The Psychiatric–Mental Health Nursing board certification exam (PMHN) is offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). It is a competency-based exam given to registered nurses to test their knowledge of the psychiatric-mental health field. Psychiatric and mental health nurses provide direct mental care services to patients. Passing the PMHN exam shows that entry-level psychiatric and mental health nurses have what it takes to succeed in their career field.
How can I apply for the exam?
You may apply for the PMHN exam online at the American Nurses Credentialing Center website. You will be given step by step instructions from there. Applying can be done year-round and the exam must be taken during a 90-day window.
What are the eligibility requirements?
Eligibility requirements include the following:
- A candidate must hold a current and active RN license. The RN license must be in a state or territory of the U.S. If an individual does not hold an RN license, they are required to hold the professional and legalized equivalent.
- A candidate must have 2 years of experience as a full-time registered nurse or its equivalent.
- A candidate must have 2,000 hours of clinical practice in the psychiatric-mental health nursing field during the last 3 years.
- A candidate must have completed 30 hours of continuing education during the last 3 years.
How much does it cost to take the exam?
The price for the PMHN exam is as follows:
- Non-members - $395
- Members of the American Nurses Association - $295
- Members of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association - $220
- Members of the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses - $340
Keep in mind that these prices include a $140 administrative fee. This fee is non-refundable.
Where will I take the exam?
The exam is given at Prometric testing centers. There are hundreds of these testing centers across the country. You can go online to find a testing center closest to you.
How long is the exam?
The PMHN exam is made up of 150 questions. 125 of these questions are scored while 25 are pretest questions and are unscored. You will have 3 hours to complete the exam.
What will I be tested on?
The PMHN exam tests you on four different domains:
- Assessment and Diagnosis - (27 Questions)
- Planning - (27 Questions)
- Implementation - (49 Questions)
- Evaluation - (22 Questions)
What will the day of the exam be like?
On the day of the exam, you should arrive at least fifteen minutes early. If you arrive late, you may not be allowed into the testing center and will need to reschedule. You will need to have with you current photo identification. If you don’t have valid identification on you, you will not be allowed to take the exam. Personal items such as cellphones, bags, food, and drinks are not permitted inside the testing room with you. Check with the exam site ahead of time to see if lockers will be provided.
How long does it take to get test results?
You will receive your test results immediately upon completion of the exam.
How is the exam scored?
The exam is scored with a maximum possible score of 500. In order to pass the exam, you need to get at least a 350.
I took the exam and failed. Now what?
If you took the exam and failed it, you may retake it after 60 days. Keep in mind that you will have to pay all necessary fees again. There is a limit of three retake attempts in a 12-month period.
Can I reschedule my exam after I made an exam appointment?
If you need to reschedule your exam, you may request to take the exam in a new testing window. However, you are only allowed to do this once and will need to pay a fee of $100.
What if I need to cancel my exam?
If you need to reschedule your exam appointment you can do so within your testing window. Remember that you will not be refunded the $140 administrative fee you paid.
What if I am a person with a disability? Will I be accommodated?
Yes. The ANCC makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities as long as those disabilities are defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you have a disability defined in the ADA, then it is your responsibility to report it to the ANCC. You must send documentation from your physician or another healthcare professional.
How can I study for the PMHN exam?
It is recommended that you set aside six months of study time before taking the exam. In order to score high the first time you take your exam, you will need a study resource that contains only the information that is more than likely to show up on the actual exam. This is where Mometrix Test Preparation comes in. Mometrix has a selection of over 1,500 standardized exam study materials, all developed with in-depth research into what students will most likely be tested on. We created both a study guide and flashcards that are packed with information and sample questions that will help familiarize you with the PMHN content. If you want to pass your exam with a score you’re proud of, then you want to go with Mometrix.