Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

  1. 0
    Hello! I am in the process of obtaining a M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. My goal is to work in a psychiatric hospital setting.

    I wanted to know if anyone thought it would be more beneficial if I went back to school to earn a BSN and then a MSN with an emphasis as an Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner rather than counseling. Or should I get both?

    My ultimate goal is to be able to work with clients by conducting psychological assessments, creating treatment plans, counseling, and medication management.

    Please let me know your thoughts on the idea and if one is better than the other or if both compliment each other?

    Thx!

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  2. 3 Comments...

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    Sounds like you should've just gone for the PMHNP. Not sure how the M. Ed. will help you, unless you also want to teach. Your counseling experience will be valuable though. As for BSN, it's not necessary. You can do a direct entry RN-MSN program, and you should look at Family programs, not Adult, since Adult is being slowly phased out.

    Something to be aware of -- PMHNPs are not really counselors. You'll be doing mostly medication management and very little of the rest. Unless you have a private practice, then you can do lots of counseling if you want. But if your goal is to mainly do counseling, the PMHNP might not be for you.
  4. 0
    Thank you for the reply!

    [QUOTE]
    Quote from mzaur
    Not sure how the M. Ed. will help you, unless you also want to teach.
    Yes, it is my desire to teach much later in life after I have gained some experience and am ready to slow my career down.

    Your counseling experience will be valuable though. As for BSN, it's not necessary. You can do a direct entry RN-MSN program, and you should look at Family programs, not Adult, since Adult is being slowly phased out.
    When you say RN to MSN program, does this mean you have a ADN and then enter into a MSN program? I did notice some Family programs options available so I will make sure to go that route instead of the Adult programs.

    Something to be aware of -- PMHNPs are not really counselors. You'll be doing mostly medication management and very little of the rest. Unless you have a private practice, then you can do lots of counseling if you want. But if your goal is to mainly do counseling, the PMHNP might not be for you.
    That was my concern is that PMHNP's are not fully qualified to counsel clients. This is my reasoning for getting my LPC in Texas. The problem is it requires 2 years of schooling then an additional 3,000 supervised direct practice hours. It would be pretty hard to complete that and my nursing degree at the same time. I have counseling internships and nursing clinicals that need to get done for each program. I guess I feel in order to be a good psychiatric nurse or a good therapist you need to understand both the clients medical and mental needs so you can treat them appropriately. My goal is to just be a well rounded and educated counselor and nurse. How to get there without spending another 6 years in school is beyond me.
    Last edit by meek-meek on May 10, '13 : Reason: forgot to say thank you
  5. 1
    Quote from mzaur
    Something to be aware of -- PMHNPs are not really counselors. You'll be doing mostly medication management and very little of the rest.
    You might be able to do some "supportive" psychotherapy within the time frame they give you.. that's about it. If you have your own practice, you might be able to set up your own time frame. Most jobs are for consultation liaison, diagnostic evaluation, and medication management. You are not likely to be hired for counseling.. There are some PMHNPs and especially CNS I know that mainly do counseling. But most do either or.. not both... You can bill for it but they may not hire you.
    meek-meek likes this.


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