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Dnp Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Salary

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How To Become A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Life As a New Graduate Nurse Practitioner (Psych-DNP)!

Individuals who want to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner must first receive nursing licensure before getting additional education, experience, and certification.

Earn a bachelor of science in nursing
Pass the NCLEX-RN to receive RN licensure
Gain RN experience
Earn an MSN or a DNP
Pass the national credentialing exam to become certified as a PMHNP

What Is A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, also referred to as mental health or behavioral nurses, specialize in providing care for people receiving treatment for functional or organic mental health disorders. Organic disorders are those related to a specific cause, such as damage to the brain as a result of illness or trauma. With functional disorders, the underlying cause is typically unknown, that is, there is no known damage to the brain, even though there are observable symptoms. Mental health disorders that may be encountered include, in part, personality disorders, depression, schizophrenia, addictions, eating disorders, or dementia. A psychiatric nurse may further concentrate on a sub-specialty, such as working with a specific population , or a particular type of disorder, such as eating disorders, or depression. Psychiatric nurses participate in assessment and diagnosis of patients with mental health disorders. They develop the plan of care and monitor patient responses to treatment, providing a safe and secure environment. The ability to participate in crisis intervention strategies is an essential skill. Psychiatric nurses need to be able to work with patients families, providing support and education. They may be required to lead group therapy sessions or work with a support group.

Dnp Roles And Responsibilities

Individuals with a doctorate degree can function in a provider capacity but most work to generate new scientific and clinical knowledge in nursing and healthcare. Conversely, NPs practice primarily in clinical settings and do not focus on scientific and academic research in their practice. For this reason, most DNPs work in academia, as administrators, and/or researchers.

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How Much Do Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Earn

Nursing, in general, is identified as one of the fastest growing professions in the US in terms of salary, with a projected growth of 16% or higher, much higher than the national average. Nursing specialty certification can increase earnings significantly Salaries are generally higher in urban areas, however, the cost of living is typically higher, as well. In addition, bachelors prepared nurses tend to earn higher salaries than nurses with associate degree in nursing. The median annual Registered Nurse salary is 68,450, but the range of potential salary can vary, depending on degrees and certifications held, type of employment, and geographical location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the top five states for general nursing salaries are

  • California
  • Oregon

How Long Does It Take To Become A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

What Nurse Practitioner Specialty Is The Highest Paid ...
  • There are numerous steps to becoming a Psychiatric Mental Health NP. Typically, from the start of undergraduate education to the completion of an Advanced Practice NP degree, an individual can expect it to take a minimum of 10 years. Earning a BSN is roughly four years from start to finish. Gaining relevant bedside experience is essential prior to starting a nurse practitioner program. Most programs want a minimum of two years of experience. An NP program typically takes three years to complete.
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    What Does A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Do

    Psychiatric nurse practitioners diagnose and treat mental health conditions in patients of all ages by:

    • Evaluating patients symptoms
    • Assessing family history and health background
    • Providing therapy
    • Monitoring the effectiveness of treatments

    As highly respected behavioral healthcare providers, psychiatric nurse practitioners work collaboratively with other members of a patients healthcare team, which may include a primary care physician, psychologist, physical therapist, or other healthcare professionals. Psychiatric nurse practitioners can also perform psychosocial assessments and provide emergency psychiatric care.

    What Kind Of Salary Growth Can Psychiatric Nurses Expect

    Experience leads to a steady psychiatric nurse salary. The 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey indicates that RNs have more experience and education than in prior years.

    The survey demonstrates RNs’ annual pay increasing by $10,000 by the fifth year of practice, another $5,000 up to year 10, and an additional $10,000 after 11 years. Earning a graduate degree and an advanced practice registered nurse license leads to even higher compensation.

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    What Is The Difference Between A Psychiatrist And A Psychiatric Np

    Psychiatrists are medical doctors, having earned an MD or a DO and completed a psychiatric residency. Psychiatric nurse practitioners are advanced practice RNs who have completed a graduate program such as a master’s or doctorate and worked as licensed nurses. Both diagnose and treat mental disorders.

    Find A Top Ranked Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Near You

    Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

    We went directly to each state board of nursing to find, report and rank the best Associate Degree in Nursing programs and the best Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degrees.

    Just as there is an increasing demand for nurses, in general, the need and demand for psychiatric nurse practitioners is increasing. This is due, in part, to the aging population, as the incidence of cognitive illness is higher among the elderly.

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    Make An Impact On A Critical Field

    A D.N.P. isnt just a terminal degree, its a sign of your ambition to make a tangible impact on the evolving world of health care. The University of North Dakotas online Post-Masters Doctor of Nursing Practice program can help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to make a difference in health care, in the present and for the future. Learn how UND can help you build a remarkable career.

    S To Become A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

    • Earn Your RN: You must earn an RN degree from an accredited associate degree or bachelors degree program. It is important to note that the BSN degree may provide more opportunities for advancement, and may be required by some employers. Learn about RN to BSN degree programs.
    • Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam: After completed an accredited program, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain licensure to practice nursing.
    • Gain nursing experience: You must have a minimum of 2 years full-time experience as a registered nurse before seeking specialty certification.
    • Obtain additional training: Eligibility for certification includes a criterion of 30 hours of related continuing education.
    • Obtain Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Certification: Although certification is not a requirement for psychiatric nurses, the American Nurses Credentialing Center offers a registered nurse board certified credential in psychiatric/mental health nursing.

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    Advanced Nursing Roles Available Through A Dnp

    The DNP is the next step in qualification after a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Master of Science in Nursing . Some Master of Business Administration , Master of Public Administration , or Master of Public Health students choose to complete their DNP coursework while working in the medical field, specializing in administration or education. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, advanced practice registered nurses who make it to the doctoral level have a blend of economic, organizational, clinical, and leadership skills that enable them to achieve excellence in practice.

    Are Mental Health Nurses In High Demand

    Become an Occupational Health Nurse

    Are psych NPs in demand? Yes! The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reports that the country has 5,766 Health Professional Shortage Areas in the area of mental healthand more than 6,500 practitioners are needed to fulfill the need.

    A 2018 study by the University of Michigan Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration and the Health Resources & Services Administration shares that

    • Access to behavioral health services remains an issue.
    • The psychiatric workforce is in the middle of a professional shortage, which is projected to worsen by 2025.

    In addition, the HRSA estimated in 2016 that 20 states had a shortage of psychiatric NPs in one scenario, and that total was 37 states in a different scenario.

    Bottom line: the need is dire and the demand is high in many areas of the country.

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    Pmhnp Salary And Locum Tenens

    One opportunity to earn a higher PMHNP salary is locum tenens. NPs seeking their next great psychiatry opportunity should know locum tenens jobs typically pay more than traditional full-time roles. With locum tenens psychiatry jobs, you have the option to supplement your income with short-term positions or to pursue the locum lifestyle full time with positions that last several months to a year or more!

    Ready to start earning a higher PMHNP salary? Check out Barton Associates open psychiatry jobs today!

    AboutDr. Melissa DeCapua, DNP, PMHNP

    Dr. Melissa DeCapua is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner who graduated from Vanderbilt University. Her background is in child and adolescent psychiatry as well as psychosomatic medicine, and she currently works as a researcher Microsoft. She is a strong advocate for empowering nurses, and she fiercely believes that nurses should play a pivotal role in shaping modern healthcare. For more information, visit and follow her on Twitter .

    Certification Requirements For Dnp Graduates

    DNP graduates who choose to follow the APRN career path may be required to sit for one or more certification tests. Different boards offer certifications, including the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board, American Nurses Credentialing Center, National Certification Corporation, and Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. Depending on their focus, graduates should seek certification from the relevant board.

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    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Education

    Additional specialty education for psychiatric nurses at the undergraduate degree level largely consists of continuing education activities, such as professional conferences, in-service presentations or through professional organizations. For example, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association provides free continuing education programs for APNA members. An added option is seeking an advanced practice role as a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist . This involves earning an advanced degree, either at the masters degree or doctoral degree in nursing. The top 10 Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner programs are:

    Np Vs Dnp: What’s The Difference

    What is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?

    An NP stands for nurse practitioner, which is a job title registered nurses can achieve by pursuing an advanced degree. Nurse practitioners can earn this role through either a Master of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice . Essentially, a DNP is a degree option to become an NP.

    As an aspiring nurse practitioner, you’ll need to choose whether you want to attend an MSN program or a DNP program.

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    Why Get A Dnp Psychiatric

    Earning a DNP can be time consuming and intense, but DNPs generally agree that its well worth the hard work. When you earn your psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner DNP, youll have many options on how to move forward in your career. Many nurses with their DNP in this specialty open private mental health practices. If youd prefer to work as a part of a larger organization, youll have many options to work in private or public healthcare practices, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric facilities, state-run facilities, universities, research facilities, and more.

    Check out some of the other pros and cons of earning a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner DNP degree.

    Accelerated Msn Psychiatric Np Programs

    Who is it right for? Those with anon-nursing bachelors degree

    Many graduate nursing programs also allow you to enroll directly if you have your RN license and a bachelors in a non-nursing-related field.

    Some schools may also accept non-nurses with bachelors degrees to fast-track them into a masters program by the end of the program, you will have earned your RN and be eligible to sit for the NP certifying exam as well.

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    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Resources

    • American Psychiatric Nurses Association
    • International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses
    • Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses
    • Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
    • Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing


    • The American Nurses Credentialing Center
    • US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

    License And Certification Differences


    Both psychiatric nurses practitioners and psychiatrists must be licensed to practice. Psychiatric NPs must hold an active RN license to qualify for graduate-level or doctoral programs.

    Psychiatrists can seek certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology once they meet the education, training, and experience requirements. The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers certification for psychiatric NPs. Both credentials are optional and exam based.

    Scope of practice can also differ among states. Some states, like North Carolina, limit what psychiatric nurses practitioners may do and require psychiatrist supervision or collaboration with a psychiatrist. In states like Washington, psychiatric nurses practitioners can practice autonomously with all of the same duties as psychiatrists.

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    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Vs Psychiatrist: Key Similarities

    A psychiatric NP, also known as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner , is an advanced practice nurse who cares for individuals with psychiatric and mental health disorders. A psychiatrist is a doctor who cares for the same population.

    In many ways, these two careers overlap. Both PMHNPs and psychiatrists assess, diagnose, and treat patients. Treatment may include analysis, psychotherapy, counseling, medication, and hospitalization. Both use in-depth knowledge of human behavior and mental health conditions to help patients manage symptoms associated with mental health and substance use disorders.

    Frequently Asked Questions About A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Salaries

    The average salary for a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is $124,048 per year in New York City, NY Area. Salaries estimates are based on 188 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner employees in New York City, NY Area.

    The highest salary for a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in New York City, NY Area is $186,784 per year.

    The lowest salary for a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in New York City, NY Area is $82,383 per year.

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    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Vs Psychiatrist: Salary Comparison

    Psychiatrists earn a mean annual wage of $217,100, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics . NPs, including psychiatric nurse practitioners, earn a mean annual wage of $114,510.

    According to the BLS, psychiatrists enjoy the highest wages working in home healthcare, followed by government agencies , residential care facilities, and outpatient care facilities. Psychiatrists employed in doctors’ offices, including private practices, also fall among the top earners.

    The highest-paying industries for NPs, in general, include community relief organizations, religious organizations, residential mental health and substance use facilities, and outpatient care centers. However, like psychiatrists, PMHNPs typically earn high salaries in private practice. Job opportunities for both careers are most common in hospitals and physicians’ offices.


    Source: BLS, May 2020

    Average Salary For Psychiatric Nurses

    How much should you expect to make as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner? Salary?

    PayScale reports an average annual psychiatric nurse salary of $66,840. According to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, nurses who specialize in psychiatric, mental health, and substance abuse earn comparable paychecks to nurses specializing in acute care/critical care, cardiology, emergency/trauma, oncology, and perioperative nursing.

    Psychiatric nurse salaries vary with geography, education level, experience, subspecialty, and certification.


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    Psychiatry Salary Data From My Experiences

    In 2012, I accepted my first job as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I worked in a small, rural mental health clinic. My starting salary was $90,000. The following year, I moved to a larger hospital system, earning about $100,000 annually, including my bonus. I have since considered other positions in metropolitan areas with offers ranging from $110,000 to $135,000 .

    As you read this, dont forget how elusive salary data can be. Companies often create a culture in which salary discussion is taboo. On the other hand, without knowing what others in your field are making, it is difficult to know for sure if youre being compensated fairly.

    I urge you to participate in the AANP compensation surveys, and, when possible, be transparent with your colleagues about PMHNP salary. I also recommend seeking out a more senior mentor to help you navigate this complex topic.

    What Does A Pmhnp Do

    Some of the duties that a PMHNP could take on include:

    • Create healthcare plans, based on outpatient or home-based care for acute or chronic mental health care conditions
    • Provide consultations
    • Prescribe medications per their state laws
    • Prescribe and offer various treatments, such as psychotherapy, medication therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.
    • Work alongside doctors for referrals and to provide patient care
    • Participate and/or initiate research
    • Education on mental health disorders
    • Contribute to policy development, quality improvement, practice evaluation, and healthcare reform

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    How To Choose An Online Dnp Psychiatric

    Most online psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner DNP programs take four to five years to complete for full-time students. Many schools offer the option to attend part-time, but may require that you finish your coursework within a certain timeframe. Credits required for graduation may range from 50-75 in total, and will vary based on your prior education.

    While there are some psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner programs that are available completely online, others are offered in a hybrid format. A hybrid format allows students to get the best of both worlds the flexibility of an online education with the face to face interaction of a traditional classroom. If youre interested in a hybrid program, youre likely to find many that offer classes on nights and weekends, making it easier for working professionals to attend.

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