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What does a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner do?

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A psychiatric nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. Psychiatric nurse practitioners work with patients of all ages to assess their mental health needs and develop individualized treatment plans. They may also provide counseling and support to patients and their families.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner job duties include:

  • Assess patients for mental health conditions and prescribe medication
  • Collaborate with psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other professionals to develop treatment plans
  • Educate patients and families about mental health conditions, medications, and lifestyle changes that can improve mental health
  • Monitor patients’ progress and adjust treatment plans as necessary
  • Provide crisis intervention and support to patients in distress
  • Conduct research on mental health conditions and treatments
  • Advocate for improved access to mental health services
  • Serve as a resource to other healthcare professionals on mental health issues
  • Consult with pharmaceutical representatives on new psychiatric medications
  • Participate in continuing education activities to keep abreast of new developments in the field of psychiatry

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Job Requirements

A psychiatric nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with a graduate degree in psychiatric nursing. In order to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner, one must first complete an accredited registered nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. After completing a graduate degree in psychiatric nursing, psychiatric nurse practitioners must pass the national board certification exam for psychiatric nurse practitioners. Psychiatric nurse practitioners must also obtain a state license to practice.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Skills

  • Patient assessment
  • Psychiatric diagnosis
  • Medication management
  • Therapeutic interventions
  • Crisis intervention
  • Risk assessment
  • Patient education
  • Collaboration with other providers
  • Consultation
  • Supervision
  • Research

Related: Top Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing. PNPs are advanced practice nurses who provide direct care to patients with mental illness. They work in a variety of settings, including outpatient clinics, hospitals, and community mental health centers.

PNPs are responsible for assessing and diagnosing mental illness, developing treatment plans, and prescribing medication. They also provide counseling and support to patients and their families. In addition, PNPs may conduct research and teach classes on mental health topics.

To become a PNP, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited school. Once you have obtained your RN license, you can then apply to a master’s program in psychiatric nursing. Upon graduation from the master’s program, you will need to pass a national certification exam to become a certified PNP.

Related: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Resume Example

Related: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

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Brenna Goyette

Expert Verified

Brenna is a certified professional resume writer, career expert, and the content manager of the ResumeCat team. She has a background in corporate recruiting and human resources and has been writing resumes for over 10 years. Brenna has experience in recruiting for tech, finance, and marketing roles and has a passion for helping people find their dream jobs. She creates expert resources to help job seekers write the best resumes and cover letters, land the job, and succeed in the workplace.

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