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University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing

Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Master's Specialties

Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

There is a significant shortage of family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (FPMHNP) in Colorado and across the U.S. Additional FPMHNP providers will improve access and provide needed care to those who are not receiving mental health services. Graduates of the program are greatly needed to fill an even greater shortage of FPMHNP faculty positions in the country which are critical to the continued preparation of licensed registered nurses in the country. 

A post-graduate certificate is available in this specialty.  Please see the overview of the post-graduate certificate.

Post Master's Certificate Option Requirements

If you are interested in earning a post-master's certificate, you must submit syllabi and coursework from your master of science in nursing program in addition to any national certifications prior to being considered for entry into the program. 

Gainful Employment and Program Statistics for Post-Master's Certificate

For more information regarding graduation rates, the median debt of students completing our certificate programs and other important information, please visit the University of Colorado Denver Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.

Gainful Employment Disclosure-PDF

Program Plan

This program provides course work that focuses on complex psychiatric nursing assessment and interventions in children, adolescents, adults and older adults. Scope of practice includes advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing assessment, psychopharmacology, group, individual and family therapy and advanced nursing interventions across the lifespan.

The FPMHNP program will use a variety of distance educational strategies that combines intensive online supervision and course work with some onsite intensives. This format is attractive to rural and working students by allowing students to attend from a distance as well as accommodating the student work schedule.  As of fall 2014, we will cohort students into every other year specialty courses.  Also, in addition to admission requirements, an interview is required.

Master of Science in Nursing Core Courses
Advanced Practice Core Courses Required for Specialty Option
Required Courses for Specialty Option
Total Credits for FPMHNP


The specialty program plan outlines the courses that are offered for the family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program.

Full-time FPMHNP plan of study

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3

Part-time FPMHNP plan of study

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4


These plans of study outline a sample of the full-time and part-time course offerings for fall and spring admit for the FPMHNP student.


Upon completion of the nursing program, students will be prepared to incorporate pertinent knowledge, values and abilities for direct and indirect provider roles to

  • Implement caring and competent nursing practice with individuals, families and communities based on understanding the human experiences of health, illness and healing.
  • Integrate the ethical use of technology and information systems to augment the human capacity for health, facilitate decision-making, support collaboration and foster communication.
  • Promote health of local to global communities through promoting safe environments and safe and effective health care addressing the interaction among individuals, communities and their environmental contexts.
  • Manage care to achieve quality, cost-effective and ethical outcomes in the delivery of health care for individuals, families and populations.
  • Engage in leadership to promote social justice related to access, quality and socio-cultural acceptability of health care through relationship-centered caring, advocacy and empowerment.
  • Negotiate and adapt the delivery and management of health care and health care systems for diverse populations and environments.
  • Practice relationship-centered caring through self-awareness, by developing and maintaining respectful relationships, communicating effectively, and integrating the influence of the human experience of health, illness and healing.
  • Practice nursing reflectively, guided by theory, based on best evidence and integrating creative and critical thinking.
  • Participate in generating and testing knowledge regarding nursing, health care and reflective caring practice.
  • Actively engage in self-directed learning to maintain state of the art nursing practice and to facilitate the education of future practitioners, paraprofessionals and healthy communities.


If you have any questions and wish to speak with the FPMHNP faculty, please contact Mary Weber.

Option Coordinator for the FPMHNP program:

Mary Weber, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC
Endowed Professor in Psychiatric Nursing
Associate Professor
University of Colorado College of Nursing
13120 East 19th Avenue Room 4234
Aurora, CO 80045


How long will it take to complete the FPMHNP program?
Do the NP programs have a clinical requirement?
Are the NP programs offered completely online or in class?
Will I be required to come to Colorado?
Will this program prepare me to sit for the ANCC certification as a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?
Can I take a course before I apply?
Are there any expectations outside of the classroom?
How do I apply and get information for the CU-UNITE multidisciplinary urban underserved track?

What is CU - UNITE?

The Colorado Urban UNderserved Interprofessional Health Training & Education track (CU-UNITE) is a new longitudinal curriculum for students at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, College of Nursing Nurse Practitioner Program and the Child Health Associate/ Physician Assistant (CHA/PA) Program. The CU-UNITE track is specially designed for students interested in working with urban underserved communities. The track will provide the skills and support needed for future health care providers serving urban underserved populations.

Note: This track is open only to students who have been accepted into the program.

Why Should I Consider CU - UNITE?

If you are passionate about working with ethnically and racially diverse populations, serving the uninsured and those with limited access to health care in urban areas, then CU-UNITE is for you. Students completing the CU-UNITE curriculum will have a thorough understanding of healthcare disparities and inequities, the multifaceted role of the health care provider in urban communities, and knowledge about health issues of specific populations of patients in urban areas.

For more information, visit the CU-UNITE page.