Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (PMH-APRNs): Evolving Roles
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Expires on Feb 19, 2025
Credit Offered
1 CME Credit
1 COP Credit

As active members of the psychiatric care team, the role, expertise, and education of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) is commonly misunderstood. The role of Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (PMH-APRNs) has been in development since the 1950s. Because of the multiple APRN roles and regulatory consensus model of 2008, there is much confusion among other practice disciplines, patients, and the public about the role of both types of PMH-APRNs, including the Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (PMHCNS) and the PMHNP.  Unlike many of the other APRN populations, PMH-APRNs work across many acute and primary care practice settings.

This presentation outlines the historical evolution of PMH-APRN roles, including the implications of the LACE APRN consensus model.  Additionally, education and trends in PMH-APRN workforce will be examined over time to clarify the role of PMH-APRNs.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the history of Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurses’ (PMH-APRNs) role development.
  • Distinguish among the various roles of PMH-APRNs.
  • Discuss trends in PMH-APRN workforce and the settings in which PMH-APRNs function.

Target Audience

Nurse/Nurse Practitioner; Pharmacist; Psychiatrist; Other Physician; Physician Assistant

Instructional Level

Introductory; Intermediate

Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 1.0 hours 
Program Start Date: February 19, 2022
Program End Date: February 19, 2025

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course, including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 75% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the completion date and hours earned.

Continuing Education Credit


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The APA designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Donna Rolin, PhD, APRN. Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner program, School of Nursing, University of Texas, Austin. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 


  • John Torous, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Torous has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. (Reviewed on 3/7/22) 
  • Teri Brister, PhD, LPC, National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Brister has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. (Reviewed on 3/11/22)

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. If you have trouble accessing any of APA’s online resources, please contact us at 202-559-3900 for assistance.

Technical Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using any of the following:

  • The latest and 2nd latest public versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari
  • Internet Explorer 11+

This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Browser: Google Chrome (latest and 2nd latest version), Safari (latest and 2nd latest version), Internet Explorer 11.0+, Firefox (latest and 2nd latest version), or Microsoft Edge (latest and 2nd latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows versions 8.1+, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) +, Android (latest and 2nd latest version), or iOS/iPad OS (latest and 2nd latest version)
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: Windows 8.1 or higher; 1 GB (for 32-bit)/2 GB (for 64-bit) or higher RAM; Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher with latest updates installed; Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor; 512 MB or higher RAM; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

For assistance: Contact for questions about this activity | Contact for technical assistance

Funding for SMI Adviser was made possible by Grant No. SM080818 from SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, SAMHSA/HHS or the U.S. Government.
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