How to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner (PMHNP)

For one to qualify as a psychiatric practitioner, you need to begin with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners are nurses registered under advanced-practice. They give conclusive mental health care to people diagnosed with mental health disorders and behavioral problems. They are also responsible to offering focus on mental health wellness and maintenance. To help patients they make use of both therapeutic and medicinal interventions as treatment procedures. Additionally, they help to fill specialist’s demand in facilities with less resources or lack enough physicians.

Furthermore, completing a master’s degree in nursing or a doctoral program guarantees one of becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Once completed the PMHNP helps patients dealing with issues surrounding mental health.

Mental health issues

Some of the mental health issues include:

  • Work related or school related stress
  • Social anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Severe depression
  • Addiction issues and substance abuse
  • Bipolar disorders

PMNHP can help with a wide range of services from managing medication, diagnosing illnesses, ordering blood work. Ordering blood work helps in monitoring therapeutic levels of medications and the complications associated with taking psychotropics. Additionally, they coordinate appropriate levels of care, and are also responsible for referring patients to psychotherapy. But, in some countries PMNHP requires approval from a psychiatrist before offering any prescribed medication to patients.

psychiatric nurseBesides, nurse practitioners work full-time but sometimes their schedules vary. Shifts vary from 8- to 12 hours and also work evenings, nights and weekends. They work in healthcare facilities including clinics, mental health in-patient centers and hospitals. Sometimes, their line of work comes with risk in the event that patients become violent or triggered. Depending on the work compensation can be very rewarding. Furthermore, it is important to note that when one chooses this line of work, you may end up bringing work home. Once they have the relevant evaluation of patients, they need to watch the progress. Additionally, they educate families and patients and check how they administer care.

Apart from working in corporations, private practices, and correctional facilities psychiatric nurse practitioners can also choose a wide range of job responsibilities. This includes consulting with communities and businesses. Additionally, they can go into private practice, researching the requirements and standards and coming up with effective financial plans and business.

Becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

In recent studies one in four adults experience issues relating to mental health each year. Psychiatric nurses play a vital responsibility in the everyday living of patients with conditions arising from mental health. Furthermore, this line of work requires one to approach situations with confidence. Treatment, promotion of the health and disease prevention and also symptom management.

To become a PMNHP one must do the following:

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s or Associate Degree in Nursing

Practitioners in nursing must be holders of advanced degrees. In the bachelor’s program nurses learn the fundamentals of microbiology, anatomy, nutrition, public health, physiology, health assessment, nursing, public health and evidence-based practice. Additionally, the learners are also equipped with up- to date trends in nursing that have the recent and most advanced technology.

Furthermore, students must learn how to communicate with both their doctors and patients. So, they must learn critical thinking, leadership, and problem-solving skills. This type of training helps equip the nurses with flexible skills they must to carry out their work. Besides to learning these aspects in the bachelor’s program, nurses get skills in the real-world to help in clinical issues. Additionally, learners must fulfil hours of observation that assist them nurture a better knowledge of the profession.

  1. Become a Registered Nurse

Student nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Student nurses who have completed the Bachelor of Nursing program must undertake the NCLEX-RN. This examination is to evaluating a learner’s understanding of competencies of nursing and the procedures fundamental to the profession of nursing. The exam divides into four categories and six sub-categories:

  • Physiological Adaptation
  • Pharmacological and Parental Therapies
  • Reduction of Risk Potential
  • Safe and Effective Care Environment
  • Safety and Infection Control
  • Psychosocial Integrity
  • Basic Care and Comfort
  • Management of Care
  • Health Promotion and Maintenance
  1. Earn a Master’s Degree

To practice as a psychiatric practitioner, one requires to undertake a master’s degree. This helps the nurse students get a license to work as a nurse practitioner. When nurses need to specialize in their field of work, a doctoral degree is necessary. Once they have attained the knowledge and skills, they can choose a specialty in the field of mental health.

  1. Complete Post-Master’s Certifications and Training

Though this is not a compulsory need for nurses, gaining certifications in their respective area of specialization is an added advantage. This offers advanced clinical training, leadership development, and an opportunity to integrate the understanding of how to perform in the area of choice.

  1. Complete Clinical Hours

It is important to note that to meet any job in the field of medicine one requires to complete many hours of clinical practice. In general, nurse practitioners must complete hundreds of clinical hours for them to get a license and secure a job. This helps them get the much-needed experience for a successful career in the field of study.

  1. Get a License

Students must pass all the exam certifications that can differ depending with the country they want to practice in. so; this helps them a license that is renewable every 10 years. In general, this assists nurse practitioners to stay up- to- date on the trends and the most relevant practices in the field and the area they specialize in.


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