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Directions for Completing PMHNP Application Documents

Application Essay

The purpose of the application essay is to demonstrate to the Admissions Committee your understanding of the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) role, justifications for the PMHNP role in delivering high-quality and cost-effective mental health care, and how the WGU PMHNP programs might prepare you to meet the mental health care needs of your local community or population of interest. This is an opportunity for you to communicate directly with the admissions committee, highlighting how your life and professional experiences have prepared you for the transition from the role of registered nurse to psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.   


Select at least two (2) academic resources (articles/online literature) that describe the health, social, and economic benefits related to PMHNP practice in the United States. Note: All sources are critically reviewed, documented, and formatted following standard practices of the field (APA 7th Edition) and are within a 5-year time frame of the application date.

Use the information from your sources and your own personal and professional preparation to answer the following questions in your application essay for your WGU PMHNP program:  

  • How have your life and professional experiences prepared you for this WGU PMHNP program? 
  • How can this WGU PMHNP program prepare you to deliver mental health care to the community in which you live?  
  • Please describe the type of clinical practice you will pursue upon graduation from this WGU PMHNP program (e.g. outpatient psychiatric practice, inpatient psychiatric practice, substance abuse treatment, etc).
  • How can your future clinical practice as a PMHNP affect the quality and cost of care for patients and their families? 
  • Please add this statement to the bottom of your Application Essay. You may include a typed signature. 
    I have reviewed and understand the scope of practice of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner role in my state of ____.
    Signature Line: __________________________

As you answer the questions above, we will examine your application essay to ensure your writing meets the following criteria: 

  • Plagiarism will result in an automatic decline during the competitive selection process
  • Originality and uniqueness are expected. Writing is self-reflective, creative, innovative, and diverse.
  • Writing directly addresses all four application essay questions.
  • Writing is clear and appropriate for the purpose of the assignment. 
  • All evidence and examples are used effectively and are specific and relevant. 
  • Ideas are coherently and logically organized with well‐developed paragraphs and effective transitions. 
  • All sentences are well written with varied sentence structure and are free of errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. 
  • Maintains appropriate tone, diction, and vocabulary for various modes of writing. 
  • Work demonstrates clear understanding of the target audience.  
  • All sources are critically reviewed, documented, and formatted following standard practices of the field (APA 7th Edition) and are within a 5-year time frame of the application date. Note: Online blogs are not an acceptable source. 


  • Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References  
  • Include header/page numbers  
  • 3-4 pages (main body), double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font
  • APA 7th Edition 


The purpose of the CV/résumé is to directly tie your previous and current life and professional experience, as noted in your résumé or CV, to the WGU PMHNP program.     

CV/Résumé Criteria

  • Audience and purpose of the résumé are strong and clear.
  • Format of the résumé is clear. Each major section includes required information (objective statement, names, dates, locations, etc.).
  • Résumé shows a very professional appearance, tone, and style.
  • Writer follows all guidelines for spelling, grammar, usage, mechanics, etc. Sentences are strong and have a varied structure.