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DNP - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

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Summer 2024 Start Date

Application Deadline: April 1st, 2024

Application deadline for DNP - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is April 1st, 2024. 

Apply Today

About the Program

There is a growing and critical need for mental health professionals in the United States. Mental illness is associated with significant impairments in function for individuals and their families. Additionally, mental illness can result in devastating outcomes related to morbidity and mortality for the individual, family, and society. The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) has comprehensive educational preparation and unique skills to provide imperative mental health care services across the lifespan. Mental health care has historically been underrecognized, underserved, and underfunded.

The purpose of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) BSN to DNP program is to prepare professional nurses as safe and competent advanced practice providers of psychiatric and mental health services. Graduates of this DNP program will earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Upon completion of all required courses, students are eligible to apply and sit for the PMHNP certification exam by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

This program will prepare advanced practice nurses to provide a wide range of mental health services to patients across the lifespan and their families in a variety of settings. The WCU PMHNP program also provides a focus on the rural practice development and psychiatric care of culturally diverse populations.

Why choose our PMHNP DNP program?

  • Convenient and flexible, fully online program
  • Access to dedicated expert DNP faculty with experience in advanced clinical practice, scholarship, and research
  • Continuous and personal academic advisement and support
  • Hands-on and individualized practice integration experiences
  • Participation in interprofessional courses
  • Academic writing and health science librarian support

If you are interested in becoming an innovative nursing leader at the highest level of preparation in nursing practice within our evolving and complex health care system our program may be the right choice for you.

  • Analyze and integrate evidence from nursing science with evidence from other relevant scientific disciplines to form a scientific foundation for advanced practice in nursing
  • Apply clinical scholarship, scientific evidence, and analytical methods to improve health care outcomes 
  • Develop and evaluate systems to enhance safety and quality of health care
  • Advocate and participate in collaborative interdisciplinary efforts to improve health outcomes at the practice/organization, community, state, and national levels. 
  • Engage in culturally-competent and ethically-sound advanced nursing practice 
  • Demonstrate leadership in the improvement of patient outcomes and transformation of health care delivery  
  • Directly manage the complex problems of clients/populations and systems to facilitate access and navigation of the health care system to improve health outcomes

The PMHNP DNP Program requires 77 semester hours of coursework and 1020 total clinical hours. Students will complete a DNP scholarly project.

PMHNP Curriculum

Students will complete a DNP Scholarly Project during the program. The DNP Scholarly Project brings together the practice and scholarship aspects of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. It is designed to address complex practice issues that affect groups of patients, healthcare organizations, or healthcare systems while utilizing informatics, technology, and in-depth knowledge of the clinical and behavioral sciences. The clinical scholarship required in the DNP Scholarly Project reflects mastery and competency in the student's area of expertise.  The Final DNP Project provides an opportunity to integrate new skills into practice and to demonstrate the principles of nursing scholarship and the competencies delineated in the  DNP Essentials. The integration of these new or refined skills improves outcomes through organizational and systems leadership, quality improvement processes, and the translation of evidence into practice.

DNP Projects:

  • Focus on a change that impacts healthcare outcomes either through direct or indirect care.
  • Demonstrate implementation in the appropriate arena or area of practice.
  • Include a plan for sustainability (e.g., financial, systems, or political realities, not only theoretical abstractions).
  • Include an evaluation of processes and/or outcomes. DNP Projects should be designed so that processes and/or outcomes will be evaluated to guide practice and policy. Clinical significance is as important in guiding practice as statistical significance is in evaluating research.
  • Provide a foundation for future practice scholarship.

In order to be eligible for admission to the PMHNP DNP Program, applicants must meet the following criteria. Requirements may be in progress at the time of application but must be completed prior to beginning the program.

  • BSN from a regionally accredited college or university and nationally accredited nursing program
  • Cumulative college grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or higher
  • Statistics course (undergraduate or graduate level)
  • Nursing Research course, undergraduate
  • Registered nurse eligible for licensure to practice in the state of North Carolina
  • Minimum of one year of clinical experience as a registered nurse within the last five years
  • Three professional references
  • The GRE or MAT is not required
  • Submit a resume and professional statement with the online Graduate School application

The PMHNP Program admits once a year. 

Admission into the program is competitive. Meeting minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission.

Visit the WCU Financial Aid Office for more information. Click here for current graduate tuition and fees rates. Information on additional loan and scholarship opportunities can be found on the WCU School of Nursing's Nursing Scholarships webpage.

Visit the Graduate School website to create an online graduate program application.

For tuition and fees, see the current University Tuition and Fees

Angie Trombley


Program Director:
Angie Trombley, DNP, APRN, PMHNP/BC
Assistant Professor

28 Schenck Parkway, Suite 303
Asheville, NC 28803
Phone: 828.654.6510


Area of Expertise: Child and Adolescent Mental Health  

Areas of Research Interest: Adolescent Substance Abuse Screening in Primary Care, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Health Care Disparities

Dr. Trombley is a native of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England. She began nursing studies at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, England. Immigrating to the United States, she continued her studies and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Excelsior College in New York State where she earned her Associated Degree in nursing becoming a Registered Nurse. She went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Excelsior College earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 2008. She then earned a Master’s of Science in Nursing from University of Missouri in 2011. She became Board Certified as an Adult Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 2011. From there, Angie continued nursing studies at University of Missouri, attaining a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in 2013. She has subsequently Board Certified by the American Nursing Credentialing Center as a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, allowing her to care for psychiatric populations across the lifespan.

Dr. Trombley has extensive teaching experience and has served as adjunct professor at the University of South Alabama in the Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program. She has also served as a full time clinical assistant professor for the Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program, at East Carolina University. She has proudly served in the United States Air Force as a Reserve Officer, attaining the rank of Captain as a commissioned officer in our military. While in service she was the mental health program officer in charge and coordinator. Dr. Trombley serves as the Vice Chair of the North Carolina Nurses' Association Psychiatric Council. She is a Member of American Psychiatric Nursing Association, The American Nurses Association, The International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses, and the National League for Nursing. Angie is married with four children, and lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Outside of academia and clinical practice, her interests include hiking, gardening, and spending time with her family.

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