When browsing through a list of nursing specialties I came across the psychiatric nurse practitioner salary. At that time I was working as a registered nurse in a psychiatric hospital caring for patient that are recovering from drug addictions and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. This became my one of my favorite areas of nursing. This specialty has an average salary that is higher than many other nurse practitioner specialties. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss what a psychiatric nurse practitioner specialty is all about.
The psychiatric nurse practitioner salary ranges from about $76,000 to $105,000 yearly. A psychiatric nurse practitioner is also known as a mental health nurse practitioner. They hold a registered nurses license and a master’s degree in nursing with a specialty in psychiatry and mental health. Clinical training was focused in the area of psychiatry and mental health. These practitioners provide many mental health services to children, adults and entire families that have psychiatric disorders, problems substance abuse and mental conditions. They can provide emergency services in crises, diagnose, provide therapy, and prescribe most medications.
The psychiatric nurse practitioner salary may vary based on a work place setting. They may work in a primary care clinic, outpatient psychiatric clinic, psychiatric hospitals, community health centers and hospitals. They may even be educators for their staff or be an instructor at a university of nursing school. The psychiatric nurse practitioner can have their own practice in most states. Hours may vary based on the work-setting. The income is generally higher for these nurse practitioners that work in a hospital. There may be benefits available that may be a few thousand dollars extra yearly.
Of course not only is it important to know what a psychiatric nurse practitioner salary is but how many positions are available for this profession. There may be a great need for these services in underserved and rural areas in the United States. Unfortunately there remains a lack of mental health services in rural America. If deciding to open up a clinic in an underserved area, the government may provide funds or provide loan forgiveness. I have met several psychiatric nurse practitioners over the years that work in a clinic providing services such as counseling and family therapy.
After our discussion on a psychiatric nurse practitioner salary, does this specialty sound like something of interest? Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get into this special program right away. All area in nursing will deal with psychiatry and psychosocial assessments of patients. If deciding to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you can first graduate with a masters of science, become a family nurse practitioner for example, and then go back into a certification program for this specialty. My advice with any profession is to explore educational programs offered in addition to shadowing a psychiatrist or a psychiatric nurse practitioners. Since you will already be a registered nurse prior to getting into a graduate program, it would be a good idea to get a job as a registered nurse working in a psychiatric hospital to gain experience with working with these patients.