Psych NP Scholarship Program

Change Lives, Including Yours!

Do you want to…

  • Learn strategies to help patients with behavioral health needs?
  • Gain experience in psychotropic medication management?
  • Build your therapeutic and communication skills?
  • Help individuals grow and make a positive difference in their lives?

Demand for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Psych NPs) in Virginia far outstrips supply. Psych NPs are urgently needed throughout the state. 

Psych NP Scholarships Can Help!

The Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) offers full-scholarships for nurse practitioners (NPs) wishing to earn a post-Master’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate at an accredited school of nursing.

VHCF’s Psych NP scholarship is a great opportunity for NPs to gain valuable behavioral health training and help address a huge unmet need in Virginia. It is designed to:

  1. Increase the number of licensed Nurse Practitioners (NPs) with advanced behavioral health training working in Virginia.
  2. Provide full scholarships (up to $26,000 in tuition and fees for courses required to fulfill Psych NP Certificate requirements) for NPs interested in obtaining a post-Master’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Psych NP) Certificate.

It takes NPs 12 – 24 months to earn a post-master’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate, while working. After graduating from their Certificate program, recipients must work for 2-years (4000 hours) as a Psych NP in an approved organization, caring for medically-underserved Virginians.


I couldn’t afford the tuition with a wife and baby at home. It was my finances or my dream – until I found out about the VHCF scholarships.

Now, I am the only on-site psychiatric provider in three counties. The need is huge, but so is the appreciation. Plus, I can see and feel the positive impact I am making. I am able to change lives, just like the scholarship helped change mine.

Geunjea Lee, MSN, PMHNP-BC
Highland Medical Center
VHCF Psych NP Scholarship Recipient 

 

Psych NP Scholarship Eligibility

Applicants must be a nurse practitioner returning to school to obtain post-graduate training to become a Psych NP in Virginia.

Preference is given to nurse practitioner applicants:

  • With 3+ years of work experience as an NP.
  • Accepted into and planning to enroll in a post-Master’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate program at a Virginia School of Nursing (UVA, VCU, Shenandoah, George Mason, Liberty or Radford).
  • With experience working or volunteering in a health safety net organization.

Click here for the detailed Psych NP Scholarship Program Guidelines (updated, October 2022)

VHCF Psych NP Scholarship Results-at-A-Glance 

  • More than 55 scholarships have been awarded, with 56% to NPs of color
  • 24 scholarship recipients are practicing as a Psych NP
  • Scholarship recipients are caring for underserved Virginians in the health safety net, in practices located in a mental health professional shortage areas (MHPSA), at community services boards (CSB) or local jails, while fulfilling their scholarship Service Commitment.

Psych NP Programs in Virginia and Beyond

  • For a list of the Virginia post-Master’s Psych NP Certificate programs with contact information for the program coordinator, click here.
  • For a list of Psych NP programs across the U.S., click here. The list is maintained by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA).

 Click here for stories highlighting the work of Virginia Psych NPs.

Please contact VHCF’s Program Manager if you have questions about the scholarship or would like to apply: PsychNP@vhcf.org 

Last Updated on November 22, 2022