I have been an RN (working acute care) for 5 years, and I have my BSN. I have always wanted to be a psychiatrist, but I am not sure I'm in for the long haul (so much school before I'd finally be able to practice psych, if I went the MD route). The main reason I'd prefer to do psychiatry vs. psychology/social work is because I am very interested in pharmacology, and I would want to be able to diagnose patients with mental disorders, plus prescribe / help patients maintain medication regimens.
Therefore, I was really excited when I recently read about PMHNP (psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners). Apparently, this NP specialty has just been added within the past couple of years, though, so I don't know if it is widely accepted. I wondered if anyone knew anything about this field, or also if PAs can specialize in psych. Has anyone seen any psych specialized mid-level practitioners floating around? If so, do they have autonomy, when it comes to prescriptions, dx, etc. (although I'm sure this depends on the state...anyone know about CA?)? What about private practice? Anyone think psych NP/PA private practice will catch on, if it doesn't already exist?
Thanks in advance for opinions/advice!