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Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Also called a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners do many of the same things a psychiatrist does, including diagnosing mental illness and prescribing medication. As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, you’ll also act as a therapist, helping patients with depression, anxiety and suicidal individuals, and other conditions that can be remedied with counseling.

Things You'll Do:

  • Assess, examine, diagnose and treat patients with mental illness
  • Teach patients’ families about the patient’s condition, and how to react in certain scenarios

Your job characteristics:

  • Multifaceted
  • Structured
  • Patient-facing
  • Managerial
  • Independent

How You'll Get There
  • Get Your
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Pass Your
    National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
  • You can start working as a Registered Nurse.
    More about becoming an RN ›
  • Get Your
    Master of Science in Nursing focusing on Psychiatry (MSN)
  • Get Your
    Board certification in psychiatric nursing (PMHNP-BC) through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • You’ll need to renew your certification every five years, so you stay up-to-date on the latest research and professional developments.
  • Become a
    Certified Registered Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

More About this Specialty
  • Where You
    Can Work

    • Mental health clinics
    • Correctional facilties
    • Your own practice

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  • How Much You
    Can Make

      an average salary of

      $66K - $85K

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  • What Else You
    Can Expect

    • As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, you’ll do many of the same things a psychiatrist does, including diagnosing mental illness and prescribing medication.

  • Meet

    Psychiatric Nurse, RN

    As a girl, I had the desire to be a nurse, but thought it unachievable. My female role models...

    read her story
  • Meet

    Psychiatric Nurse, RN

    I knew nursing would be demanding, but the rewards far outweigh any drawbacks because every day I wake up...

    read his story
  • Meet

    Psychiatric Nurse, RN

    Nursing is so much more than I ever though it would be. I am challenged every day to lead people, to make decisions...

    read his story

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