What is a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?

If you are interested in a career as a mental health professional, you have likely pondered the following questions that ask the same thing  –What is a psychiatric nurse practitioner?

Questions regarding a career as psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners include –

  • What is a mental health nurse practitioner, and does it differ from a psych mental health nurse practitioner?
  • What is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and how does it differ from a professional psychologist?
  • What is a psychiatric nurse practitioner?
  • Is a psychiatric nurse practitioner considered a mental health practitioner?

The reality is there are several types of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners working in the healthcare industry in the United States.

A mental health professional is any health care practitioner who provides services to others with the primary purpose to treat a mental disorder or to improve the patient’s mental health. Mental health professionals fall within the categories of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners,  a psych mental health nurse practitioner, and a psychiatric nurse practitioner, midwives, and anesthetists, among others.

What is a Mental Health Professional’s Job Description?

As you consider your career options in the mental health industry, it is also important to understand just what is entailed in being a mental health professional. This is easiest way to discover this information is by reading a psychiatric nurse practitioner description in an online job advertisement.

It is essential to understand what it is like to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner if you are to make a well-informed, educated decision about your future education and career plans. The best way to find the answers you need to make an informed decision is to continue to ask questions like –

  • What do psychiatric nurse practitioners do?
  • What is it like to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner, compared to a different nurse practitioner specialization?

What are the Education & Certification Requirements of Mental Health Professionals?

A mental health professional who wishes to pursue their psychiatric nurse practitioner degree must meet the psychiatric nurse education requirements of the degree program, plus any psychiatric nurse practitioner education requirements set forth by the state in which the nursing professional operates.

The first of the psychiatric nurse education requirements mandates that a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner must hold a valid Registered Nursing (RN) license. It is noted that most employers prefer nursing professionals who have completed a four-year baccalaureate level nursing program.

Through a psychiatric nurse practitioner’s education, a mental health professional will prepare for their career by training in various therapies, which may include the prescribing of medications in certain jurisdictions.

Psychiatric nurse practitioners are recognized as APRNs – Advanced Practice Registered Nurses. This means that they must complete their graduate nursing degree, required clinical practicums, and additional education and training in their specialization.

Certifications for psychiatric nurse practitioners is awarded by the ANCC – the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

What does a Mental Health Professional Earn?

As you continue to investigate a career as a mental health professional, it remains important to continue to ask relevant questions like –

  • What is the average salary of a psychiatric nurse practitioner?
  • How much do psych nurse practitioners make?
  • What is the yearly salary of psychiatric nurse practitioner?
  • How much do psych nurse practitioners make if they have a midwife or anesthetic specialty?

According to the BLS – the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual for all mental health professionals, including a nurse practitioner psychiatric salary, is $113,930. This translates to an hourly salary for psychiatric nurse practitioner of $54.78. The impressive psychology nurse practitioner salary is only matched by an even more remarkable job growth outlook of 26%, which is more than three times the national average.

The following tables indicate various statistics regarding a salary for psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Highest Salary of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner by State   Salary
California $138,660
Washington $126,920
Hawaii $123,000

More specifically, the range for a salary for psychiatric nurse practitioner begins around $81,000 per year, at the low end, and caps off at $152,150 per year. The median psychology nurse practitioner salary is $109,820, which translates to a median hourly psychology nurse practitioner salary of $53.77.

Highest Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Salary by City   Salary
Phoenix, AZ $154,863
St Louis, MO $153,033
San Diego, CA $150,641

 

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