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Two roads diverged.....or nah.....

by Mpittsenbarger Mpittsenbarger (New) New

I am currently a practicing RN, BSN working in management in Indiana. I would like to go back for my masters degree with an emphasis on mental health. Does is make more sense for job prospects/income/scope or any other reasons to pursue my FNP first and then do a post masters certification for my psychiatric mental health NP or to just got straight to an PMHNP program.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 3 years experience.

If you want to do mental health, then go for the PMHNP. At least in the Western US, there is a terrible shortage of mental health care providers

6 hours ago, MikeFNPC said:


Yes, to which?!

Just now, Mpittsenbarger said:
Just now, Mpittsenbarger said:

Yes to which?


Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

If you just want to do mental health, then go for it. But double certification as of today is one of the few unquestionably positive points in any NP resume. Being FNP/PMHNP will greatly improve your chances for a good job.


Specializes in FNP.

19 hours ago, Mpittsenbarger said:

Yes, to which?!

Yes to which?

Ha, sorry about not reading the question. Getting FNP first then a post grad cert would be better in my humble opinion. For several reasons, most importantly, it would make you more marketable and have more options.

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 3 years experience.

I don't know where the OP is. He or she should research the job market where they want to live and work.

I can tell you that in California we are begging for mental health providers of all types. Any PMNHP will have their pick of jobs the minute they graduate. There would be no advantage to getting an FNP here, because we have plenty of FNPs.

And some food for thought: A lot of outpatient clinics and practices had to shut down or greatly reduce hours due to COVID. A lot of FNPs were laid off, furloughed, etc. But that didn't happen for mental health because it is well-suited for telehealth and demand for our services shot up.

umbdude, MSN, NP

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 4 years experience.

If you want to treat psych, get a PMHNP.

I'm in the northeast and there's no advantage of having dual cert in psych/FNP in most settings. Most private practices aren't going to hire you to do medical work and community health centers already have a robust family/internal medicine infrastructure.

Edited by umbdude