PMHNP / Psych NP Jobs – Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Career Guide

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Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner CareersWhat is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner / Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP)?

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners also known as Psychiatric NPs/Psych NPs or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP), are registered nurses with advanced education and training in diagnosing and treating individuals with mental health conditions. They also help people dealing with difficult life circumstances, grief, and family issues. A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner will address physical and mental health concerns, and offer treatment options based on in-depth physical and mental assessments. Interventions can include individual or group counseling, psychotherapy, and the prescribing of medication.

Psychiatric NPs often work closely with other health professionals, creating an interdisciplinary treatment plan to ensure patients receive the many benefits of holistic treatment. Psychiatric NPs can meet with patients individually or in a group setting. Depending on their area of expertise, these practitioners may work in private practice, behavioral health clinics, residential treatment centers, or alongside general practitioners working with adults or children. Psychiatric NPs also work in public health and correctional facilities.

Depending on a Psychiatric NP’s chosen specialty, he or she may work with children, teens, geriatric patients, or other populations. Some specialize in specific psychiatric diagnoses or substance-abuse problems, while others offer family counseling services.

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What is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner responsible for?

As mental health specialists, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners are responsible for treating patients while spreading awareness about mental health issues and promoting overall wellness. They educate individuals, families, and communities in an effort to advocate for those affected by mental illness, and to destigmatize mental health conditions.

According to the AANP’s annual survey of nurse practitioners, the average NP sees 15 patients a day. Here is a video of a day in the life of a psychiatric nurse practitioner if you are interested in learning more about the day to day work on a PMHNP.

Where does a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner work?

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners can choose to work with adults, adolescents, or children in a variety of settings based on his/her specialty. Many Psychiatric Nurse work in private practice or behavioral health clinics. Other settings include residential treatment centers or general practitioners’ offices. Working alongside other health professionals often means creating an interdisciplinary treatment plan to address patients’ overall health and wellness.

Can a PMHNP work remotely?

Yes, there are many opportunities for a PMHNP looking to work remotely. Here are some of our latest remote opportunities.

The pandemic accelerated remote working and in particular telehealth by a decade and this has brought about a lot of opportunities for healthcare workers looking to enjoy the flexibility of working remotely and mental health is no exception.

The lack of commute facilitates a better work-life balance and huge cost savings however the role of a PMHNP is a challenging and often stressful one; the loneliness of working remotely can add to this. Additionally there may be fewer support and developmental opportunities vs working in a setting but this may change as more providers get better with supporting and training their remote workforce.

What other career options are available to a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner?

In addition to practicing in treatment centers and doctor’s offices, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners can work in public health or correctional facilities. Family counseling, substance abuse programs, and consulting for large corporations are also options. Some Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Jobs are researchers, always eager to learn about breakthroughs in mental health diagnoses and treatment, and share their knowledge with colleagues and the general public.

See also; Psychiatrist Career Guide

How to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner?

For those interested in becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner there are a number of steps you must complete before you can practice.

  1. Complete a nursing degree – your first step is to complete an associate degree in nursing program, a diploma in nursing, or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
  2. Become a registered nurse – following completion of your nursing degree you will be eligible to take the registered nurse licensing examination – NCLEX-RN. The exam is standardized across all states but the process and paperwork can vary. Learn more with this helpful guide from Nursing Licensure.
  3. Apply to an accredited PMHNP program – there are two bodies that regulate PMHNP programs; the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). See here for a list of top programs.
  4. Complete clinical hours – you will need to complete a minimum of 540 precepted clinical hours supervised by a physician, counselor or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
  5. Earn your PMHNP certification – upon completion of your studies and your supervised clinical hours, you will need to take and pass the ANCC administered examination. The exam consists of 150 questions across 5 categories; psychotherapy and related theories, ethical and legal principles, scientific foundations, diagnosis and treatment and advanced practice skills. Here are some sample exam questions, a good test prep site and a library of useful resources.

Psych NP salary – How much money does a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner earn?

Like with many healthcare professions, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners salaries vary greatly depending on geographical location and demand, as well as level of education, training, and experience. Income also differs based on the Psychiatric Nurse’s specialty and work setting.

Experienced psychiatric nurse practitioners get paid an average of $139,976 per year.

Where do Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Get Paid the Most?

Here are the top 5 states for PMHNP salaries:

  1. Washington – $203,000
  2. California – $191,000
  3. Arizona – $169,000
  4. New York – $152,000
  5. Pennsylvania – $150,000

Is PMHNP a good career?

Being a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is a demanding but ultimately very rewarding career.

There is certainly strong demand so you can be assured of a “job for life”. The BLS is projecting a 17% increase between 2019 to 2029 in jobs for nurse practitioners specializing in psychiatric care.

The pay is excellent, as noted above, with an average salary of nearly $140,000. That being said it is a career which requires considerable initial training and experience and a significant commitment to ongoing education.

As you might expect, the role requires strong communication and interpersonal skills. You’ll be helping patients with often very challenging conditions which will require a great deal of compassion. Additionally you may be working alongside other care professionals to support a patient so the ability to work as a team is also important.

Finally, due to the variety of opportunities available and the high demand for qualified psychiatric nurse practitioners, you will often have the luxury of choice when it comes to selecting an employer which suits your lifestyle. For example, you may earn more in a hospital setting or as a traveling mental health nurse but the trade off will be often longer and irregular hours.

Latest PMHNP / Psych NP Jobs – Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Career Guide Listings

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Position Company Location Posted
Advanced Practice Provider - NP or PA ConcertoCare Washington 02/01/2023
Locations: Seattle, Tacoma, Kent, Kirkland and Spokane, WA Crown Health is a ConcertoCare practice. Sign-on bonus eligible! TheCrown Healthmission was born from the desire to meet the primary care needs of vulnerable patients wherever they call home. Our unique approach to mobile care allows our team to serve those with limited mobility and complex ... More
Nurse Practitioner- PMHNP Outpatient Clinic Tidal Health Salisbury, Maryland 02/01/2023
TidalHealth is seeking a full-time Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner to join our rapidly growing behavioral health service line. This position is located in the brand-new Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic in Salisbury, MD. Principle Duties and Responsibilities : Evaluates patients by interviewing patient, and as indicated family and/or support persons, conducting examinations, observing behaviors, reviewing medical history and related documents, ... More
Pediatric Surgery (PRN) - Central Illinois CarleHealth Urbana, Illinois 02/01/2023
Job Description Carle Health is seeking a BE/BC Pediatric Surgeon (PRN) to join our expanding Pediatric Surgery Department at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois. Practice opportunity details include: Join an established, full-spectrum program with an additional BC Pediatric Surgeon, dedicated Pediatric Surgery NP and full Pediatric Anesthesiology coverage Large built-in referral base with growing primary care ... More
Psychiatric NP - East Central Illinois CarleHealth Danville, Illinois 02/01/2023
Job Description Carle Health is seeking a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner to join our Psychiatry team in Danville, Illinois. Position Details Include: Monday - Friday, 8a - 5p schedule; option for 10 hour shifts Established, outpatient clinical practice Opportunity to work in a rural, underserved community Psychiatric NP will cover range of patient cases including consults with new patients, ... More
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner - Normal, IL CarleHealth Normal, Illinois 02/01/2023
Job Description Carle is seeking an experienced Psychiatric NP to join our expanding Behavioral Health team at Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Illinois. Practice Details Include: Position will be a mix of both inpatient and outpatient responsibilities Adult only practice Inpatient call will be done at Carle BroMenn Medical Center, a 221-bed, Magnet-Designated hospital with an expanding Psychiatric unit ... More
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) - Outpatient LifeStance Health Brooklyn, New York 02/01/2023
Is This You?Wanting to deliver high quality behavioral healthcare.Seeking work life balance.Interested in growing professionally.Work closely with the general adult and/or child and adolescent populationsHigh functioning patientsProvide psychiatric assessmentsMedication managementWhat we offer Nurse Practitioners:Flexible work schedules. Hybrid system, in-person and remote Generous ... More
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) - Outpatient LifeStance Health Garden City, New York 02/01/2023
Is This You?Wanting to deliver high quality behavioral healthcare.Seeking work life balance.Interested in growing professionally.Looking for full-time 30 hours and aboveWork closely with the general adult and/or child and adolescent populationsHigh functioning patientsProvide psychiatric assessmentsMedication managementWhat we offer Nurse Practitioners:Flexible work schedules. Hybrid ... More
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) LifeStance Health Annapolis, Maryland 02/01/2023
We offer Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners:Sign-On Bonus!Full-Time W2 PositionsFlexible work schedules. In-Person and Hybrid flexibility. 100% Outpatient work. No call.Collegial work environment. Full administrative support. Latest in digital technology. Strong work/life balance.Full Malpractice Insurance Coverage.Full Benefits Package: Health Insurance/Vision/Dental/Life/Disability ... More
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