PMHNP Credentialing, Licensure, and Professional Organizations


Graduates are prepared to apply to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for certification as a family PMHNP. After passing the ANCC exam, a graduate is eligible to apply for Washington State Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner status with prescriptive authority.

Recent Changes to ARNP Regulations

  • On January 1, 2009 some changes of State regulations related to ARNP practice, licensure and education became effective. Here are some main changes that might affect you.  For more details you can check at the Nursing practice guide sections V3 & V4 at
    (RCW 18-79-50, WAC 246-840-300, WAC 246-840-311)
  • The State no longer issues initial new ARNP license for psychiatric mental health clinical specialists. For those who are practicing under ARNP licensure with ANCC clinical specialist certification – they will continue to be licensed as an ARNP as long as they do not allow their certification to expire and meet licensing requirements.
  • The requirements of psychiatric mental health ARNP program were described in more detail. Currently, our PMHNP program (not independent masters) meets these criteria. These programs should include:
    1. at least 500 clinical hours in direct patient care in the psychiatric mental health NP role with clinical preceptor supervision and faculty oversight;
    2. advanced pathophysiology;
    3. advanced health assessment;
    4. advanced pharmacology; and
    5. both clinical and didactic course work in psychiatric mental health scope of practice.
  • Initial ARNP licensing requirements for new graduates of an ARNP program requires that applicants hold an RN license in Washington State and the applicant must have graduated from his or her educational program within the past year.
  • The 250 hours of clinical practice renewal hours can include the teaching of advance practice if the faculty member is providing patient care or serving as a preceptor.
  • For prescriptive authority, the regulations remain the same: completing 30 contact hours of education in pharmacotherapeutics in the psychiatric mental health scope of practice within a two-year time period immediately prior to the date of application, unless the applicant has graduated within the past two years.

National Provider Identifier (NPI) Update

Beginning 1/1/08, Medicare will Require NPIs to identify the primary providers (the Billing and Pay-to Providers) in Medicare electronic and paper institutional claims (i.e. 837I and UB-04 claims). You may continue to use the legacy identifier in these fields as long as you also use the NPI in these fields.

The National Provider Identifier (NPI) is a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Administrative Simplification Standard. The NPI is a unique identification number for covered health care providers. Covered health care providers and all health plans and health care clearinghouses will use the NPIs in the administrative and financial transactions adopted under HIPAA. The NPI is a 10-position, intelligence-free numeric identifier (10-digit number). This means that the numbers do not carry other information about healthcare providers, such as the state in which they live or their medical specialty.

Beginning 3/1/08, Medicare Fee-For-Service 837P and CMS-1500 claims must include an NPI in the primary fields on the claim (i.e., the billing, pay-to, and rendering fields). You may continue to submit NPI/legacy pairs in these fields or submit only your NPI on the claim. You may not submit claims containing only a legacy identifier in the primary fields.

For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website:

Professional Organizations

We encourage you to join professional organizations if you are interested. These organizations welcome student members.



More Information

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)Formed in 1985, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest and only full-service member driven national professional organization for nurse practitioners of all specialties.  With approximately 20,000 individual members and over 100 group members, AANP provides representation for over 90,000 NPs.  AANP has steadily expanded its services and priorities to meet its mission to serve as a resource for NPs, their patients, and other healthcare consumers; to promote excellence in practice, education and research; to provide legislative leadership; to advance health policy and establish healthcare standards; and to advocate for access to quality and cost effective health care by NPs (from the AANP website).
ARNPs United of Washington StateARNPs United of Washington State is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting ARNP practice by coordinating educational, legislative, and networking activities of Nurse Practitioners throughout Washington State (from the ARNPs United of Washington State website).

10024 SE 240th Street, Suite 102
Kent, WA 98-1
Phone: (253) 480-1035
Fax: (253) 852-7725
International Society of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses (ISPN)The mission of the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (ISPN) is to unite and strengthen the presence and the voice of specialty psychiatric-mental health nursing while influencing healthcare policy to promote equitable, evidence-based and effective treatment and care for individuals, families and communities (from the ISPN website).
American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)APNA is a membership organization representing the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing.  APNA fosters excellence in the domains of education, policy, practice, research, and organizational development.  APNA influences these domains through core values of leadership, open communication, development, alliance, advocacy, diversity, stewardship, and professional ethics (from the APNA website).

1555 Wilson Blvd., Suite 602
Arlington, VA 22209
Phone: (709) 243-2443
Fax: (703) 243-3390
Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses (AAPPN)AAPPN is Washington State's only organization committed specifically to the practice of advanced psychiatric nurse practitioners.  Their mission is "to promote excellence in advanced practice psychiatric nursing" and their purpose is "to inform members of relevant issues, promote practice opportunities, and to monitor trends in and influence the policy and delivery  of mental health care (from the AAPPN website).

5550 33rd Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Phone: (206) 524-4090
Toll Free: 1 (888) 308-7336
Fax: (206) 524-0963