Psych NP or Clinical Psychologist???

  1. Hello
    I'm currently a high school student.
    I've been looking at many different topics in the psychiatric/psychology/therapist field. I know that I want to work in mental health clinics/treatment centers. Specifically, I'd like to work in an eating disorder clinic. However, I cannot decide which career to go into.
    I originally looked into clinical psychology because I got the impression that you could work as a sort of counselor for people in mental health clinics as well as diagnose patients. But then I discovered psychiatric nurse practitioning, and I'm trying to contrast the two and decide which would fit me better.
    Does anyone know the major differences between these two? And which I should do if I want to directly counsel AND diagnose patients in mental health/eating disorder clinics?
  2. Visit heatherjoyce1 profile page

    About heatherjoyce1

    Joined: Sep '16; Posts: 2; Likes: 1


  3. by   Jules A
    NP is diagnosing and medication management, it doesn't make sense to pay someone with prescribing rights to do therapy. Psychologists, in my area, mostly do testing so I would check to see what your local areas culture is regarding PsyD duties. If you truly want to do therapy I'd consider LCSW-C they don't make as much but do therapy and if someone is financially motivated they can go into private practice, cash pay, and make in the $100 an hour.

    Good luck with the eating disorder crowd, very challenging, lots of Axis II stuff going on and from a NP standpoint medically fragile which is always a big concern. Rewarding for those who love it though. You are very smart to look into your options now rather than starting a long expensive college track with no clue which unfortunately seems to often happen.
  4. by   heatherjoyce1
    Thank you very much for your feedback, I appreciate it. I will certainly look into PsyD duties as well as LCSW-C. Thanks again!
  5. by   julesjameson3333
    Hi I've been weighing the pros and cons of careers in the mental health field as well. It seems that your ability to be able to provide psychotherapy as a RN or PMHNP really depends on where you work. As Jules A mentioned it would make more financial sense for a psychologist or social worker to provide therapy, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't be able to once you've received training.
    I know most people who are attracted to this field aren't in it for the money, but nursing would probably be a better return on your investment. I also like nursing because you get exposed to many other sectors of healthcare some that you might not even know you love until you're in it. So nursing can open lots of doors. You can even get a dual degree in psychology and nursing. If you decide nursing isn't for you, you can always pursue a degree in social work or psychology, then complete your medical pre reqs and apply for medical school to be a psychiatrist. Actually you could do that with a BSN as well. Good Luck!
  6. by   PG2018
    I think a PsyD could be molded into the supreme path to being a mental health practitioner. Policy would need an evolution as well. How is for a different Convo.

    A lot of psychologists only eval and test. Some do therapy. Our cash price is $300/test session although $400 for me to eval so we NPs can and often do better financially.

    Few NPs conduct manual therapy. Some claim they conduct therapy via chit chat. Counselors and SWs do the same.

    You'll see more patients, reap better reimbursement, observe more rapid changes, and invest less time and capital in your education as a NP.