This year has brought about many obstacles and challenges for everyone around the world. Those challenges have often precipitated new stressors and heightened anxiety levels in many people’s lives. That’s why the need for trained mental health professionals is more important now than ever. Fortunately, if you are in the nursing field and want to focus your career on mental health and help patients positively manage their stress and overall mental well-being, then there are many great paths for you to take. One of those paths is to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (also known as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner).
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses that specialize in providing mental health care to many different types of patient populations including children, adults, families and communities. They focus on administering therapy, advocating, diagnosing, evaluating treatment plans and prescribing medication to patients with different psychiatric disorders.
There are many different paths and educational institutions that nurses can choose from when deciding how to become a nurse Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Although it requires a lot of hard work and experience, the path to achieve this advanced role is relatively straightforward. Here’s how to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Connecticut.
The first steps in this journey to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner are to achieve a nursing degree, gain experience in the field, and become a licensed RN. You will either need an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing to become a registered nurse. Upon earning your degree, the next step is to become licensed to practice by proving your competency in the field. This is achieved by passing the NCLEX-RN exam (National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse) in Connecticut. Once you pass the exam, you can then practice in the field and gain nursing experience.
After the foundations of your nursing career have been set as a registered nurse, the next step to becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is to earn an advanced degree in this specialization. A Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program, will provide you with the resources and knowledge needed to work with patients and teach them how to positively handle stress while promoting healthy life choices. Goodwin University’s PMHNP program focuses on providing students with the tools needed to take a holistic care approach with their patients.
After graduating with your advanced degree, you will be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Commission (ANCC) Board Certification and officially become an APRN. Beyond this certification, you can also choose to earn your Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Across the Lifespan) Certification (PMHNP-BC). These licenses will need to be renewed periodically.
Once you have earned all your degrees and certifications, then you are eligible to officially become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and begin practicing in the field. You will then be prepared and qualified to take care of patients with a variety of mental health illnesses and disorders such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, dementia, personality disorders, among many others. As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, you’ll be qualified to work in a variety of different environments such as Community Mental Health Centers, Domestic Violence Shelters, Hospitals, In-patient Psychiatric Facilities, Schools and Veterans Hospitals. Fortunately, most master’s programs also come with career services support to help you achieve your professional goals and land the position you’ve worked hard for.
Get started on your journey to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with Goodwin University. Goodwin’s Online PMHNP program will help you accelerate your career as an advanced practice registered nurse. Learn more today!
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.