Lady in zoom

UCSF, UC Davis, UCLA and UCI school of nursing logo

A collaborative effort of the UC Schools of Nursing

With California facing an urgent and growing shortage of mental health professionals, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis collaborated with the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing at UC Irvine, UCSF School of Nursing and UCLA School of Nursing to launch a new online academic certificate to prepare new psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) in California. The academic certificate is housed at the School of Nursing at UC Davis  in partnership with the UC Campus nursing programs. 

This multicampus, PMHNP postgraduate certificate program is the first of its kind in California. Its training will increase the mental health providers workforce at a time when  the shortfall continues to grow across California. Over 50% of people with mental illness in the state are not receiving psychiatric care, and many communities, especially those located within rural and inland areas, have only half as many psychiatrists as other parts of the state.

The UC PMHNP postgraduate certificate is a 12-month hybrid program that combines online education with three immersion sessions and regional clinical training across California. This 48-unit graduate academic certificate (GAC) provides supplemental course work and clinical experiences to allow licensed NPs to qualify to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Across the Lifespan) Board Certification (PMHNP-BC™) examination to become a board-certified PMHNP to allow practicing NPs to care for psychiatric and mental health patients.

PMHNP Webinar Information Session

For background information about the UC Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Certificate Program, including admission requirements and an overview of the application process, please review the information below.

For the first three UC PMHNP classes, from 2021-23, program admissions was led by the UCSF School of Nursing. Beginning with the cohort enrolling in June 2024, students will apply through the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis.

Guided by the school’s core values of leadership development, interprofessional and interdisciplinary education, transformative research, cultural inclusiveness and innovative technology, the UC PMHNP Certificate Program takes 12 months (four consecutive quarters including one summer) to complete.

Programs at the School of Nursing prepare nurses with both the knowledge and skills needed to meet the needs of a constantly changing health care system. Rooted in a growing body of research and nurtured by visionary faculty who seek to transform health care, the curricula embrace integrative case-based learning, technology and systems-wide perspectives.

Core courses are offered summer, fall, winter and spring quarters virtually through UC Davis. Students typically attend class virtually Monday through Friday and should expect that some quarters they must complete courses and clinical experiences during evenings and weekends. See an example course listing

The UC PMHNP Certificate Program uniquely prepares graduates for emerging nursing roles in today's health care systems.

Sign up to receive updates about how to apply.

Sign up

Who can apply

The UC PMHNP Certificate Program is geared towards APRNs looking to further their education and training to serve the psychiatric patient populational in their local communities. These include:

  • Nurse Practitioners (NPs)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs)
  • Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)

Review requirements, admissions and aid information for the UC PMHNP Certificate Program

Still have questions? For additional assistance, the fastest way to get answers about School of Nursing programs, admission requirements and the application process is to email You can also sign up for our UC PMHNP Certificate Program email group to receive periodic stories, videos and other program information.