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How To Become A Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The medical sector is one of the most in-demand industries in history, and it probably always will be; people will always have healthcare needs no matter how far technology advances. And with the ongoing covid19 pandemic shedding more light on the importance of physical and mental health, most people have come to realize just how important all kinds of healthcare workers really are.

While numerous career options within the medical sector are worth considering, and some don’t even require a bachelor’s degree, nursing is an excellent choice.

Nursing is exceptionally high in demand career choice, and while some common misconceptions about nursing include myths like only women are nurses, there are also several different types of nursing careers.

While most people assume there is only one type of nurse, there are many, from surgeon assistant nurse practitioners and registered nurses to nurses working in mental healthcare. Furthermore, not all nurse practitioners work in hospitals; there are various work environments for these healthcare practitioners.

That said, if you’re thinking about becoming a mental health nurse practitioner, we’ve listed the steps to achieving your dream.

Understanding The Role

Before you decide to enroll for your online PMHNP program from Wilkes University, you must first understand the job role specifics thoroughly; it won’t be wise to pursue a career if you aren’t entirely sure what it will consist of.

Mental-health nurse practitioners specialize in mental healthcare treatments. These nursing practitioners need to evaluate and diagnose patients that are suffering particularly from conditions that affect mental wellbeing. This includes patients battling substance addiction.

They are also key players in psychotherapy treatments, prescribe medications, and teach their patients and their loved ones about their condition. In addition, they also assist with managing patient treatment plans.

What’s more, mental health nurses can also work in various environments; their roles are not secluded to hospitals. These environments include academic settings, correctional facilities, government facilities, primary health clinics, schools, public health facilities, state psychiatric facilities, and several others.

When pursuing this career path, you can expect to earn just over $100,000 per annum with one to four years of relevant nursing experience, and your annual salary will increase along with your relevant experience.

Nursing is also expected to grow in demand by an estimated 9% in the next decade. Furthermore, some specialty fields are expected to show enormous growth; mental health nurse practitioner positions are just one.

Educational Requirements

Before you can start working as a mental health nurse, you will need to attend nursing school. Fortunately, due to the significant switch to online education in recent years, nursing is now among the careers you can study for online.

This means that you can now study to be a nurse online and either work part-time or full-time while doing so; this is especially great for students that need to earn while learning.

That said, you will first need to obtain your ADN (Associate of Science in Nursing) or your BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing). Getting one of these qualifications will take up to four years.

Next, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX_RN exam to become a registered nurse. Once you’ve passed this exam, you can start practicing as a registered nurse, or a few other types of nursing positions will also be within your reach.

With that said, it is vital to choose a learning institute that is accredited. Furthermore, it’s worth your while to compare a few different learning institutes to compare fees, curriculums, and other details to find the best option for you.

Gain Experience Or Further Your Education

Once you have successfully become a registered nurse, you will have the option to start practicing. However, you can also choose to continue your education. That said, you will need to further your education to become a mental health nurse practitioner.

Your following qualification to earn is the Masters of Science in Nursing or MSN. This program will take between eighteen months and three years to complete, and it can also be obtained online. However, most nursing programs will require at least two years of practice experience.

Whether you prolong furthering your education or not, you will need to gain experience as a nurse to obtain the following essential nursing qualification.

Enroll For Your PMHNP Degree

Once you have completed your MSN, you should enroll for your Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). This qualification can also be earned online, and it will take you around two and a half years to complete.

Once you have completed your PMHNP and are certified, you can start working as a mental health nurse practitioner.

While practicing as a mental health nurse, you will still need to devote a particular amount of hours towards continued education within the specialty field; this is a requirement for most medical practitioners to keep up-to-date with continuous developments. For this reason, working in the medical sector is a career choice that requires a lifetime of learning. Regardless, the career choice is undeniably gratifying for individuals determined to make a difference in the world by helping others.

Reasons To Become A Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Suppose you’re still in two minds about traveling down this particular path in the healthcare industry. In that case, whether you are not entirely lured by the lengthy education requirements or other reasons, there are several benefits of choosing this career path.

Firstly, because nursing is a field that will always be high in demand, you will have access to various lucrative opportunities within the field. There’s no doubt that you will never find yourself without work or the option to chase higher-paying positions constantly.

With that said, mental health nurses also help raise mental health awareness. So, if you’re an individual that’s particularly passionate about mental healthcare, then this is one of several ideal career paths for you.

And even though the working environments are typically fast-paced and high-alert, nurses generally get paid well and find their job roles incredibly gratifying.

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