Updated | Posted
by Pearl2014 Pearl2014 (New) New


What’s the day and life of a psych NP vs an FNP? Trying to decide which route to go. Looking to work in Indiana. 

Everyone's day is different. What exactly are you looking to understand? Do what interests you more, not which is easier in terms of day-to-day, if that's what you're seeking. Every position has good and bad days.

MentalKlarity, BSN, NP

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 8 years experience.

They're so different I really don't understand this question. Do you prefer primary care or mental healthcare? Do you have experience in one?

Both can make similar salaries and have similar work environments. FNP is more flexible as you can basically do any specialty as an FNP and train for anything from dermatology to cardiology to neurology, etc 

sleepwalker, MSN, NP

Specializes in Occupational Health. Has 17 years experience.

I would recommend more research regarding NP roles before even attempting to decide if that's something you wish to pursue

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 3 years experience.

Wow, people didn’t like your question!

Do you know people who work in either field?  I’m an RN training to be a PMHNP. I’ve gotten to know the PMHNP at my work so I have a sense of what her day-to-day is like. Of course there are many other settings that I haven’t experienced, but in my outpatient clinic, I know what she does. Maybe you can ask around at your work and even do some shadowing. 

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 49 years experience.

On 5/23/2021 at 10:28 PM, Psychnursehopeful said:


If you don't have any psych experience, you should rule it out.

PollywogNP, ADN, BSN, MSN, LPN, NP

Specializes in Med-Surg/Tele/ER/Urgent Care. Has 44 years experience.

On 5/26/2021 at 3:54 AM, CommunityRNBSN said:

Wow, people didn’t like your question!


That’s because last week she was asking about WHNP vs FNP and one school IUPUI vs Xyz school. I responded that FNP can do what WHNP does and she never responded. 

Edited by PollywogNP


Has 6 years experience.


I choose to go with FNP because you can work in any outpatient specialty. I did not want to be limited in just psyc., and also do not have much experience either. My primary experience has been in the outpatient setting in specialty offices.

From my research, PMHNP may make more money but at the same time have limited jobs as well. 

I would love to see others thoughts on what made them choose a certain specialty over another. 

RockyMtnHi-ya, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Family Practice, Integrative/Holistic Health. Has 7 years experience.

Here's another perspective.  I considered becoming a PMHNP initially but chose to take the FNP route in order to not be pigeon-holed with regard to specialty.  When I started school, I lived in a metropolitan area but relocated about halfway through the program to a really tiny rural area with few opportunities (because of my partner's work -- he's well-established in his field).  I graduated with zero prospects because I had to commute to far away sites for clinical rotations, and as it turned out, those clinics weren't hiring either when I graduated.  There are no jobs within commuting distance that would pay my meager share of the bills ($30-35/hour for part-time work with no benefits), so I've been freelancing with contract work to stay afloat.  I did well in my program and passed the board certification exam on the first attempt, but this is of no consequence when there is no demand for my education.   I did gain psych experience as an RN and have found with my contract work that I truly do enjoy patient counseling much more than medical management.  I'm starting school in a few weeks to take the single year of courses necessary to become certified as a PMHNP with plans to hang my own shingle.  This is something that I wouldn't even consider in family practice due to safety/liability concerns.   There are so many variables to consider and so many possible scenarios in which we can find ourselves that it can be a challenge to pick a specialty and feel confident that we'll be successful.