Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The purpose of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMH NP) concentration is to prepare professional nurses as safe and competent advance practice providers of psychiatric and mental health services. Upon completion of all required courses, students are eligible to apply and sit for the PMH NP certification exam given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Graduates of this program will earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, or a Post Masters Certificate in this specialty concentration. The Masters Program at East Carolina University College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The program is offered in an on-line format and requires attendance on-campus for a two-day intensive experience with the faculty each semester. Three clinical practicums, across the life-span, are required which culminate in a total of 550 clinical supervision hours. These clinical experiences are arranged jointly between student and faculty to match geographic location and professional goals.

Completed applications are reviewed by our PMHNP admission committee after the annual application deadline of February 1st for the summer admission cycle. Individual, on-campus interviews are scheduled for February 21st & 22nd for those selected. Class size is limited and competitive. The program began admissions in the fall of 2017.

Preference is given to applicants currently working in mental health settings and who plan to deliver direct patient care upon completion. Evidence of a clear understanding of the PMH NP role is required as well as demonstration of self-awareness, exceptional interpersonal communication skills, and emotional and professional maturity.

Due to the critical shortage of psychiatric providers in North Carolina, out-of-state applications are not considered at this time. Wanda L. Lancaster is the Director of our ECU CON Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. She has committed her nursing career to the mental health field in a variety of settings. During this 30 year span, she has worked in outpatient private and publically funded practice settings, undergraduate and graduate nursing education, inpatient psychiatric and substance abuse acute care as well as behavioral health dedicated emergency departments and consultation/liaison with medical centers and communities.

Dr. Lancaster is ANCC dually board certified as a Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Practitioner. She is a diploma graduate from Cabarrus Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, BSN from UNC Charlotte, MSN from Indiana University with a major in Advanced Practice Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and a minor in Clinical Specialization. She completed her post master’s certificate as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at UNC Chapel Hill. She completed her DNP at East Carolina University College of Nursing.


Curriculum Plan
Post-Master’s Curriculum Plan


Want to learn ways you can support this important work? Contact our Director of Development.

Student Spotlight