Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Diagnose and treat mentally ill patients with medication and therapy.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$44,000 – $95,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners do?

Mental health conditions are confusing, debilitating, and expensive to treat. Patients who suffer from them feel lost, frustrated, angry, and helpless. Luckily, they have Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners to help them get headed in the right direction.

As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, you work with a medical team to help mental health patients recover from or deal with their mental illness. The team of the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is made up of Primary Care Doctors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Social Workers, and the family of the patient.

No two patient cases are exactly the same because the patients you see suffer from a wide range of ailments. Depression, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, dementia, psychosis, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts cover just a few.

Your work takes place in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, hospital, clinic, mental health institution, or the patient’s home. Regardless of the location, you provide the same care.

You begin by talking with the patient and offering a sympathetic ear. You ask questions and assess the patient’s condition. With this information, you are able to diagnose the condition, offer a treatment plan, and prescribe medications. Along the way, you keep careful records for the rest of your team.

This is a highly rewarding job as you watch patients transform from depressed to content and from wildly incoherent to controlled. Along the way, you encounter disappointments, frustrations, and even losses, but those who conquer their symptoms with a new outlook on life make it all worthwhile.

Should I be a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner See More

    How to Become a
    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

    Most Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaa9c&chl=||||master%27s+%2896%25%29|doctorate+%284%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,96
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