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Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Employment Information
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Overview
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners provide advanced treatment to patients with psychiatric disorders, substance abuse problems and medical-mental conditions. They assess patients' needs, diagnose patients with mental illnesses, prescribe and administer medications, develop patient treatment plans, and file medical reports. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners are employed by psychiatric service facilities, community mental-health centers, health clinics and both general and psychiatric hospitals.
They often work with patients who are disoriented, uncooperative or aggressive. The job can be both physically and mentally demanding. In addition to diagnosing and prescribing medication, a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner often works with both the patient and families to educate them about the condition.
The minimum requirement is a master's degree in nursing. Many Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners also have a Doctorate in Nursing. There are Master of Science in Nursing degrees with specialties in Psychiatric Nursing, Psychiatry or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.
There are a variety of certifications available, including one for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. All practicing nurses are required to be licensed by the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. There may be additional but varying state requirements.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Job Market
The need for healthcare professionals is on the rise. The aging baby boomers are part of the reason, but there's also an aging physician and medical professional population that's ready for retirement. That vacuum combined with the expected 30 million newly insured patients by 2022 is an indication of job security for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners and the medical field in general.