Why Become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner?

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) are advanced practice registered nurses who provide mental health services to patients. After testing and evaluation, a psychiatric nurse will administer a mental health healing plan that might include therapy and medication. Consider the broad impact of the work of psychiatric nurses. They directly improve the lives of people with acute and chronic mental health disorders like depression, PTSD, behavioral disorders, and anxiety. Their work also reaches patients’ communities by increasing awareness and providing education on managing and treating these common mental health problems. Why become a psychiatric mental health nurse? About one in five adult Americans need you.

Why is the demand for psychiatric mental health nurses so high?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics includes all types of nurse practitioners in data findings, which show that the employment rate for this career is growing at a rate of 45% from 2020 to 2030, or 5.6x faster than the national average. For mental health services, the 51.5 million Americans (as of 2019) affected by a mental health issue represents the enormity of the demand, specifically for PMHNPs. Furthermore, over half of adults struggling with a mental health disorder do not receive treatment, a deficit that has been growing annually since 2011.

Finally, some researchers believe the tide is shifting towards greater acceptance of mental health issues amongst Americans. Mainstream media and popular T.V. series are publishing more stories and weaving more complex narratives around previously taboo issues such as suicide, addiction, depression, and personality disorders. While shows and reporting on this subject underscore the unfortunate national problem of the pervasiveness of mental health challenges, they also raise consciousness and promote destigmatization. It seems that talking about mental health makes people more comfortable with taking action to address it, than we’ve seen in previous years and decades.

Our collective experience of the traumatic COVID-19 pandemic is one more reason why mental health has taken center stage as a top health concern. In a CDC survey on mental health taken in June 2020, 41% of respondentsreported significant depression and stress related to the pandemic, about double from pre-pandemic levels. People suffering from a new or increased mental health challenge who decide to take charge and seek treatment might first discuss their problem with family or loved ones, before making an appointment to visit their primary care physician in-person or via tele-health. An acute episode resulting from an unwell mental state might require a visit to the emergency room at a clinic, hospital, or inpatient center. Whether a person addresses their mental health needs proactively or reactively, psychiatric mental health nurses are there to meet them in a variety of settings and at any stage.

What are the benefits of becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner?

Becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner is a fantastic choice, whether you are early on in your nursing studies and thinking about the future, or you’ve already achieved a bachelor’s degree and are looking for the next advancement step. Helping people improve their psychiatric state is fulfilling, and contributes to bettering the global culture around mental health jobs. While the BLS shows that nurse practitioners (all disciplines) make on average, $111,680 annually, Indeed found that PMHNPs specifically make a base salary of $145,154 annually, calculated from an average of 1.8k reported salaries. Not to mention, becoming a PMHNP offers job stability due to the continuously increasing demand for mental health services.

To become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, you’ll need to complete an advanced nursing practice program such as Goodwin University’s PMHNP-APRN degree. Our relevant curriculum, offered at the master’s level, will support your daily work with patients. Best of all, you can complete this 50-credit curriculum almost exclusively from the comfort of your home, with an online education. Increased flexibility means that you can multi-task and prioritize in ways that work best for you! Log on to these engaging classes:

Making a true difference in peoples’ lives can begin with you. Develop your skills and passions for nursing to attack the problem of lack of professional mental health services for so many. Find more information by visiting Goodwin University online, and discover how this career-oriented master’s degree program can change your life too.