Southeast. Students may request additional affiliation agreements based on preceptor availability and proximity. Professional and personal connections are essential to help secure clinical placement opportunities close to home.

Clinical placements can be very competitive and similar to obtaining employment. Many facilities require an application, resume and/or interview with prospective clinical students. Professionalism and good communication skills are critical for successful placement. Traveling for clinical opportunities is sometimes needed to meet requirements and/or learning needs. The school does not arrange or provide reimbursement for travel.

Plan of Study

Traditional Plans of Study

Fall Start

No plan of study is available.

Spring Start

No plan of study is available.

Summer Start

Nurse Faculty Loan Plans of Study

Fall Start

No plan of study is available.

Spring Start

No plan of study is available.

Summer Start

Periodic On-Campus Requirements

The majority of the program is accomplished through asynchronous learning modules provided on-line in Canvas. There are periodic synchronous sessions via Zoom (typically one-two per semester). Students are required to be on-campus in Birmingham, Alabama a total of two or three times depending on the plan of study selected. The campus visits are generally two-three days in length and students are notified of the dates at least three months in advance.

Tuition, Fees & Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for in-state and out-of-state students can be found on our graduate tuition worksheet. Tuition may be paid online or at Samford One Stop, and must be paid by the first day of each semester/term. Policies and methods for tuition and fee payment can be found in the Samford University catalog and the Samford One Stop website.

Fees are automatically generated following registration. For a full list of university, school and course fees please view our graduate fees worksheet.

The following additional fees are applicable for the 2023-2024 academic year:

  • Background check – cost varies by state

Financial Aid

A financial assistance program administered by Samford One Stop has been established to aid students in attending Samford University.

To learn more about financial aid options, please visit the Samford One Stop or call 205-726-2905.

*The nursing school offers certificate-only programs, which are not eligible for federal aid. However, educational expenses related to these certificates may be covered by private loans or institutional scholarships. Please contact the financial advisor for nursing students for additional information.

Other options are also available, such as the Nurse Faculty Loan Program. For additional information concerning these opportunities, please contact graduate admission in Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing.


Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing is proud to offer a variety of scholarship opportunities.

View Scholarship Application

Through our Nurse Faculty Loan  Program, you could qualify for up to 85% loan forgivness.

Learn More


The Baccalaureate Degree Program in Nursing, Master's Degree Program in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program and Post-Graduate APRN Certificate Program at Samford University, Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.