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Nurse Practitioners

Who are Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners?

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) are professionals who work in the mental health field. During their training, they learn to work with patients who have psychiatric disorders. They consult and provide high-quality care with:

  • Families
  • Individuals
  • Communities
  • Groups
  • Corporations
  • Educators
  • Legislators

PMHNPs provide services for mental health and psychiatric care, such as:

  • Prescribing Medication
  • Administration of Psychotherapy

How are Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners Trained?

Mental Health Nurses are required to complete at least 6-10 years of post-secondary education. After they complete their first degree, they earn their license as a PMHNP. They must complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree and then earn a masters’ or doctorate. The master’s program is required to include 600-hours of clinical work. The last step for the new nurse to complete is to sit before the board and pass a comprehensive exam to complete their certification process as a PMHNP.

What Services are Provided by Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners?

The services psychiatric nurses provide are:

  1. Assessment
  2. Diagnosis
  3. Psychotherapy
  4. Medication Administration

Assessments
Psychiatric nurse practitioners complete assessments for psychological and physical disorders to determine if the patients have the condition they are being assessed for and examine the patients’ risk factors for developing them. Psychiatric nurses are trained to advise about the most helpful reactions to patient behavior and explain disorders to family members, law enforcement personnel, and teachers. During the assessment, these factors are considered:

  • Cognitive Ability
  • Genetics
  • Social and Economic Status
  • Family Interactions
  • Gender
  • Culture and Ethnicity

Diagnosis
Psychiatric nurse practitioners are trained to diagnose neurological and mental problems as well as distinguish them from others. Correct integration, interpretation of data in a diagnostic context, and critical thinking are required for the task at hand.

Psychotherapy
Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners are also able to practice a variety of types of psychotherapy, including:

  • Group
  • Family
  • Individual

Medication Administration
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse practitioners are licenced to:

  • Prescribe Medication
  • Manage Medication
  • Administer Medication
    • Intramuscular
    • Oral

Along with the categories discussed above, psychiatric nurse practitioners can contribute to larger fields of healthcare reform and policy development in one or a combination of ways which include:

  • Advising
    • Legislators
    • Law Enforcement Personnel
    • Administrators
  • CoachCoaching nurses as well as other healthcare professionals
  • Working as researchers
  • Teaching as professors

What Are the Disorders Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners Treat?

When psychiatric nurse practitioners work with patients, they both diagnose and treat a variety of psychiatric difficulties such as:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Substance Addiction or Abuse
  • Problems of Aging, Adolescence, and Childhood
  • Eating Disorders
  • Memory Disorders
  • Phobias
  • Paranoia
  • Schizophrenia

What Locations Do Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners Treat Patients?

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners have the ability to treat patients in various settings.

They are often employed by:

  • Clinics for Patients
  • Educational Institutions
  • Hospitals

They are able to treat patients in locations that provide:

  • Family Medicine
  • Primary Care
  • Pediatrics
  • Internal Medicine
  • Gynecology
  • Obstetrics

They are also able to treat geriatric patients who are living in:

  • Senior Programs
  • Nursing Homes
  • Require Home Healthcare

Psychiatric Nurses are also often employed by prisons, government agencies, and relief organizations.

How Do Mental Health Nurse Practitioners Approach Treatment?

Psychiatric nurse practitioners often take a holistic approach as compared to others in the same field of medicine. Their training is about focusing on the patient’s needs for high-quality care. They are taught to be compassionate, empathetic, value the patients they care for, and keep professional boundaries by forming a therapeutic relationship with their patients.

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