PMHN Practice Test

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The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing (PMHN) certification examination was designed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide board certification for individuals who are interested in becoming certified psychiatric and mental health nurses. The PMH-BC certification exam is a competency-based, entry-level exam that assesses your knowledge in a variety of relevant clinical areas, ranging from prenatal to elderly primary care.

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PMHN Exam Eligibility

To be eligible for the exam, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Hold an RN license in the United States or equivalent from another country
  • Have a minimum of two years of experience (or its equivalent) as a full-time RN
  • Have at least 2,000 hours of clinical practice within the last three years in psychiatric–mental health nursing
  • Complete 30 hours of continuing education within the last three years in psychiatric–mental health nursing

All of your verification to prove your eligibility must be sent to the ANCC along with a validation of education form before registering for the exam. The proper form and submission documents can be found on the ANCC website.

PMHN Exam Outline

The PMHN exam contains 150 multiple-choice questions, 25 of which are unscored, and you will be given a time limit of 3 hours.

The exam is split into four content domains, and each domain contains some number of knowledge questions and skill questions.

exam outline for the PMHN exam

I. Assessment and Diagnosis (27 scored questions)

The questions in this domain test your ability to use various assessment tools and techniques. You will also be tested on your knowledge of the following:

  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Developmental stages
  • Coping and defense mechanisms
  • Physiological causes of psychiatric symptoms

II. Planning (27 scored questions)

The questions in this domain test your treatment planning and communication barrier management skills. You will also be tested on your knowledge of the following:

  • Educational concepts
  • Client-centered care
  • Cultural competence

III. Implementation (49 scored questions)

The questions in this domain test your knowledge of various treatment modalities and complementary interventions. You will also be tested on your skills in the following areas:

  • Therapeutic communication
  • Therapeutic environment management
  • Emergent situation and crisis management
  • Care coordination
  • Psychoeducational group facilitation
  • Medication management
  • Health promotion

IV. Evaluation (22 scored questions)

The questions in this domain test your outcome measurement skills. You will also be tested on your knowledge of the following:

  • Ethical and legal considerations
  • Intervention effectiveness
  • Process improvement

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PMHN Exam Registration

Registering for and scheduling your PMHN exam can be done online. You must first submit an application, and you receive authorization to test once the application has been approved.

The cost of the examination is $395 (active ANCC members will pay $295).

Test Day

On the day of your appointment, you should arrive at the testing center 15-30 minutes before the exam is scheduled to begin. Once you arrive, you will be asked to show two forms of valid identification. Your primary form of ID must include your name, signature, and photo, while the second form of identification must simply have your name and signature.

Personal items are not allowed in the testing area, so you will be asked to place such items in a secure locker before the exam begins.

How the PMHN Exam is Scored

You will be able to see your preliminary scores as soon as you complete the exam, and your final score report will be made available when you log in to your AANC account.

You will need to achieve a score of 350 to pass, with the maximum score possible being 500.

Retaking the PMHN Exam

If you fail, you can take the test again after waiting 60 days and paying all associated fees. You may take the test up to three times in a 12-month period.

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Online PMHN Prep Course

If you want to be fully prepared, Mometrix offers an online Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Prep Course. The course is designed to provide you with any and every resource you might want while studying. The PMHN Course includes:

  • Review Lessons Covering Every Topic
  • 750+ PMHN Practice Questions
  • More than 550 Electronic Flashcards
  • Over 30 Instructional Videos
  • Money-back Guarantee
  • Free Mobile Access
  • and More!

The PMHN prep Course is designed to help any learner get everything they need to prepare for their PMHN exam. Click below to check it out!



How many questions are on the PMHN exam?


There are 150 multiple-choice questions on the exam, 25 of which are unscored.


How long is the PMHN exam?


The time limit for the exam is 3.5 hours.


What is the passing score for the PMHN exam?


To pass the exam, you must achieve a scaled score of at least 350.


How much does the PMHN exam cost?


The examination fee is $295 for ANCC members and $395 for non-members.

By Kate Nockunas

Kate has been Mometrix’s Nursing and Medical Editor for over four years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Vanderbilt University, a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Marymount University, and a master’s degree in Education from Johns Hopkins. Kate is a critical care registered nurse who still works occasionally in the ICU and PACU.


by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: March 5, 2024