Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs

What is Psychiatric Nursing?

Psychiatric nursing is a field of study within nursing that focuses on the mental wellbeing of patients. Psychiatric nurses are also known as mental health nurses. Students in psychiatric nursing programs learn how to deal and treat patients with personality disorders. They also come to know how to guide the patients and their families in order to help the patients recover soon. They may administer medication, monitor side effects and ensure a patient’s personal hygiene as well.
Psychiatric nurses can also choose to become nursing instructors, or administrators. They can pursue a specialty within this field such as child & adolescent mental health, forensics or substance-abuse. These healthcare professionals can find employment in mental healthcare settings or psychiatric wards in hospital.
How to Become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner?
Students who would like to pursue a career as psychiatric nurse practitioners need to complete an RN program and get licensed as an RN as well. The can enroll in bachelor’s program in nursing and complete coursework in areas such as chemistry, human physiology, human anatomy and psychology. Other than classroom lessons, students also need to complete a practicum in these programs that helps them gain real-life experience in healthcare settings. After earning an RN degree, aspiring psychiatric nurse practitioners need to pass their state license exam and get a certificate issued by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as well.
Aspiring psychiatric nurse practitioners need to obtain a master’s degree with a focus in psychiatric nursing that spans over 1-2 years. This program help students develop psychotherapy skills and learn about cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy and other therapeutic modalities. They also come to know all aspects of the brain as it affects mental health, as well as diagnostic techniques.
Psychiatric Nursing Certification
To pursue a career in psychiatric nursing, students also need to earn a certification in this area of study. Psychiatric nurse certification programs help students acquire an in-depth theoretical understanding of advanced nursing practice. To gain this certificate, learners need to have a master’s degree in nursing. It is also important to have prior experience in nursing. Course work in certificate programs may include practice of family therapy, psychopathology family theory in context, theory of group psychotherapy as well as clinical practice and supervision with groups. Nurse practitioners who are interested in psychiatry can opt to be ANCC-certified in adult or family psychiatric and mental health.
Jobs Opportunities for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
Nurses with advanced degrees are in high demand. There are thousands of new jobs for nurses who specialize in psychiatric nursing as well. Psychiatric nurse practitioners can earn from $40,000 to $60,000 on an annual basis and benefit from a number of incentives like flex work hours, life insurance, bonuses and educational benefits as well.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs Online
Online schools also offer programs for students who would like to become psychiatric nurse practitioners. These programs are self-paced and give students the freedom to study from any location. The online program can be suitable for busy professionals seeking a career in psychiatric nursing.

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