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How To Become A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

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Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Duties

Become a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with Dr. Joan Slager

Some of the day-to-day responsibilities of psychiatric nurse practitioners include:

  • Interviewing patients to determine the nature of their symptoms
  • Providing diagnoses for a variety of mental health conditions
  • Educating patients and their families on treatment options
  • Prescribing medications, monitoring effectiveness, and adjusting dosages as necessary
  • Providing counseling sessions to individuals, families, or groups
  • Collaborating with physicians, psychiatrists, and counselors or social workers

Why Become A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who provide mental health services to patients. After testing and evaluation, a psychiatric nurse will administer a mental health healing plan that might include therapy and medication. Consider the broad impact of the work of psychiatric nurses. They directly improve the lives of people with acute and chronic mental health disorders like depression, PTSD, behavioral disorders, and anxiety. Their work also reaches patients communities by increasing awareness and providing education on managing and treating these common mental health problems. Why become a psychiatric mental health nurse? About one in five adult Americans need you.

Find A Top Ranked Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Near You

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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Earn A Masters Or Doctoral Degree

Earning a Master of Science in Nursing or doctorate degree from an accredited institution is required for becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner. An MSN degree is the most common graduate degree earned by psychiatric nurses. You may also obtain your Ph.D. from an accredited institution. MSN degrees usually take about 18-24 months to complete, while doctorate degrees typically require 2-3 years of full-time education. Students enrolled in a graduate-level program will take courses such as neurophysiology, physiology, and pharmacology.

Psychiatric/mental Health Nurse Practitioner Degree

How to Become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Another requirement is to obtain a PMHNP degree.

A psychiatric nurse practitioner can hold a masters, doctoral degree or post-graduate certificate. These options give aspiring PMHNPs multiple entry points into the field.

Here are the different degrees that you can pursue, based on your educational background:

PMHNP Degree

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What Is The Job Outlook For Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners

Unfortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report any specific data on the job outlook of psychiatric nurses. However, it does indicate that the overall employment of nurse practitioners is projected to grow 45 percent by 2029. This is significantly higher than the average growth of all occupations .

University Of California San Francisco

Tuition: $60,482 per year in-state, $72,727 per year non-resident

While the focus of the psychiatric nurse practitioner program at UCSF is on all demographics, students have the option to complete their residency while focusing on a specific age group. This program is ideal for nurses who want to work exclusively with adults or children.

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What Are The Roles And Duties Of A Psychiatric Nurse

  • Assess mental health symptoms and help to diagnose and treat patients
  • Monitor patients in a psychiatric facility
  • Educate family members about a patient’s condition and care plan
  • Work alongside psychiatric doctors and other mental health specialists as part of a comprehensive psychiatric care team
  • Connect patients with programs and services
  • Help patients set and hit short and long-term mental health goals
  • Assist patients with medications

Psychiatric Nursing Jobs Canada

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

In Canada there are enough vacancies available to be filled by registered nurses and psychiatric nurses, this is more reason why the number of health practitioner Immigrating to Canada yearly continuously to rise. The salaries of nurses in Canada at different province is also heavy in the pocket. It will be interesting to know the available jobs in Canada province and cities.

It is very important to know requirements to get the available jobs in the different province/cities in Canada, the requirements are almost the same across.

  • Completion of a university or college registered psychiatric nursing program is required.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon.

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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.

Earn A Masters Degree

For those seeking to become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, the next step is to acquire a masters degree. Through this graduate-level education, students may then obtain licensure as a nurse practitioner. While not always necessary, some nurse practitioners go on to earn doctoral degrees. At this phase, nurses often select a specialization. Once they do, aspiring psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners have the opportunity to focus their studies and experience on gaining a position in the mental health field.

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Is It Worth Being A Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric nursing is a rigorous profession, in some ways much more so than general practice nursing, but many nurses find it to be the perfect fit for their skills and interests.

It can also be a financially lucrative nursing specialty.

According to Payscale, the median hourly rate for psychiatric nurses in the United States is around $32.05 per hour, but this value is affected by career length and geographic area.

Total salary ranges from roughly $53,000 to slightly over $90,000 per year on an annual basis.

In the coming years, mental health employment, in general, and mental health nursing jobs, in particular, are likely to be in great demand.

Caring individuals who feel called to this nursing specialization can look forward to a variety of possibilities to practice their craft, whether in a typical nursing setting or as a traveling healthcare practitioner.

In addition to at least two years of experience as a full-time RN, certification in psychiatric nursing requires particular experience as well as completion of continuing education.

Jobs as a mental health nurse can be found at an outpatient clinic or other facility, as well as in a hospital setting. Each location has its own set of benefits and drawbacks that should be carefully considered.

Get A Pmhnp Certification

How to Become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

The final step to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner is to get a PMHNP certification. Earning the American Nurses Credentialing Center Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified credential requires a competency-based exam that assesses the clinical knowledge and skills of aspiring PMHNPs. To apply for the exam, applicants must hold an active RN license in a U.S. state or territory or a legally recognized equivalent in another country. They must also hold a masters, postgraduate or doctoral degree from an accredited PMHNP program.

Although the certification is good for only five years, PMHNPs can maintain their credential if they keep their nursing license current and meet ANCCs professional development requirements at the time of their renewal.

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How To Become A Psychiatric/mental Health Nurse Practitioner

With soaring demand for mental health services, the nation needs the psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner role more than ever.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention , the coronavirus pandemic has increased mental health problems, substance abuse and suicidal ideation.

You can provide critical support to patients in need by becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

In this blog, we will help you explore the role, requirements and career outlook. You will also learn how to find an outstanding program, such as the online psychiatric/mental health NP programs offered by Wilkes University.

Psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners work with patients to promote and maintain their mental health. They also prevent and treat psychiatric disorders.

PMHNPs often collaborate with providers in primary and specialty care.

Roughly 1.8% of NPs are certified PMHNPs. That makes psychiatry one of the least common, but most highly sought-after NP certifications.

A psychiatric nurse practitioner assesses, diagnoses and treats the mental health needs of patients.

On a typical day, a PMHNP might:

  • Lead group or individual therapy sessions
  • Prescribe medications

Most work in psychiatric mental health facilities.

Anyone can develop a mental health disorder regardless of their sex, race, ethnicity or age. That is why PMHNPs are educated to treat individuals across the lifespan. They may see children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.

What Do Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Do

PMHNPs’ scope of duties typically includes performing mental health assessments, diagnosing patients, and completing psychiatric evaluations. They also identify risk factors and develop care plans. PMHNPs can provide psychotherapy or crisis intervention and prescribe medication.

These NPs follow a holistic approach to healthcare, informing and educating patients and their families about various mental health issues. Common responsibilities of psychiatric NPs include diagnosing mental health issues, such as mood disorders, anxiety/trauma disorders, substance use disorders, psychotic disorders, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Who Would Make A Good Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Sparks says there are certain traits someone should have to be a successful mental health nurse practitioner.

You should pick this role if you want to help people, to recognize their unique experiences, to validate them, to respect them as individuals, and to help guide them make choices to improve their life, he says.

Without that commitment, Sparks says, the job can be difficult.

It’s going to be a pretty hard field, because some cases can be very taxing, he says. You’re dealing with a lot of trauma and distress in people’s lives, and without that desire, it would weigh on you.

What Licenses And Credentials Do You Need

How to become a Nurse Practitioner FAST | Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric nurse practitioners must have a current RN license in the state in which they practice.

In addition, after they earn their MSN or DNP, they must earn the credential Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Board-Certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center .

Two credentialing exams are available:

  • Adult Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitionerrequires a masters, post-graduate, or doctoral degree from an adult psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner program
  • Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitionerrequires a masters, post-graduate, or doctoral degree from a family psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner program

Psychiatric nurse practitioners with an interest in working with children or families can become certified as a Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist through the Pediatric Nurse Certification Board .

Check with your states board of nursing about additional licensing requirements for your area.

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Where Do Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Work

After completing a master’s or doctoral level program for psychiatry, psychiatric NPs can explore job opportunities across many settings, including private practices, corporations, and correctional facilities.

Psychiatric NPs can also consult with businesses and communities, providing a range of services. Depending on state practice laws, they can establish their own private practice. They would need to research the requirements needed to be an effective business and draw up financial plans.

Psychiatric NPs can focus their careers anywhere that allows them to evaluate patients, diagnose, implement treatment plans, and order diagnostic testing to monitor treatment for patients dealing with mental illnesses.

What Are The Roles And Duties Of A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

PMHNPs work with a broad spectrum of patients some work with children, some with adults, and some with both, or with families. Responsibilities include:

  • Taking a medical and psychiatric history
  • Interviewing patients about symptoms
  • Working with children with behavioral or emotional disorders
  • Working with patients with mental health disorders, from mild to severe
  • Assisting older patients with cognitive disorders
  • Helping patients cope with chronic disease or disability
  • Counseling and treating patients who have suffered from stress or emotional trauma, victims of abuse, and victims of crime
  • Conducting counseling sessions for individuals, groups, or families
  • Managing the care of patients using education, behavioral modification therapy, and medication
  • Track progress and collaborate with physicians or psychiatrists/psychologists to change the plan of care if needed
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    How Are A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner And A Psychiatrist Different

    Several professionals may work with mentally ill clients, including NPNs, physicians, psychologists and social workers, and some of their functions overlap. Focusing primarily on differences between psychiatric nurse practitioners and psychiatrists, the main one is that typically a PNP has a masters degree, and physicians have earned a doctorate. Some PNPs may pursue a doctorate as well, which may expand the types of roles they can have, such as teaching and research in academia.

    PNPs can prescribe medications for treating mental conditions, but they must collaborate with a psychiatrist. In other ways, except when they manage complex cases or have a less than successful outcome, they are largely autonomous.

    A physicians education includes a bachelors degree, generally in a scientific field like biochemistry, followed by medical or osteopathic medical school. After obtaining an MD or DO designation, clinical residency narrows the scope to specialized psychiatric care. To become a specialist in a particular area of psychiatry, a fellowship is a next step on a psychiatrists path. Additional certifications and degrees may further sharpen skills in a specific field of psychiatry.

    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Employment

    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Career Overview

    PMHNPs have strong employment prospects.

    The National Council for Behavioral Health has called for expanding the use of NPs in psychiatry. With a comprehensive education in mental health, PMHNPs can help fill gaps in the psychiatric workforce.

    Between 2019 and 2029, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of NPs will grow by 52%. That figure is 13 times faster than the average rate for all occupations.

    The demand is even higher for the psychiatric nurse practitioner role. The HRSA estimates that the supply of PMHNPs will increase by 65% by 2030.

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    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.

    Where Do Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Get Paid The Most

    1. District of Columbia

    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners earn the most in Washington, D.C. The average annual salary is $160,327.

    However, there are plenty of other states where PMHNPs can expect quite a high salary. The following are the top-paying states for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners.

    2. California

    PMHNPs in California earn an average salary of $150,205.

    This is about 9% above the national average.

    3. Massachusetts

    In Massachusetts, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners make an average salary of $148,691.

    This is about 7% above the national average.

    4. New York

    The average annual salary for PMHNPs in New York is $147,843.

    This is about 7% above the national average.

    5. Washington

    Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners in Washington state make an average salary of $146,874.

    This is about 7% above the national average.

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    Finding The Right Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program

    When it comes to pursuing a career as a psychiatric NP, the program you choose will play a significant role in shaping your mental health care skills and knowledge. If you choose to pursue a career as a PMHNP through a masters degree, you will need to choose a program with an emphasis or specialization in mental-health psychiatric nursing or something similar in order to pass the certification exam upon graduation.

    PMHNP programs are designed for BSN-certified nurses who are ready to further their knowledge, education, and skills to practice in the area of psychiatry and mental health. The coursework is designed to prepare you to drive outcomes in a variety of areas in the field, including patient safety and quality.

    How To Become A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

    Why a Family Nurse Practitioner switched to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner!

    Nurse practitioners are advanced-practice registered nurses who have completed a master’s program in nursing or doctoral degree program .

    To advance to a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing, a student must first complete an accredited nursing program and obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing . Successful completion of the NCLEX-RN is needed for licensure.

    Once the prerequisites have been completed, students will need to do the following in order to become a PMHNP:

  • With a BSN in hand, a student can enroll in either an MSN or DNP-level PMHNP program. It’s imperative that the student decides on the degree level before they start applying to programs. The right degree level will depend on the student’s professional goals if they wish to do clinical work in a hospital setting, an MSN may be the right choice. If they wish to go into teaching or administration, the DNP may be the better fit. Prospective students are encouraged to consider their career goals and research programs accordingly.
  • Find an ACEN or CCNE-accredited Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. Online, hybrid, and classroom-based programs are all available.
  • Ensure that you meet all admissions requirements and complete the application fully.
  • Upon completion of the program, take the certification exam to obtain proper PMHNP certification.
  • The length of time it takes to earn an MSN or DNP-level Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree depends on the nurse’s starting point:

    From there:

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