Becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

A psychiatric nurse practitioner is a position where you will be working with patients, in a similar manner to the work a traditional psychiatrist would do. In this position you will treat a number of conditions, you will talk with patients to determine the conditions they suffer from, and you will work with other professionals in the field, to determine what form of treatment is going to be the best option, for any one patient that you work with in your field of work.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Job Description and Duties

Being a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you will:

  • Talk to patients in a similar manner which a psychiatrist for mental health and other disorders does.
  • Prescribe medication to patients if it is necessary.
  • Work with other specialists, doctors, and nurses, to determine the best course of treatment for the patients you are dealing with.
  • Work with families, so you can discuss the condition, and the best methods of caring for the patient that comes in to your offices for care.

Psychiatric nurse practitioner job characteristics

Some psychiatric nurse practitioner characteristics include:

  • Face to face interaction.
  • Work in a structured organization and with other professionals and specialists.
  • Work one on one with patients, to determine the course of care for each one.
  • Have the ability to work independently, so you can choose how to treat a patient.
  • Work in a group, if the need arises where you have to refer a patient.
  • Control and managerial capabilities, so that you can properly treat a patient, and render necessary care as it is needed.

Psychiatric nurse practitioner salary

Once fully licensed, and board certified, working as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you can expect to earn approximately $95,000 annually.

Become a psychiatric nurse practitioner

To become a psychiatric nurse practitioner, the steps you take are:

  • You will get your bachelor’s degree (nursing/ BSN).
  • You will then sit in for the national licensing exam, and must receive the passing grade (varies in each state, and in some cases, will vary based on the position and the employer you want to work for).
  • At this point, you can work as a registered nurse (RN). You will treat patients, work with other licensed professionals, and learn what the career you are entering into entails.
  • Focus on psychiatry; you are going to go back for your master’s degree (to an accredited university or online program), to receive your master’s in psychiatry.
  • You will again sit in for certification, but at this level it is to become board certified as a psychiatrist in the field you choose to enter into. The testing is given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
  • Renewal; in this field you have to remain up to date on the changes and the latest in medicine. Therefore, it is required for you to renew your license and board certification as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. It is usually every 5 years (but certain states might require you to do so more often, and others might require you to renew your licenses less frequently).
  • Become certified and practice as a certified psychiatric nurse practitioner.

It will take some time to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner, but it is well worth the payoff if you choose to enter the field. Good luck!

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Live Programs & Online Programs

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