Nurse Practitioner Mental Health Certification

The Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry is an advanced practice provider with extensive education in specialty areas such as physiology/pathophysiology, health assessment, and pharmacology.  In this challenging and rewarding role, one must often intervene with vulnerable populations - working with individuals, families, and various groups to assess their mental health needs.  The advanced practice nurse (APRN)  in psychiatry provides age and developmentally appropriate, direct care from medical and psychological perspectives that includes data collection and documentation, development and monitoring of plans of care, initiation and interpretation of laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures, prescribing and managing  medication and development of outcomes as measurable goals. 

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified or PMHNP – BC is the official certification administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to practice as a nurse practitioner specializing in psychiatry.  The ANCC outlines the following as the eligibility requirements to take the certification examination.  Once an individual successfully passes the exam, they are awarded the credential: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (PMHNP-BC).

The role of an inpatient PMHNP-BC will vary from an outpatient role.  In an outpatient role, the NP can assess, counsel,  refer to social services, and treat patients with psychological needs.  In an outpatient setting, NPs can see new and follow up patients.  Outpatient Mental Health NPs benefit from experience in primary care medicine.  Job opportunities exist for NPs within a hospital ambulatory or clinic environment as well as in private practice.  Additionally, family practice environments hire FNPs who are also Mental Health Certified to see both sets of patients.
 In an inpatient setting, PNHNP-BC’s, benefit from experience in Medical Surgical, hospitalist or urgent care environments.  Job opportunities exist in a psychiatric only units, hospital wide psychiatric evaluation, treatment or referral, and staff education, as well as in emergency departments.

In emergency departments, Mental Health NPs evaluate and refer psychiatric patients.  However, with cutbacks in social services, many times patients stay in the emergency department for a longer period of time; as a result, NPs may also treat other medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.   A background in chronic care disease management becomes essential for these opportunities.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatry - Cincinnati, OH

Nurse Practitioner, Adult Emergency Psychiatry - Durham, NC

Eligibility Criteria provided by ANCC:
Hold a current, active RN license in a state or territory of the United States or hold the professional, legally recognized equivalent in another country.

Hold a master's, postgraduate, or doctoral degree from a family (or adult)  psychiatric–mental health nurse practitioner program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (formerly NLNAC | National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission).  A minimum of 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours must be included in your nurse practitioner program.

Three separate, comprehensive graduate-level courses in:
•Advanced physiology/pathophysiology, including general principles that apply across the life span
•Advanced health assessment, which includes assessment of all human systems, advanced assessment techniques, concepts, and approaches
•Advanced pharmacology, which includes pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacotherapeutics of all broad categories of agents

Content in:
•Health promotion and/or maintenance
•Differential diagnosis and disease management, including the use and prescription of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions

AND clinical training in at least two psychotherapeutic treatment modalities.

For more information on criteria for obtaining your Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified or PMHNP – BC visit www.nursecredentialing.org.

To inquire about these jobs visit Melnic Consulting Group or contact: Jill Gilliland 800-886-7906 jill@melnic.com

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