Concern/question about PMHNP and Clinical Psychologists - page 2

by Love&Care

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Hi, I have two areas of NP interest right now: cardiology and psych. I'm a little more skeptical about Psych for one reason. If clinical psychologists gain more prescriptive rights in the future, what could this mean for... Read More


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    Hey Myelin,

    That's great that you're in an NP program and are enjoying it! I am looking at direct entry programs right now. Is it true how expensive they are? Is yours expensive? The majority seem to be in big metro areas and cost a fortune. I'm going to have to take out at least $100k in loans to cover the 3 years. At least some let you work part time after you get the RN, but it seems like it's very difficult to get an RN job with no experience. Have you started looking?

    I realize that these programs are competitive, but honestly after preparing for Clinical Psych PhD programs, I find it much more relieving to apply to these programs. As you probably know, Clinical PhD programs usually take around 6 out of ~250-300 applicants. Comparatively, the direct entry MSN programs are a breeze to get into. All I need is some pre-reqs, and hopefully I'll be applying next year.
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    Sorry for a late reply, school has been busy.

    Great information and advice here. Thanks so much everybody. For those of you who are PMHNPs or are in the process of becoming one, what does a typical day for a PMHNP look like? Also, what is the big difference between the psych NP and a prescribing psychologist? I would assume that in general, they can both treat the patient in the same way: med and/or psychotherapy.

    Also, how important is experience went entering the mental health field as a nurse? What other kinds of research can they engaged in? Can they specialize in say, neuropsychiatry and work along neurologists and with patients with epiliepsy and other neurologyical disorders? I'm mostly interested in the mental health of medically ill patients either in oncology, neuro, nephrology, etc. I'm also very interested in the biological aspects (and research) of things, which is why I'm choosing the NP route. However, how much "biology" is even in psychiatry?

    Also, can PMHNPs also help manage coexisting physical conditions with physical assessment, differential diagnosis, and drug assessment? Or are they stritly tied down to psychiatric patients?

    Tried to stay away from this question but I'm curious: What's the salary like for psych NPs? I know reimbursment for psychiatrists isn't the greatest and they are one of the lowest paid physicians.
    Last edit by Love&Care on Dec 15, '12
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    Quote from Love&Care
    Also, what is the big difference between the psych NP and a prescribing psychologist? I would assume that in general, they can both treat the patient in the same way: med and/or psychotherapy.
    I meant to say, what is the difference between psych NP and a psychiatrist. I was still thinking about the psychologist topic when I typed that.
  4. 1
    Interesting thought. Frankly, this is something I haven't thought about and I don't think it is even worth worrying about. Psych Nps/psychiatrists and psychologists are many moons apart from each other. I think PMHNPs have a much more promising future than psychologists do in this current day. It is also a fairly new specialty and still has a lot of room to grow. The psychologist market is so overly saturated it's unbelievable, there are just simply no jobs. As far as prescribing goes, I think it will be a significant amount of time before psychologists can win over these rights (I'm talking years: not 10, not 20, but more. It took them 30 years to get it passed in just 2 states). Even if they do gain rights, they mostly work in their own independent practices at much more expensive rates than the PsychNP. Also, their primary form of treating is and always will be psychotherapy. If they need complete medication management of a client, they'll refer to the healthcare professional. Overall, the psychNP is a healthcare provider with physical assessment skills and the ability to prescribe other medications outside of psychotropics. Nursing care services in general are in very high demand and they always will be. They can monitor physical problems as well as mental problems. In short, PMHNPs offer more services for a smaller price than the psychologist. Both psychologists' and psychiatrists' services are very expensive.

    Also, to my knowledge, PMHNP is one of the highest paying NP specialties with salaries starting between 85-90k. Definitely stick with the NP route. Clinical psychology is a long, expensive road and in my opinion it doesn't pay off in the end. If a psychologist decides to go through all of that schooling just to gain prescription rights, then they were better off going to the MD or NP route to begin with.
    myelin likes this.


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