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 PMHNPs (and psychiatrists for that matter)? Will there still continue to be a higher demand for the psych NP over the prescribing psychologist? Like I said, I'm undecided between both right now and I've always had a love for psych. I didn't have an interest in cardiology until nursing school. However, I don't want to spend tons of money on schooling if I won't be able to find a job. Do you think prescribing psychologists could possibly phase out PMHNPs (and psychiatrists) since there are so many psychologists? Or do you think PMHNPs will be more preferred over psychologists due to their medical/nursing background?
I know psychologists do mostly therapy and research while PMHNPs will do more med management like a psychiatrist, but they can do therapy. However, if psychologists are given prescription rights, would there really be any difference between the PMHNP and psychologist?
I know there is a HUGE shortage of psychiatrists and there will continue to be, so this may open up more opportunities for the Psych NP. However, it leaves me wondering if psychologists will use this as an excuse to gain more prescription rights.
So can anybody give me any insight into this so called "turf war" in the mental health field? Also, would you recommend me pursuing this field, given the turf going on?
Quote from mzaur
I am not sure though which path to take. Should I go for a direct entry MSN program? I have a Bachelors but no nursing experience.
Direct entry programs are a great option. Just be aware that the 1st
year where you get your accelerated RN license is usually pretty expensive in these programs. Also, be aware that you will have to take some basic science classes and other prerequisites in order to be considered for these programs if they were not part of your original bachelors.
Quote from mzaur
I heard that DNP will become necessary for Psych NP license -- does that mean that an MSN won't be enough anymore? Any advice would be appreciated.
This is an important point to be clear about. The DNP as an entry point for nurse practitioners is NOT mandated as a requirement. It was simply a “recommendation” that a lot of folks have misunderstood and now this rumor is going around and won’t die. Granted, because of the recommendation some schools have started to transition MSN programs to DNP..but…this is really just a cash grab as it allows them to charge higher tuition for what used to be a masters program. The DNP is not really a clinical degree. There are still plenty of MSN programs left and there probably will be for the immediate future. It’s definitely something to pay attention to, but don’t believe the rumors that it has been mandated. It’s just not true. Check out these threads from this site for more on this:
Last edit by SmoothJams on Dec 6, '12
: Reason: Links
All very good advice in this thread. I also left clinical psychology to become a psych np. I'm in the accelerated rn portion of my program right now. I start my advanced practice work in the fall. Clinical psychology appears to be somewhat of a sinking ship. They have tried for more prescriptive authority lately and failed. My suggestion is to go for the direct entry NP. Apply broadly as these programs can be highly competitive. Just make sure you do well in your prereqs and you should be good.
What's great about psych np is not only can you do assessment, meds, and therapy, but you also learn all about managing physical health as well, which in my opinion is vital for being a psychiatric provider. Ive always wondered - do prescribing psychologists get that training? Do they take anatomy/phys and patho?do they learn the basics of diabetes, asthma, etc? Can they order and interpret labs?I'm really glad to be going a route where I will understand my patients' physical ailments as well as their psych issues.
Last edit by myelin on Dec 6, '12
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