Frequently Asked Questions

Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

To qualify for federal grants, a student must be a degree-seeking undergraduate with no prior bachelor’s degree, complete the FAFSA and meet set academic progress standards.

  • Is the program completely online?

    No. FSU offers a blended program and does require some on-campus attendance. About 90-95% of the course requirements are online/at a distance including all lectures, didactic content, and supervision. Though online, there will be regular synchronous courses/meetings. There are labs attached to 7 classes that require you to be on-campus. For a full-time student, this averages out to 8 on-campus immersions over 7 semesters. On-campus requirements will be scheduled well in advance of the experience to provide students time to make necessary changes in their schedule.

  • How many clinical hours do I have to do?

    There are 630 practicum hours that will be completed with preceptors in office settings over the program. The maximum amount in one semester is 180 hours which averages 12 hours/week.

  • Do I have to find my own preceptors?

    We do expect students to assist with locating appropriate clinical sites and preceptors in and around your home. The student, Clinical Placement Coordinator, and faculty will work together to secure appropriate clinical experiences for students specific to their concentration. Detailed information will be reviewed with all in-coming students prior to their first semester during the on-campus orientation.

  • How long is the program?

    Full-time students can complete in seven consecutive semesters, including summers. Part-time students can complete in 13 consecutive semesters.

  • Do I have to follow the progression plan or can I take courses out of order?

    Courses must be taken in the order and in the semester they are scheduled/offered. Courses are only offered once a year. There is a standard progression plan for both full time and part time students.

  • Can I take summers off?

    No. Any deviation from the planned curriculum will result in delayed graduation and must be authorized through a request for exemption or leave of absence. Only in extraordinary circumstances will a student be permitted to deviate from the curriculum plan. If a leave of absence is authorized, a set return date will be specified. If you do not elect to return when scheduled, you may be dismissed from the program without guarantee of re-admittance.

  • Is the course work ‘at your own pace’?

    No. Many of the courses are set up that you may work ahead to an extent, but you cannot fall behind. There are due dates that will be enforced.

  • Are there set class times?

    Much of the theory and didactic content is delivered online and asynchronous. For PMHNP students, there will be regularly scheduled synchronous classes for discussion, questions/answers, case presentations, case consultation, and supervision. Synchronous meetings/courses will be scheduled in advance of the semester each course is offered.

  • Is the program accredited?

    The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master’s degree in nursing at Frostburg State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  • Do you accept students every semester?

    No. Each cohort of students begins every fall.

  • Many NP programs are now only offered at the doctoral (DNP) level. What are Frostburg’s future plans regarding offering this program at a master’s vs. doctoral degree?

    There is a national initiative to make the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree the entry-level degree for nurse practitioner practice. There will be decisions and edicts made in the future that will shape policy and accreditation standards. Until current policy changes, FSU is committed to offering the NP program at the master’s degree level. It is important to note that in preparation for future changes in accreditation standards, FSU secured a grant to plan for a DNP program which is currently underway.

  • Who can I contact with additional questions?

    Ms. Audra Houser is the NP Program Director. She can be reached via email at or via phone at 301.687.3029.