Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Masters Programs
What Do You Learn in a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program?
A psychiatric nurse practitioner provides care for patients with mental illness. These individuals are licensed registered nurses who earn their master’s education in this particular field.
Individuals who work as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner may diagnose and provide treatment to those who suffer from mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, eating disorders, personality disorders, trauma-related disorders, and disruptive behavior.
To provide this care, the PNP takes courses to learn to assess, diagnose, and plan the care for patients. They may work with patients across the lifespan. Their work may also include some of the same types of services as a medical doctor. Rules on what they have a license to do may vary from one state to the next.
Generally, those with this designation may be able to carry out exams and mental health assessments. They diagnose psychiatric illness based on the standards of care. They may also educate the patient and family about the conditions, prescribe a treatment plan that may include medications, and provide psychotherapy sessions for patients. They may also coordinate the other care services a patient needs.
They may work alone or in combination with a family nurse practitioner. They may work in acute care, practice settings, mental health hospitals, and treatment centers.
Psychiatric Mental Health NP Courses May Include
The following are some of the courses that a student in this educational path may take.
This course may cover more in depth techniques for pathophysiology. The course may use previous courses to build upon a knowledge base and to provide students a foundation into further assessing and diagnosing.
Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning
In this course, students may be introduced to a number of different assessment techniques. Students may learn how to interpret results and create diagnoses.
This course may cover the use of medication and drugs used in psychotherapy. This may include all aspects and how to prescribe and what doses of certain medications to provide treatments.
Theories of Individual and Family Psychotherapy
This course may introduce students to a number of concepts in regard to psychotherapy. The course may include topics and how they relate to both individual and family psychotherapy and how to treat.
Neuroscience for Mental Health Practitioners
This course may cover topics such as concepts of neuroscience and clinical management of symptoms. Some areas of study in the course may include neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neurochemistry.
In this course, students may be introduced to the use of psychopharmacologic treatments. Some topics may include medications as well as clinical treatments in regard to psychotherapy.
5 Most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Top 10 Schools Graduating Students with a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program
The following are the 10 schools that graduated the highest number of students in this field during the 2019 to 2020 school year, according to College Scorecard data.
|College / University||Graduates||Acceptance Rate|
|Maryville University of Saint Louis||131||83%|
|Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global||46||100%|
|CUNY Hunter College||44||35%|
|Stony Brook University||38||44%|
|Dewey University-Hato Rey||33||100%|
|University of Pennsylvania||30||8%|
|Florida International University||27||58%|
|MGH Institute of Health Professions||25||N/A|
|Frontier Nursing University||24||N/A|
Students who wish to pursue this graduate degree program may need to consider funding options to do so. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of graduate school for the 2019-2020 school year was $19,792. As a result, some students may wish to consider a number of different funding options that could be available to them.
Students may wish to pursue scholarships. These do not require repayment. The scholarship provider sets the rules for who may apply for consideration, along with how much is given, how many awards are possible, and any other stipulations on the funding. Though they take a bit of work, many find them beneficial as they may help pay for numerous costs related to graduate studies. Consider checking out available nursing scholarships at Unigo.
Here are a few potential examples:
Who Can Apply: This scholarship is available for U.S. students who are majoring in nursing at an accredited college or university in the U.S. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
Deadline: August 1
Who Can Apply: This scholarship is available for registered nurses enrolled in a graduate program for maternal-child nursing. Applicants must be members of one or more of the following professional organizations: the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; the American College of Nurse-Midwives; or the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.
Deadline: January 24
Who Can Apply: To celebrate nurses everywhere, CeraVe is giving away $25,000 in Scholarships with their CeraVe Future Nurses Scholarship! Five (5) winners will be selected and each will receive a scholarship for $5,000.
Deadline: April 7
Who Can Apply: Johnson & Johnson offers a multitude of scholarships for any nursing program throughout the year.
Who Can Apply: Registered nurses enrolled in graduate level, degree-granting colleges and universities in selected regions of the US may be eligible to apply for a Promise of Nursing Regional Faculty Fellowship (PON Fellowship). The PON Fellowship is designed to assist RN’s who are preparing for the nurse educator role to achieve their degrees. Applicants may apply for up to three semesters at a time.
Is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner a rewarding career?
Those who work as a psychiatric nurse practitioner may do much of the same work as those who are nurse practitioners. Their education allows them to focus on the psychiatric needs of patients.
The work they do in this field may include diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. They may order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests, including labor work as needed. They may also prescribe medication in many states. They may analyze the medical histories of patients over time, provide health promotion, and aid in providing patients with steps to prevent complications. They may help patients who have complex, unstable conditions, chronic conditions, or emergency conditions.
These professionals may work with other health care providers, or they may work alone. Their work often includes providing education to patients and family members about their mental health conditions. They typically follow the standards of care, scientific rationale, and professional practice guidelines when developing treatment plans.
This type of work often requires a master’s or higher level of education. They typically need to have 5 or more years of experience. Some may receive limited on-the-job education.
Important skills for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners to have according to O*NET are:
- Active Listening – 78 – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving – 78 – Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking – 78 – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
2020 Median Annual Salary for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
The following are the 2020 median salaries for those who worked as nurse practitioners in each state, based on data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|North Dakota||$110,070||New Hampshire||$112,460|
Purdue University Global
Seton Hall University
Medical College Of Ohio
Oregon Health & Science University
Midwestern State University
University of South Alabama
University of Missouri - Columbia
University at Buffalo
University of North Dakota