Switching careers and interested in psychiatric NP

  1. 4
    Hello everyone,

    This is actually my first post on allnurses.com. Currently, I am a licensed psychotherapist working for the U.S. Army's addiction clinic. At my current work site, a recent legislation was passed that anyone possessing a LPC or LMHC license would have difficulty moving into management positions. I have encountered this at several places I've worked in for the federal government.

    Actually, this worked out because I was thinking about going back to school anyway. I've grown a great interest in the psychiatric nurse practitioner route and wanted to ask a few questions. What does the current market look like for employment, salary available, and job flexibility?

    I don't want to make the mistake of getting the wrong degree or license and hear that I will never be able to move up in any company I work for. Also, can psychiatric nurse practitioners be employed overseas by different organizations other than military branches?

    I looked at the U.S. embassy positions but they only hire family nurse practitioners and MD Psychiatrists. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Mark
    Last edit by Joe V on Jul 12, '12 : Reason: spacing
    myelin, brian, Blanca R, and 1 other like this.
  2. Get our hottest nursing topics delivered to your inbox.

  3. 61 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I've heard - but have no data to back up - that the job market for PMHNP's is good and growing. This is supposedly because fewer and fewer MD's are choosing psychiatry because of the low insurance reimbursement rates, while the need for mental health practitioners continues to grow. This is actually an area that I am interested in and need to more thoroughly exam before making the jump. As to your question about PMHNP's employed by overseas companies, I would think that would be rare. In most countries (most European countries at any rate), competition for places in med school is not as stiff as in the US, there are more doctors per capita (often imported though) and physician remuneration is nowhere near the level here. In France for example, doctors live comfortably but rarely earn enough for the extra Mercedes and exclusive country club membership dues as is often the case here. I'd be surprised if the same shortage of mental health MD's existed and would expect that role would be very infrequently filled by NP's. Really just a guess on my part though and hopefully one of the AN members living outside the US will chime in on this.

    Good luck to you.
    Alexis33 likes this.
  5. 2
    Statistically, Psych NPs are the second highest paid advanced practice nurses (after CRNAs). The market is actually pretty darn good, as far as I can tell. Especially now that health insurance is required to cover mental health/addictions (thanks to the new healthcare act). Also, the fact that psychiatry is an unpopular specialty and a large portion of psychiatrists are 55+ and nearing retiring age, well you can see how things look like they should be getting even better.

    HOWEVER - this can be very regional. I've heard really good things about the pacific northwest, southwest (New Mexico/Arizona), and the northeast. I'm not so sure about other areas of the country.

    Also, one thing that's neat is in an independent practice state you can set up your own practice with little overhead compared to almost all other medical specialties.
    Last edit by myelin on Jul 12, '12
    Alexis33 and creativereaders like this.
  6. 1
    Quote from myelin
    Statistically, Psych NPs are the second highest paid advanced practice nurses (after CRNAs).
    That's the data from 2010. Not true for 2011. If you look at the survey of salary (not hourly rate) for PA & NP 2011. PMHNP was ranked at #5th. Psychiatric NP salary dropped -8% from last year. I believe it. Not all psych NP get good pays, same as FNP. Yes, locums rate/ part-time rate is very high in the report because they don't have to pay benefits.
    Demand can be regional and overrated.
    Remember, the salary does not always correlate salary. There is high demand in some area but salary remains low.

    I have several low offers, especially from the NSHC service sites. And the starting rate is just similar to other NPs. Sometimes, demand and the pay do not always correlate.

    I have looked at several parts of country. I never received offer or quote for base salary without incentive more than six figure as a new grad (except for hourly rate without benefit) but heard from recruiter that it is possible in AZ, NM. But not everyone can tolerate heat and dry. Psychiatry is a field that you can work long after 65+ Those 55+ won't be retiring soon.
    creativereaders likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from harmonizer
    That's the data from 2010. Not true for 2011. If you look at the survey of salary (not hourly rate) for PA & NP 2011. PMHNP was ranked at #5th. Psychiatric NP salary dropped -8% from last year. I believe it. Not all psych NP get good pays, same as FNP. Yes, locums rate/ part-time rate is very high in the report because they don't have to pay benefits.
    Demand can be regional and overrated.
    Remember, the salary does not always correlate salary. There is high demand in some area but salary remains low.

    I have several low offers, especially from the NSHC service sites. And the starting rate is just similar to other NPs. Sometimes, demand and the pay do not always correlate.

    I have looked at several parts of country. I never received offer or quote for base salary without incentive more than six figure as a new grad (except for hourly rate without benefit) but heard from recruiter that it is possible in AZ, NM. But not everyone can tolerate heat and dry. Psychiatry is a field that you can work long after 65+ Those 55+ won't be retiring soon.
    Right, but that same data found that psych NPs receive the highest hourly wage. Which speaks to some wonky statistics, IMO (some kind of confound). Also, it's pretty easy to look up average salaries for professions by state (including psych NP) on government websites. I dunno, but that they look promising, once again, this really depends on the state. The psych NPs who I know working in the northwest are swamped with work and not taking any more patients. Of course, these people own their own practices (which is relatively easy to do in psych, assuming you live in an ind practice state).

    I know you have mentioned low offers before, but you're in the South, right?

    I don't know why you think people won't be retiring. It's true that psych isn't exactly hard on your body, but people don't want to work forever. At the very least many will start working part-time, etc. Plus, like I said, the need is only going to increase due to ACA.
  8. 0
    Quote from harmonizer
    That's the data from 2010. Not true for 2011. If you look at the survey of salary (not hourly rate) for PA & NP 2011. PMHNP was ranked at #5th. Psychiatric NP salary dropped -8% from last year. I believe it. Not all psych NP get good pays, same as FNP. Yes, locums rate/ part-time rate is very high in the report because they don't have to pay benefits.
    Demand can be regional and overrated.
    Remember, the salary does not always correlate salary. There is high demand in some area but salary remains low.

    I have several low offers, especially from the NSHC service sites. And the starting rate is just similar to other NPs. Sometimes, demand and the pay do not always correlate.

    I have looked at several parts of country. I never received offer or quote for base salary without incentive more than six figure as a new grad (except for hourly rate without benefit) but heard from recruiter that it is possible in AZ, NM. But not everyone can tolerate heat and dry. Psychiatry is a field that you can work long after 65+ Those 55+ won't be retiring soon.
    Right, but that same data found that psych NPs receive the highest hourly wage. Which speaks to some wonky statistics, IMO (some kind of confound). Also, it's pretty easy to look up average salaries for professions by state (including psych NP) on government websites. I dunno, but that they look promising, once again, this really depends on the state. The psych NPs who I know working in the northwest are swamped with work and not taking any more patients. Of course, these people own their own practices (which is relatively easy to do in psych, assuming you live in an ind practice state).

    I know you have mentioned low offers before, but you're in the South, right?

    I don't know why you think people won't be retiring. It's true that psych isn't exactly hard on your body, but people don't want to work forever. At the very least many will start working part-time, etc. Plus, like I said, the need is only going to increase due to ACA.
  9. 0
    It is my understanding that it's a growing field. I can't speak towards the data and statistics, as I have not really looked them up, my information is from working in the field, and speaking with students who were doing clinicals at my hospital. I'm currently looking into programs, as I will finish my BSN in April probably, and then will apply for a program. From what I hear working, many of the psychiatrists are reaching retirement age and they are running into a shortage of providers. As was mentioned, low reimbursement, and the stigma for mental health does put a lot of newer doctors off as far as pursuing psychiatry. The scope of an NP for the area you live can make a big difference in pay rate, as it depends on if you can act independently or are required to work under the care of a doctor. You're not going to get rich, but it's my understanding you can have a decent life.

    I know nothing about working outside the country though. I would imagine there is not a huge demand for it though.
  10. 0
    Quote from myelin
    I know you have mentioned low offers before, but you're in the South, right?
    Well...I have been looking for jobs in other parts of the country as well. And I am probably going accept an offer with subjectively low pay and this's not from the south. I know FNP who makes six figure out of school. Psych NPs do not ​get pay more than other specialties. Demand does not always dictate the salary, especially with insufficient reimbursement for medicaid patient (I think). Yes, I do get a few job offers but I am also rejected by many jobs. I am connected with a recruiter from AZ but they didn't get back to me. So I guess.. either I am unqualified or the demand is not great....
    Last edit by harmonizer on Jul 13, '12
  11. 0
    well, there certainly is room for growth in mental health care in the us. we are fifth from the bottom on the oecd listing in terms of the number of beds devoted to psychiatric care, with about a third of the average among oecd countries.

    health care resources
    psychiatric care beds, per 1 000 population
    2010 (or nearest year)
    australia
    0.4
    austria
    0.8
    belgium
    1.8
    canada
    0.40
    chile
    0.17
    czech republic
    1.02
    denmark
    0.57
    estonia
    0.54
    finland
    0.75
    france
    0.88
    germany
    0.49
    greece
    0.80
    hungary
    0.33
    iceland
    ..
    ireland
    0.73
    [color=windowtext]israel
    0.45
    italy
    0.10
    japan
    2.73
    korea
    0.90
    luxembourg
    0.85
    mexico
    0.04
    netherlands
    1.39
    new zealand
    0.22
    norway
    0.82
    poland
    0.63
    portugal
    0.58
    slovak republic
    0.79
    slovenia
    0.65
    spain
    0.41
    sweden
    0.48
    switzerland
    0.97
    turkey
    0.06
    united kingdom
    0.54
    united states
    0.25
    oecd average
    0.7
  12. 0
    Thanks for the information everyone. I just registered for my introduction to biology course. I am hoping to do all my prereqs before applying. Do people recommend an entry levels masters NP program or doing a accelerated bsn and then work as a nurse first then apply to a DNP in psychiatric nurse practitioner program? I am confused on which route would be best to take. I definitely know that I want to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner after working with a few of them at different jobs I have had.

    Mark





    Quote from Mkim680
    Hello everyone,

    This is actually my first post on allnurses.com. Currently, I am a licensed psychotherapist working for the U.S. Army's addiction clinic. At my current work site, a recent legislation was passed that anyone possessing a LPC or LMHC license would have difficulty moving into management positions. I have encountered this at several places I've worked in for the federal government.

    Actually, this worked out because I was thinking about going back to school anyway. I've grown a great interest in the psychiatric nurse practitioner route and wanted to ask a few questions. What does the current market look like for employment, salary available, and job flexibility?

    I don't want to make the mistake of getting the wrong degree or license and hear that I will never be able to move up in any company I work for. Also, can psychiatric nurse practitioners be employed overseas by different organizations other than military branches?

    I looked at the U.S. embassy positions but they only hire family nurse practitioners and MD Psychiatrists. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Mark


Top