Questions about Psych NP

  1. I was always set on FNP due to job prospects, flexibility, etc. but I've been having second thoughts about PMHNP lately. Psychiatry fascinates me and I would much rather focus on one aspect of human health that I'm interested in. What does a PMHNP exactly do? How mentally draining is the job? What are some settings that they work in other than psych hospitals? I'd like to work in outpatient settings if I can, but it seems like a significant portion of outpatient settings for PMHNPs consists of community clinics... And I've heard of some not-very-pretty stories about working at there. (e.g. drug seekers) I would also like to know if psych NP's are required to provide therapy, or if they mostly focus on diagnosing and prescribing. While the study of psychiatry itself intrigues me, I'm not exactly the "therapist" type... I myself have been constantly suffering from Asperger's and social anxiety all my life. (Ironic, much?) Should I stay in inpatient settings if I want to focus on diagnosing/prescribing? Thanks!
    Last edit by cn4207 on Apr 22
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  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   PsychBoss
    Quote from cn4207
    I was always set on FNP due to job prospects, flexibility, etc. but I've been having second thoughts about PMHNP lately. Psychiatry fascinates me and I would much rather focus on one aspect of human health that I'm interested in. What does a PMHNP exactly do? How mentally draining is the job? What are some settings that they work in other than psych hospitals? I'd like to work in outpatient settings if I can, but it seems like a significant portion of outpatient settings for PMHNPs consists of community clinics... And I've heard of some not-very-pretty stories about working at there. (e.g. drug seekers) I would also like to know if psych NP's are required to provide therapy, or if they mostly focus on diagnosing and prescribing. While the study of psychiatry itself intrigues me, I'm not exactly the "therapist" type... I myself have been constantly suffering from Asperger's and social anxiety all my life. (Ironic, much?) Should I stay in inpatient settings if I want to focus on diagnosing/prescribing? Thanks!
    Ok, Ill take a crack at this. As far as job prospects that is largely variable based on market. Some markets have many more NP's a than others and some markets employ many more than others. That being said, I haven't seen many areas where you couldn't find a job in Psych even as a new grad. Most PMHNP's work in the outpatient setting, but inpatient is an options, as well as a blending of the true. There are probably more jobs with community clinics, but there are plenty of jobs available in private practices as well. Not only will you not be required to give therapy but you more than likely won't be asked too unless it's a private practice. Our schooling is heavily slanted toward medication managment. We can bill for therapy but many providers don't want us focusing on it as it's not as profitably and frankly we aren't nearly as qualified as masters prepared therapists.

    As far as how "mentally draining" the job is? I guess that depends on the person. In my opinion it is more focused than floor nursing however there is a much greater sense of responsibility or weight to your decisions. I find critical thinking and problem solving energizing and wearing many hats and putting out fires like when I was a floor nurse exhausting. Some people think just the opposite. There are drug seekers in every profession. Frankly primary care sees as many benzo and stimulant seekers as a mental health facility as well as opiate abusers. It's part of the world we live in and it's a major problem. However, there are options such as working at a detox facility or correctional facility where you will never prescribe a controlled substance. Those populations are draining in different ways. I didn't see if you mentioned if you were an RN. If I were you I would get a job as a tech at a mental hospital and see if you even like working with this population. Most people hate it or love it. If you are an RN, obviously get an RN job at an inpatient hospital or mental health clinic.
    Last edit by PsychBoss on Apr 25 : Reason: Words

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