MHNP or NP with post graduate certificate in MH?

  1. My background:
    I will finish my RN-BSN program this summer and was hoping to get into graduate school starting this fall '12. Currently I am a critical care CVICU/MICU nurse. After much thought, I have finally realized that my vision for my future in nursing is to be a counselor to promote MH wellness.

    My question:
    1. Can anyone offer me direction as to how to prepare for my goal? I need to switch gears and leave critical care for MH nursing and being that I have always worked in a hospital I am foreseeing my easiest opportunity to transfer to a psych floor which isn't counseling or wellness focused but, will get me experience in the psych field.
    2. MHNP or NP with post graduate certificate in MH?
    3. NP versus CNS?

    Thank you in advance for any suggestions/direction!
  2. Visit camomile7 profile page

    About camomile7

    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 5; Likes: 1
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in Critical Care


  3. by   elkpark
    Well, to answer question #3 first, the ANCC is "retiring" both psych CNS certifications, so you don't have to worry about making a decision about that -- the ANCC has already made it for you. Psych CNS will no longer be an option starting in 2014.

    If you're really interested in pursuing a career in "counseling" to "promote MH wellness," you may be barking up the wrong tree. Psychiatric nursing, and esp. psych NPs, is focused pretty heavily on treating mental illness, and the biomedical model is king in the psych world these days -- not much emphasis on counseling of any kind; it's more about pushing the pills (whether Rxing them or administering them). Psych NPs, particularly, are focused on dx and tx of psychiatric illness, which, nowadays, is pretty much about Rxing meds.

    If you're seriously interested in wellness counseling, you may want to broaden your search to look at other fields besides nursing.
  4. by   prison_nurse
    Elkpark, I agree that PMHNPs are used primarily for medication evaluation. I really don't do much more than that. I hope I can be therapeutic during my time with the client, but I know that in less than 30 minutes, it's really not possible.

    In the prison setting, I work on a unit, so I can be a little more therapeutic as I see the patients all day long. In the community setting, it's meds only.....