Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs
Nurses with a passion for mental health who want to take their careers to a higher level can opt to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. With both Master’s of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice pathways, students have a wealth of educational program options for the specialty. With just a few years of schooling, a rewarding psychiatric nurse practitioner career can be achieved.
Pmhnp Nursing School Profiles
To complement our Best of 2021 rankings above, weve profiled two other accredited online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs that are also worth a look in your school search. Weve laid out all the details, from admissions requirements to curriculum information and program costs.
The psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program at Vanderbilt University allows students at different educational levels the training to provide holistic mental health treatments. Registered nurses with a masters or bachelors degree can enroll in this program, as well as registered nurses with an associates degree or diploma, and those who are beginning their nursing education with no prior experience. As a result, students can get an education that is tailored to their previous experience.
No matter where they are educationally when starting the program, Vanderbilt University students take coursework that familiarizes them with the realities of working as a mental health nurse practitioner. The schools curriculum covers psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, clinical reasoning, and pathophysiology. In addition, students participate in clinical education so they get the advanced hands-on training they need to work in a mental health environment. Students in this phase of the program may be placed in prison systems, inpatient psychiatric units, community mental health centers, or outpatient private practices.
University of California, San Francisco
Graduate Ready To Work As An Msn Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
With 5,766 identified health professional shortage areas in mental health in the United States,1 it’s not surprising that the nurse practitioner role is the second-fastest-growing occupation in the U.S.2
Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners earn a median salary of $131,5003 a year, and the demand for the role is urgent. Consider these facts, listed in a 2018 White Paper Series from Merritt Hawkins that addresses supply and demand trends in psychiatry.4
- 44 million adults experience mental illness in a year
- 60% of adults with a mental illness received zero services for their condition in the previous year
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people ages 1024, and the 10th leading cause of death for adults
The online P.M.H.N.P. program prepares you to mitigate the mental health provider shortage and step into these critical nursing positions . You will:
- Gain a strong foundation in theory, research and health policy
- Complete 600 clinical hours
- Graduate ready to pursue ANCC Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing board certification
- Graduate prepared for licensure as a nurse practitioner**
You’ll be ready to diagnose and treat simple and complex psychiatric and mental health problems ranging from adjustment disorders to mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar illnesses and major depression.
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Complete An Accredited Graduate Degree
AspiringAPRNs may pursue a master of science in nursing or a doctor ofnursing practice degree, the terminal degree forpractice-focused nursing. Both pathways include coursework andsupervised clinical hours known as preceptorships.
At thisstage, students will choose a specialization such asadult-gerontology , family care, womens andgender-related health, pediatrics , neonatalcare, psychiatric-mental health, or nurse-midwifery.
MSN-preparedregistered nurses may elect to pursue a post-masters certificaterather than a DNP degree. While some post-masters certificateprograms are designed for any MSN-prepared RN, others are designedspecifically for APRNs or NPs pursuing an additional specialization.
Studentsshould seek out programs accredited by one of the following threeentities: the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education , or theAccreditation Commission for Midwifery Education .
Certification: The Pmh In Pmhnp
After students complete their psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner degree program, the next step is to become nationally certified. In most cases, professionals are not able to obtain a state license unless they receive a PMHNP certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
In order to receive the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification, or PMHNP-BC, professionals must pass a 200-question examination that takes four hours to complete. To qualify for the exam, candidates must have an active nursing license and a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner masters, doctoral, or postgraduate degree.
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What Is A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
A psychiatric nurse practitioner or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner is in charge of assessing patients’ mental health statuses by reviewing their pertinent medical history, conducting complete psychiatric examinations, and identifying risk factors that may impair mental health. They also can interpret tests ordered by psychologists or psychiatrists.
These nurse practitioners provide support to families of patients and the mental health community, too. Often mental illness affects more than just the patient. Mental health professionals such as a PMNHP can offer therapy and treatment to the family as a group.
They may also work with patients that have behavioral problems, including substance abuse. Mental health care is an intricate part of substance abuse recovery.
PMHNPs can have their own private practices, but many work in psychiatric hospitals or dedicated mental health units. They treat patients of all ages, but can specialize in pediatric or geriatric care, for example.
How To Pick The Right Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner School For You
Its hard to know what the perfect school is for what youre looking for. While there are only a handful of institutions that offer a psychiatric nurse practitioner program, narrowing it down further will likely be based on different factors, including:
- Cost. Is the school within an affordable range? Will you have to move to attend school, and how expensive is the new city going to be? Do they offer financial aid?
- Location. Commuting to and from facilities where you get real-world experience is common for psychiatric NPs. This means you might have to move to a new area for school or work with the school to find clinical sites near your home and complete your coursework online.
- Program length. Depending on the program you study toward, you may have to plan to be in school for 2-4 years, and possibly even longer if youre working full-time and studying part-time. If you have to continue to work while youre in school, youll also want to verify that the program can be completed while you work.
- Accreditation. Accreditation is always something important to keep in mind before selecting any school or programnot only does it ensure that your school will properly prepare you for your certifying exams, but if you plan on applying for federal loans, you may get turned down if your school is not accredited.
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Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Certification
Once you complete your education program, you will have to pass the PMHNP certifying exam, issued by the American Nurses Credentialing Center . According to the ANCC, upon successful completion of the exam, you will be Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified . Once you earn your license, the credential is valid for 5 years.
San Francisco State University
Concentrations Offered:About the School:Program Details:Admission Requirements:Concentrations Offered:Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse PractitionerAdult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse PractitionerFamily Nurse PractitionerPediatrics Nurse PractitionerWomen’s Health Nurse PractitionerPsychiatric/Mental Health Lifespan Nurse PractitionerAbout the School:how to become a nurse practitioner with a non-nursing bachelors degreeProgram Details:Admission Requirements:Concentrations Offered:Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse PractitionerFamily Nurse PractitionerPediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary CarePsychiatric Mental Health Nurse PractitionerAbout the School:Program Details:Admission Requirements:
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What Is An Online Psychiatric
If youre thinking about furthering your education by enrolling in an online psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program, youre making a smart move. Nurse practitioners are in high demand, and a specialty in the often underserved mental health field can make you a valuable asset to any health care organization. By choosing an online program, youre allowing yourself the flexibility to learn on your own time. While all nurse practitioner programs will require some in-person training, most of your work will be completed at your own convenience. Faculty members who run online nurse practitioner programs are usually nurse practitioners themselves, and they understand the challenging and tiring schedules that nurses deal with on a regular basis. Your professors will likely be willing to work with you when you run into tough scheduling conflicts or need deadline adjustments due to your work schedule.
Entrance Criteria & Prerequisites
Every school has its own specific entrance requirements. The following are some of the expectations that schools may have for applicants to psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner programs.
- BSN or higher from an accredited program
- Active RN license
- Evidence of immunizations and recent physical examination
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Accreditation & Program Notes
To qualify for a ranking, a program must be regionally accredited. Additional programmatic accreditation is noted in the rank table.
8 Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing 10 Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 12 State Restriction Note: This program is only available in fewer than 15 states.14 Program is no longer accepting new students.
Eye On The Curriculum
The curriculum in PMHNP programs is designed to give nurses the high-level clinical skills necessary to provide specialized care to patients. These programs include coursework that teaching students to develop patient care plans, promote mental health and education, and perform psychotherapy, crisis interventions, and consultations. In addition, these programs provide in-depth information about psychiatric nursing models, pharmacotherapies, and neuroscience. The following are examples of some of the classes involved in most programs.
Students learn about the medications used to treat chronic and acute health issues and gain an understanding of when these drugs should be used. The class also teaches students how to understand the side effects of different medications and monitor the way patients respond to treatments.
Health assessment classes build on nurses former education in order to help them understand how assessments are conducted in a mental health context. Students also learn different evidenced-based assessment principles.
Mental health care for individuals and groups
This course trains students to care for people with mental health challenges in different age groups. The curriculum covers care from assessment to diagnosis to pharmacological interventions.
Neuroscience for mental health practitioners
Health care law and policy
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Psychiatric Mental Health Np Career And Salary
According to the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Competencies from the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, PMHNPs must know how to:
- Perform comprehensive physical and mental health assessments, psychiatric evaluations, and family assessments
- Identify factors that affect mental health including trauma, environment, family, genetics, coping skills, culture, gender, socioeconomic status, spiritual beliefs, cognition, substance abuse, developmental stage, and others
- Interpret diagnostic and lab tests
- Diagnose psychiatric disorders FNP,PMHNP
- Develop treatment plans and recommend therapeutic interventions
- Prescribe psychotropic medications and other types of medications necessary for the improvement of their patients
The psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner field attracts about 4 percent of those studying to become nurse practitioners , 2018). The median wage for nurse practitioners falls at $107,030 with a range from $80,670 to $182,750 for nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists .
The majority of PMHNPs work in psychiatric-mental health care facilities. Other prominent PMHNP work environments include hospitals, treatment facilities, private practice, and schools and educational facilities.
With an expected nurse practitioner job growth of 28 percent between 2018 and 2028, which is well above the national average growth rate of 5 percent, over 53,000 new jobs should open up for NPs .
Pmhnp Salary And Job Outlook
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners are one of the highest-paying nurse practitioner specialties because they are a highly-specialized field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mental Health Nurse Practitioners make a mean annual salary of $126,200 with an average hourly wage of $60.67 as of May 2021.
Although most NPs work full-time, salaries will also vary based on the type of occupation, hours, and the state and city.
Nurse Practitioners, in general, have a higher-than-average job outlook and because psychiatric nursing is a field that is still growing in interest and awareness, its reasonable to expect that wages are going to gradually climb over the coming years.
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Direct Entry Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs
Direct Entry Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner programs cater to students who hold a baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing field. Direct entry programs help students make the transition from non-nursing degree holders to fully credentialed PMHNP by providing them with a solid foundation in both basic patient care and psychiatric nursing. These programs include a mix of nursing theory, hands-on simulations, and clinical rotations in a real health care setting.
Questions About Psychiatric Np Programs
Licensed psychiatric NPs must hold both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in nursing. Many universities offer MSN programs with a concentration in psychiatric mental health. Some students earn an associate degree in nursing instead of a BSN and bypass a bachelor’s degree by enrolling in an RN-to-MSN program.
Accreditation guarantees that students receive a quality education. Accreditation agencies review higher education institutions and academic programs to ensure that those programs uphold quality standards. Aspiring nurses need accredited degrees to obtain licensure. Two of the most well-known nursing accreditation agencies include the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing .
NPs play many important roles in the healthcare industry. They meet with, assess, and diagnose patients, and may prescribe medication or other treatments. In some states, NPs need to enter into supervisory or collaborative agreements with physicians, but many states allow NPs to work completely autonomously.
Psychiatric NPs provide patients with mental health care. They counsel individuals dealing with issues of anxiety, depression, and other psychological, emotional, and behavioral disorders. PMHNPs can also offer treatment like medication or therapy.
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Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Faqs
Depending on where a psychiatric nurse practitioner works, the dress code can be variable.
Psychiatric NPs working in acute care may wear scrubs and a lab coat with the facility logo. They can also wear professional, business attire with or without a lab coat. It depends on the facility.
Psychiatric NPs working in the clinic setting can wear business attire. A lab coat may or may not be required by the organization. Some feel that providers who do not wear scrubs and a lab coat are more “approachable” therefore allowing patients to be more receptive to care. It helps place patients at ease and makes them feel more comfortable. Many psychiatric nurse practitioners prefer a less âclinicalâ environment when treating patients, and shunning the scrubs and lab coat helps build a quiet, comforting environment.
Regardless of the setting, psychiatric nurse practitioners must also consider safety when choosing professional attire. Sometimes patients experience acute mental illnesses and may view the provider as a threat. Dangling jewelry, lanyards, strings, neckties, and even belt loops can be grabbed and used to harm a provider. Dressing for safety as well as professionalism is essential in the field of mental health.
What Is The Difference Between Pmhnp With An Msn Vs Dnp
From a clinical hour experience perspective, MSN students in a PMHNP program may complete less clinical hours than DNP candidates. The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties has made a commitment to move all entry level nurse practitioner degrees to DNPs by 2025. This may mean that PMHNP programs may be offered only at the DNP level.
For more specialized programs, check out the list of online nurse practitioner programs.
Information on this page was last retrieved in October 2020.
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What Can You Do As A Nurse Practitioner
Thanks to their advanced training and education, NPs hold more clinical autonomy than RNs. NPs make key decisions in patient care and serve as primary caregivers, much like physicians. They hold hospital admitting privileges and may prescribe medication in collaboration with a physician, although NPs may prescribe independently in some states.
While some 47% of these advanced practice registered nurses work in physicians’ offices, others find jobs in hospitals, outpatient care centers, educational services, and health practitioners’ offices. Around 90% are certified to work in specialized primary care areas like family, adult-gerontology primary care, and acute care.
An NP’s earning potential depends on their specialty area and their work setting. Emergency departments are the top-paying setting for NPs, offering $135,000 a year. Read about other lucrative career options on this page.
Choosing An Appropriate Psychiatric
Your psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner degree options are determined by the prior nursing education youve completed. Luckily, there are multiple options for the most common degree types. The table below will show you what your best options are.
|If I Currently Have|
The type of psychiatric-mental health NP role you wish to hold will also determine which degree type is right for you. Those wanting the highest level roles, for example, might wish to pursue the DNP pathway, while students who already have an MSN and want to enter the PMHNP field may wish to earn a post-masters certificate. Thinking long-term on your professional goals will help you settle on the appropriate pathway.
If you still need help narrowing things down, check out the table below to see how your interests align with the different psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner degree programs available.
|I want to guide healthcare law and ethics for those with psychiatric health concerns||X|
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