After graduating with my DNP I completed one of the PMHNP Residency programs at the VA (there are several: Boston, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, there are more that I can't remember, and more are being added every year). It was one of the best decisions I could have made to start my career. Each residency is a little different from what I understand and is determined by the site. It provided me with a year of on the job experience that was designed to give me exposure to multiple settings: multiple outpatient psych clinics, inpatient psych, psych emergency (to name a few); multiple patient populations within the VA: Transgender health, addiction programming; almost every setting I was in I was part of a multidisciplinary team of APNs, social workers, psychologists, and physicians; I was able to get a varied experience in prescribing, group psychotherapy, and individual psychotherapy; and there is a requirement for all sites to provide weekly didactic lectures. My VA had a wide range of topics from food/sugar addiction, benzo sparing alcohol withdrawal treatment, LGBTQ+ health, PTSD treatment, minority stress, (again this is just a few of the many topics); there are opportunities to teach with the university we are partnered with (e.g., one day presentations, or being a guest in a seminar on interview building skills). The amount of growth and knowledge I received in that one year alone. I am still learning so much. Every patient encounter is supervised and the the educators I had were adept at teaching learners.
There are also some pretty great perks too, you can get medical and life insurance, 13 days of vacation, 13 sick days, 11 paid holidays. You won't get to participate dental, vision, or the retirement during residency. Three is a significant amount of free training available throughout the year. Did I make significantly less than I would have if I went to work for a psychiatrist in a private practice doing nothing but prescribing adderall and ativan? YES! Did I gain experience that far outweighed that? Also, YES! When I finished the residency and became staff I got a significant raise and access to the full benefits package the VA offers (which is huge!).
There are residencies around the country, I think Mayo, Duke, Rush universities, and some community settings have them. The great thing about being at the VA is that if you graduate in one state you can still apply for a VA residency in any state because you only need one licence in any state. I graduated in Illinois, if I wanted to go to Mayo or Duke I would have to pass my boards, get my licence in IL, then apply for a licence by endorsement before I could start working. Depending on that state's board of nursing that can be a nightmare. Also, you can graduate and be eligible for licensure to start the VA residency. You then have 90 days to pass your boards and get your state license.
This might be an unpopular opinion--residency should be a requirement for NPs. Especially in states where full practice authority is allowed. (But that might be a different post)