Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Programs in California - CA

As stated by the California Department of Mental Health, more than five percent of the total population of California needs mental health services. This includes over seven percent of youth ages 0-17, and over four percent of adults. This growing need is one reason many registered nurses who already possess undergraduate degrees are entering psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California. Psychiatric or mental health nurse practitioners (abbreviated PMHNP) can fulfill many of the same roles traditionally reserved for psychiatrists and other mental health service providers.

Programs designed to train registered nurses to become PMHNPs can be found online and in colleges and universities throughout California. Many programs have varying focuses, including the mental health of adults, of families, and of children, while others are more general in focus.

Preparatory courses include mental health assessment, diagnosis, psychotherapy techniques, pharmacology, and health risks of the mentally ill. In addition, students in a PMHNP preparatory program must also fulfill clinical requirements that vary from one program to the next. These experiences take place at general and psychiatric facilities in California, such as Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco; Aurora Behavioral Healthcare in Covina, San Diego, Pasadena and Ventura; Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno; Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center in Culver City; L.A. County & USC Medical Center in Los Angeles; Saint Joseph’s Behavioral Health Center in Stockton and Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.

Psychiatric Nurse Schools