Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner
- For information about the field, see Psychiatric and mental health nursing.
In the United States, a Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse trained to provide a wide range of mental health services to patients and families in a variety of settings. PMHNPs diagnose, conduct therapy, and prescribe medications for patients who have psychiatric disorders, medical organic brain disorders or substance abuse problems. They are licensed to provide emergency psychiatric services, psychosocial and physical assessment of their patients, treatment plans, and manage patient care. They may also serve as consultants or as educators for families and staff. The PMHNP has a focus on psychiatric diagnosis, including the differential diagnosis of medical disorders with psychiatric symptoms, and on medication treatment for psychiatric disorders.
A PMHNP can often practice autonomously. In 27 states, nurse practitioners (NPs) already diagnose and treat with no physician involvement, and in 19 states prescribe medications independently. This is in contrast to 2008, when nurse practitioners could autonomously diagnose and treat in 23 states, and could only prescribe in 12 states. In other states, PMHNPs have a collaborative agreement with physicians or a standard scope of practice signed by a physician. For the most part, in these states, they still practice independently to diagnose disorders, provide therapy and prescribe medications. Titles and functions vary by state, but usually NP, RNP, or ARNP are used.
After completing a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree takes two to five more years of training. First the individual must earn a four-year college degree in nursing (BSN). Then, the candidate must complete an approved Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) advanced nursing education program.
Individuals who already have a bachelor's degree in another field can attend one of many accelerated BSN programs before entering an approved MSN or DNP program. Accelerated BSN programs typically take one and a half to two years after completion of prerequisite coursework. A new training modality is the Master's entry/graduate entry to practice nursing program model, which is specifically designed for those with bachelor's degrees in non-nursing fields. Entrants to these programs typically spend one year taking Bachelor's level nursing classes to allow them to pass the NCLEX-RN, and then go straight into an additional 2 years of training along with a residency of at least 600 hours to complete a MSN degree. Students must then successfully pass a Board examination to practice as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). PMHNP-BC is the designated title for a board certified Advanced Practice Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
Effective 2015, the Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is the planned entry level degree for advanced practice registered nurses. However, no state has actually initiated any laws regarding the DNP as the minimum degree. Currently, the 2015 date is simply a goal put forth by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). It is expected that current Master's-prepared nurses will be "grandfathered' into the new system and as long as they keep their certification current, they will not be required to pursue further education except the required continuing education.
There are many schools that offer the graduate education required for this profession. Notable schools with Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse practitioner programs are Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Yale School of Nursing, Saint Louis University, University of California-San Francisco, University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University School of Nursing. A listing of PMHNP programs by state can be found online at the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA).
The cost of education can vary greatly. Programs at public universities are typically less expensive for state residents than out-of-state-residents. For example, at UCSF the cost for the Masters program with in-state tuition is approximately $12,245 a year; for an out-of-state student the tuition is $24,798. In addition, programs at public universities tend to be less expensive than programs at private universities.
- Psychiatric and mental health nursing
- List of counseling topics
- Mental health professional
- Mental health
- Mental illness
- Nurse Practitioner
- "FAQs about Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses - American Psychiatric Nurses Association". www.apna.org. Retrieved 2016-11-08.
- The State of California. (2007, January 22). California Board of Registered Nursing Retrieved February 9, 2007, from http://www.rn.ca.gov/practice/nps.htm
- University of California, San Francisco. (2007, February 6). MS Specialty: Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nursing - UCSF School of Nursing Retrieved February 9, 2007, from http://nurseweb.ucsf.edu/www/spec-psy.htm