10 Best Online Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner No GRE Programs For 2023

Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you considering becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner but have not taken, or simply do not want to take the GRE? Are you wondering if you even have the time it takes to dedicate yourself to a PNP degree program? What if I told you that there are quite a few online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs that you can apply to and pursue your degree on your own terms? Great, right? In this article, I would like to share some of the best online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs for 2023. Additionally, we will discuss what admission requirements you may need to meet, what to expect from the course curriculum and clinical training, and the pros and cons of pursuing a No GRE psychiatric nurse practitioner online program.

What Is A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner No GRE Program?

Online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs are programs designed for registered nurses who wish to move into an advanced nursing role in the specialty of psychiatric/mental health care, and although they may accept the scores, these programs do not require students to submit GRE test scores to be considered for admission.

Pros and Cons of Pursuing Online Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner No GRE Programs

As we discuss the best psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs online, it is important to understand what the GRE is. The GRE test was developed to gauge whether a person is prepared to complete graduate school successfully. It is designed to show how an applicant thinks and communicates by testing verbal and quantitative reasoning and analytical writing. Many graduate programs use scores from the test to determine whether applicants for specific programs are likely to succeed. However, in recent years, there has been some debate about whether GRE scores accurately gauge a person's chances of academic success. Therefore, although some schools continue to require GRE scores for admission to specific programs, others do not.

Now that you know what the GRE is, you can consider the following pros and cons of pursuing online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs.

Pros of Choosing an Online No GRE Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program:

The GRE was designed to help determine an individual's potential for success in a graduate program. However, as mentioned above, there remain questions about whether GRE scores truly offer accurate insight regarding the qualities an individual possesses that may make him/her a good candidate for a graduate program, such as a psychiatric nurse practitioner program. Therefore, if you took the GRE and did not score as high as you had hoped, choosing an online No GRE psychiatric NP program could be a better option for you.

Even if GRE test scores measure some capacity of academic readiness, it is not a tool that can be relied upon by admissions officers to learn what they want to know about an applicant. Professional letters of recommendation and statements of intent are more likely to give admissions staff a more personal view of a prospective student. In this case, choosing an online No GRE PMHNP program would understandably be a better choice.

Cons of Choosing an Online No GRE Psychiatric Nurse practitioner Program:

The GRE is believed to measure skills such as quantitative and verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking. Schools receive scores for each section of the examination, which allows them to identify students who may struggle with one or more of those skills. If you take the GRE and do not score well, choosing a PNP program that does not require GRE scores could mean that you miss out on an opportunity for remediation in areas where you need to improve.

Most psychiatric nurse practitioner programs require applicants to have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Having a good score on the GRE can help increase the chances of acceptance if your undergraduate GPA is weak or lacking. Choosing a program that does not require GRE scores for admissions may leave you at a disadvantage if your undergraduate GPA is less than desirable.

How Long Are Online Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner No GRE Programs?

Online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs vary in length from two to seven years, depending on whether a student enrolls part-time or full-time and his/her current degree level at program entry. The online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs at the University of Arizona can be completed in two and a half to three years of full-time study or four years of part-time enrollment. Northern Kentucky University psychiatric nurse practitioner students can complete the program in as little as twenty-two months of full-time study. The Medical University of South Carolina gives PNP students the option of part-time or full-time study. Part-time students can typically complete the program in four years, while students who are enrolled full-time may complete the program in as little as two and a half years.

How Much Do Online Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner No GRE Programs Cost?

The total cost to complete an online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE program differs, depending on a student's current education level and whether they plan to pursue an MSN or DNP with a psychiatric nurse practitioner specialty. Another factor that may affect the program's cost is if the student is required to pay out-of-state tuition fees or has to repeat a course due to an unsatisfactory grade.

The University of Arizona, located in Tucson, Arizona, requires students who are admitted to its DNP-psychiatric nurse practitioner NO GRE program to complete sixty-seven degree units at a rate of $975 each. That brings tuition for the program to approximately $65,325. The MSN-PNP program at Northern Kentucky University costs just over $27,000. Regis College's BSN to DNP-PNP program requires students to complete 47 credit hours at the cost of $910 each, making the cost of the program $42,770. Some schools may include additional fees such as fees for drug screening, background checks, application, and clinical fees.


Online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs may have slight variations in the coursework that is required at each. One of the factors that determine the coursework needed for each PNP program is an applicant's education level at program entry (ADN, BSN, or MSN). Although the number of credit hours of coursework required may differ somewhat, there are some similarities among these programs overall. For example, most psychiatric nurse practitioner programs require students to take courses including:

• Psychotherapy
• Psychopharmacology in Mental Healthcare
• Mental Healthcare of Children & Adolescents
• Mental Healthcare in Adults & Aging Adults

The BSN to DNP online psychiatric nurse practitioner program at Maryville University consists of 77 credit hours of coursework, including Diversity Issues in Psychiatric Nursing and Psychiatric/Mental Health Diagnosis and Management. The University of North Dakota offers a BSN to MSN with the option of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) track. The program requires students to complete 49 credits of coursework. Twenty-two of those credits are core courses, and the other twenty-seven are PMHNP-specific courses. The PMHNP-specific courses include Psychiatric Diagnostic Reasoning, Individual Therapy, Group & Family Therapies, and Psychopharmacology.

Clinical Training

All psychiatric nurse practitioner students whether pursuing programs that require or do not require GRE are required to complete a minimum of five hundred post-baccalaureate clinical hours that are specific to psychiatric care. The clinical hours must be supervised by a preceptor who is approved by the school, in an approved clinical setting that provides mental health care services, and directly related to the mental health patient population and the primary mental health nurse practitioner role.

The Medical University of South Carolina offers both part-time and full-time study plans for its BSN to DNP psychiatric nurse practitioner NO GRE program. Students at MUSC must complete 1,170 clinical hours, which are spread throughout the program. Georgia College & State University is a public university. Therefore, it is mandatory for students to complete the 570 required clinical hours within the State of Georgia. Regis College requires psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner students to complete 630 hours of clinical time that is mentored by designated preceptors. The clinical portion of the NO GRE online PMHNP program at Regis is spread throughout the program's final three semesters.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs are typically the same as those for colleges or universities that do require the GRE, with GRE exam results being the exception. As long as they meet state and federal guidelines, schools can set their own admission requirements. Although requirements may differ among schools, there are some standard requirements that applicants will find among all programs. For instance, most psychiatric nurse practitioner programs require the following:

• Possess an active, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse
• Submit a letter of intent
• Provide at least three letters of professional recommendation
• Resume or curriculum vitae

Georgia College & State University, offers an MSN to PMHNP program. Admission requirements include that applicants shall:

• Hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a CCNE or ACEN accredited program
• Have a grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for the last sixty undergraduate hours required in the nursing major
• Participate in a pre-admission interview with nursing faculty and administration

The MSN to PMHNP online program at the University of North Dakota, requires the following of prospective students:

• Complete undergraduate or graduate coursework in statistics
• Show proof of a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale within the last two years of undergraduate studies
• One year of work experience as a registered nurse is preferred, although not required

Northern Kentucky University’s MSN-PMHNP admission requirements include the following.

• Possess a BSN degree from a regionally accredited program and an ACEN, CNEA, or CCNE-accredited program
• Complete an undergraduate course in statistics with a grade of “C” or higher
• Have a minimum of 1,000 clinical practice hours as a registered nurse (Applicants must submit a clinical practice verification form along with their application for admission.)

6 Factors to Consider Before Choosing the Right Online Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner No GRE Program?

Taking the time to plan your academic pursuits carefully will help reduce problems later on. If becoming a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner is truly what you want to pursue, there are a few things to consider to help you choose the right program amongst the best PMHNP No GRE programs online.

1. What is your cumulative undergraduate grade point average?

The best online PMHNP No GRE programs typically require applicants to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate work. While some schools may allow a lower GPA for applicants, those with higher undergraduate grade point averages are usually given the first option.

2. What is your motivation for pursuing a degree at a school that offers an online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE program?

Psychiatric nurse practitioner programs are designed to challenge students to expand their thinking and build upon skills while dealing with clients with various mental health disorders. It is essential to consider your long-term career goals and where you see yourself in five, ten, or even twenty years.

3. Which degree program do you plan to enroll in?

There are different paths of study that will lead you to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Some schools offer RN to MSN, BSN to MSN, BSN to DNP, or MSN to DNP programs. Your current level of education and licensure as a registered nurse will be a factor in deciding on a path of study. Find the schools that offer the path of study that aligns with your current education level.

4. What is the certification rate of the school’s graduates?

If you want to become a certified psychiatric nurse practitioner, you should want to attend a school with a proven track record of having graduates who pass the certification exam. If the school has a high percentage of graduates who successfully complete the certification exam, that is a sign that the school is teaching the content you will need to be successful in your role as a PMHNP.

5. What kind of faculty support is available to online students?

It is one thing to be in the classroom and be able to look at an instructor and ask a question. It is a whole other thing to have to communicate through email or video calls/classes. When choosing from the available PMHNP No GRE programs, it is essential to ask questions about faculty availability to online students. Some schools assign a faculty advisor to online students, who help facilitate communication between students and instructors.

6. The psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE program you select should be accredited.

The purpose of PMHNP programs being accredited is to help ensure that PMHNP programs are held to standards of quality. Quality education programs foster a deeper level of commitment to the profession and help improve the quality of care that patients receive.


(These PMHNP programs do not require applicants to take the GRE.)

1. University of South Carolina-Columbia - Columbia, SC

Types of Programs:

MSN and BSN to DNP

2. Georgia College & State University - Milledgeville, GA

Types of Programs:


3. Regis College - Weston, MA

Types of Programs:

MSN, BSN to DNP, and MSN to DNP

4. University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ

Types of Programs:

DNP (BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP)

5. Maryville University of Saint Louis - Saint Louis, MO

Types of Programs:

MSN, BSN to DNP, and MSN to DNP

6. Briar Cliff University - Sioux City, IA

Types of Programs:


7. University of North Dakota - Grand Forks, ND

Types of Programs:


8. Northern Kentucky University - Highland Heights, KY

Types of Programs:


9. Medical University of South Carolina - Charleston, SC

Types of Programs:


10. Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion - Marion, IN

Types of Programs:



Career Opportunities After Graduating with This Degree

As a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, you can work in various settings, depending on whether you have a preference for a specific age group or population of people you want to work with. The following are a few examples of places you may pursue a career opportunity after graduating from one of the best online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs available.

• Mental Health Clinic
• Correctional Facilities
• Residential or Outpatient Substance Abuse Facilities
• Domestic Violence Shelters
• Schools (Elementary, Jr. High, High School, or College/University)
• Private Practices

Earning Potential

Graduates of online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs earn an average annual salary of $109,201. This salary is equivalent to $52.50 per hour or $9,100 monthly. Some factors that may influence the compensation an employer offers you may include an increased need for the services of psychiatric nurse practitioners and years of experience. Even new psychiatric nurse practitioners may be able to negotiate a higher salary if they have previous experience working in any mental health care capacity. Geographical area may also affect your rate of pay, as places that have a higher cost of living often offer higher salaries to compensate for living expenses.

Hourly $52.50
Monthly $9,100
Annual $109,201

Job Outlook

The United States Department of Health and Human Services reports shortages of healthcare providers based on geographic location, patient populations, and healthcare settings. It currently reports that the United States has almost six thousand shortage areas among mental health professionals and that psychiatric nurse practitioners could help fill the need. With the shortage of qualified mental health nurse practitioners coupled with increased awareness regarding mental health issues and new mental health programs developing rapidly, it is safe to assume that the psychiatric nurse practitioners' job outlook is good. Therefore, if you are considering enrolling in any of the available online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs, this could be perfect timing for you.


The decision to pursue a PMHNP degree and choose a school that does not require a GRE can feel overwhelming at first. However, with the right information and support, you can begin your PMHNP journey and help you find a job you love. In this article, we have discussed some of the best online psychiatric nurse practitioner No GRE programs for 2023. The next step is for you to find a school you want to attend, apply, and achieve that dream!


What is the minimum GPA I need to have to get into an online psychiatric nurse practitioner program with No GRE?

Typically, online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs require a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. However, some schools may accept applicants with a lower GPA. These decisions are left up to admissions counselors/advisors, and decisions may be based on different factors. If you have a GPA less than 3.0, it may benefit you to ask for an appointment with an admissions advisor and/or academic counselor once you have chosen a school you'd like to attend. He/she should be able to advise you whether you meet admissions qualifications or what you need to do to become accepted.

What would be the benefit of submitting GRE scores with a psychiatric nurse practitioner program application even if the school does not require them?

Although some psychiatric nurse practitioner programs do not require GRE scores for admission, if you have an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale but took the GRE and scored well on it, submitting your scores may increase your chances of admission to the program. Keep in mind, while some schools may consider your GRE scores as a reason to offer you admission, not all schools value the exam.

Can I get a GRE waiver and go to an online PNP program?

Some colleges or universities allow students to apply for a GRE waiver. The qualifications for waiver of the GRE vary among schools. The waivers are usually granted to applicants who have GPAs higher than 3.0 or who hold a professional doctorate degree. Getting a GRE waiver typically requires submitting a written request that includes both your professional and academic experience.

Are online No GRE psychiatric nurse practitioner programs as good as the PNP programs that require GRE?

The simple answer is yes. Schools that do not require GRE test scores for admission are usually on par with schools that do require testing. What you need to look for when considering any online PNP program is whether the program is accredited or not. Accreditation shows that the school has met the quality standards of the profession that are typical across the United States.

Why would someone want to choose a psychiatric nurse practitioner program that does not require the GRE?

Compared to other graduate exams, the GRE is generally a bit more challenging. The math portion of the GRE is a lower math level than that on the ACT or SAT. Still, the vocabulary that is used, the passages of reading, and the written math problems often require a higher level of reasoning capability.

Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years' experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels.