The decision to enter the field of nursing with an advanced degree and a passion for mental health is a recipe for career success. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) make an excellent salary and make an enormous impact on their patients’ lives. PMHNPs must obtain a master’s degree which qualifies them to provide therapy, administer treatment, prescribe medication, and coordinate complex care plans. The high PMHNP salary measures up to the complexity of the PMHNP job and is something to set your sights on if you see an advanced nursing degree in your future.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t cover the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner’s job specifically, these advanced nurses usually fit under the category of APRNs, or Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioners. According to the BLS, in 2021, APRNs made $123,780 annually nationwide.
One of the most popular job-search sites, Indeed, has crunched even more recent data. Based on 1,800 salaries reported as of April 17, 2022, Indeed found that the national Psychiatric NP salary is $138,324 annually. Many factors influence PMHNP salary potential, including:
- State or city
- Years of experience
- Type of facility
- Educational credentials
- Advanced certifications and skills
Location, Location, Location
The BLS reports that California, New Jersey, New York, Washington, and Massachusetts nurse practitioners take the cake for making the most money in the APRN professions. However, Connecticut PMHNPs can rejoice in that they earn over the national average, too. Specifically, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners in Connecticut earn $143,319 annually as reported by Indeed.
Experience is Everything!
As in most career fields, PMHNPs can expect their salaries to rise quickly with experience. While education in psychiatric nursing is essential, years on the job help nurse practitioners more deeply understand the processes, systems, structure, and ideological cornerstones of the healthcare facility where they work. This, in turn, increases the efficiency and worth of those professionals. The more experience a PMHNP obtains, the more valuable they become, putting results behind an ask for a raise, or a higher starting salary at a new position. With only between one and five years as PMHNP, nurses can expect to make 10 thousand less than their more advanced colleagues, who’ve been working for between six and 20 years.
PMHNP Work Environment Options
The PHMNP salary differs between workplace environments, as well. Among other factors, the type of funding and whether the healthcare facility is public or private, can have an impact on the salary scale. Due to the specificity of the PHMNP job, there is a wide variety of healthcare center types where PMHNPs might work, contributing to a wide PMHNP salary range, as reported by Payscale.com: between $91,000 and $144,000 annually.
PMHNPs are spoiled for choice when it comes to where they might decide to work. 47% of APRNs work in the offices of physicians and 26% work in hospitals, while other APRNs might work in outpatient care, educational services, or in other types of health practitioner offices. In contrast, PMHNPs might find work in the above environments as well as exciting and unique institutions like:
- Privacy psychiatric practice
- In-patient care services
- Government-run psychiatric care facilities
- Veterans programs
- Correctional facilities for adults or youth
- State-wide or community public health initiatives
- Psychiatric health consulting for businesses or non-profits
- In academia, as professors or educators
- Youth or student health clinics
- At-home healthcare
The most illuminating aspect of this list is that it demonstrates that any, and all, types of people may at some point require or benefit from mental health services. PMHNPs fulfill an important and sometimes under-appreciated role in society.
The Impact of Education & Certifications on PMHNP Salaries
Psychiatric mental health nursing is a rare and specialized choice. Out of the 355,000 nurse practitioners licensed in the United States, less than 5% hold a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse certification. To become a PMHNP, prospective students must obtain entry into a master’s degree program, for which an RN license, bachelor’s degree, and nursing experience is all required. Choosing a program that is accredited is extremely important because this shows future employers that the standard and rigor of your education have been vetted and approved.
PMHMPs must also become certified by passing the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) board certification exam. PMHNP classroom lessons and hands-on education are designed to build you up to pass this certification, which is valid for five years of practice before requiring re-certification.
Goodwin University’s PMHNP program is not only New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) accredited, but it is also competitively priced with other private non-profit colleges in CT. Finally, it can be completed in as few as seven semesters, part-time, with online learning, combined with immersion weekends and clinical practice. When you calculate your investment and commitment against the salary potential as PMHNP, the pay-off is simple and clear.
To learn more about Goodwin University’s PMHNP program and start thinking about your future in mental health nursing, contact us today at 800-889-3282, or request more information online here.