Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

If you feel that psychiatry is the subject you want to pursue and then you should opt for the job of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. This job can be quite challenging. Read this article to know all about the job.

$78,005 - $1,44,065
AVG    Annual    SALARY
$6,500 – $12,005
AVG    Monthly    SALARY
$40.83 - $91.24
AVG    Hourly    SALARY

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Salary And Job Description

The job of a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is one of the most vibrant professions which deals with the mental state of human beings. Due to the prevalence of cut-throat competition throughout the world, people today, find it difficult to get away from their hectic schedule and increasing workload. The complete negative influences of this fall on the brain and thus the increasing demand for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners is being felt globally. They deal with every aspect of the brain and provide inpatient or outpatient services so that the brain can stay balanced in spite of the growing problems. Here is a brief job description of the psychiatric nurse practitioner.

What is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner?

A mental health professional or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner basically deals with the well being of a human brain and its capabilities. The individuals who choose this profession have to undergo vibrant tasks in a day. They develop medical and psychiatric diagnoses, implement various mental health assessments, create holistic treatment plans, prescribe various psychopharmaceuticals to the patients, offer them the desired counseling and help them to cope up with their state of mind. A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner not only alters the mental conditions of a patient through medications but also helps them to develop a keen insight of their life through introspection.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Job Description

Mental health nurses get indulged in arrays of tasks throughout the day. Their fundamental duties involve assessing the mental health requirements of various communities, families, groups, and individuals. Moreover, they are supposed to formulate various healthcare plans, implement the treatments and evaluate the effectiveness of numerous short term and long term plans for the health of their patients. The advanced practitioners of this field must have a keen knowledge of every issue that can cause a severe mental disorder. They not only belong to this vibrant field due to their technical knowledge but also possess great understanding towards human emotions and their feelings.

The posts and position in similar field differ on the basis of various factors. There are a lot of individuals who need to have a complete understanding of human brain along with a long-term experience of years; such nurses usually serve those patients who have been under very critical mental state since a long time. Based on their educational qualifications, skills, and experience, they are entitled to earn great outcomes in this job. Moreover, beginners usually deal with those patients who are undergoing slight depression or any other mental issue due to any particular reason.

The difference in both of these is that of medications and understanding. While minor sicknesses can be easily cured through positive discussion and confidence developments, the sicknesses which are prevailing since long may require serious medications and long-term inpatient sessions with the psychiatrist to cure them. Thus, the role of behavioral health nurse may largely differ as per her skills and experience.

Role of Psychiatric Nursing

The Psychiatric nurse practitioners usually offer integrative care through various plans which can help them to develop a clear mind-body connection with the patient. They may either specialize in treating a specific population or age group like that of children, or can focus on the particular requirements of an area like substance abuse treatment, family counseling, forensics, or specific psychiatric disorders. However, in each of the situations, their main aim is to help the patient regain his/her normal mental state. Some of the most fundamental responsibilities and duties of a Psychiatric nurse practitioner include-

Offering home-based or outpatient care to address the frequent changes in the patient’s mental condition or chronic health

  • Serving as consultants for various communities, groups, healthcare agencies, corporations, legislative advocacy groups, and various other such private or public organizations
  • Performing various patient assessments, like, family risk analysis, mental health tests, physicals or diagnostic exams which can change the patient’s mental state
  • Developing numerous holistic and cross-disciplinary treatment and health care plans as per the age and requirements of the patients
  • Having a complete understanding of the state scope of practice laws and creating or prescribing medications to the patients in accordance to it
  • Collaborating with different doctors and developing appropriate and well researched patient referrals
  • Maintaining a detailed record of all the patients in a chronologically systematic format
  • Conducting original researchers based upon the mental condition of a particular patient and presenting the outcomes through conferences amidst various specialists in the form of scholarly journal articles as well
  • Analyzing the positive and negative effects of the medications on the patient’s health and checking out their progress from time to time
  • Understanding the effectiveness of the treatments and medications and what kind of mental issues are largely being discovered
  • Understanding the symptoms of various mental disorders and educating the patients, their families, and the whole community about eth various challenges posed to a human brain

Individuals may usually find it confusing to differentiate between various healthcare specialists like social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners. However, their roles and duties largely differ from one another.

Most of these professionals generally offer a kind of psychotherapy to the patients, however, the health care nurses usually hold advanced nursing degrees and are completely qualified for holding various physical assessments and treatments, which usually the counselors or social workers can’t. Therefore, the nurse practitioners usually depict high tech understanding of the various impacts that mental disorders can cause to the society. They have the ability to exercise empathy, compassion, and sensitivity towards the people so that the people can live a healthy life.

Educational Requirements to Become a Psychiatric Nurse

Similarly every other field of nurses, the psychiatric nurses also has to undergo a proper licensure examination to attain the title of a suitable and qualified registered nurse. But before this, a proper bachelor’s degree is essential from a reputed and recognized university. This is the basic requirement that an individual must fulfill to become a psychiatric nurse.

However, it may largely depend from state to state and employer to employer. In a lot of places, master’s degree is also essential for the individuals. There are various subsets within the field of mental health care. Individuals can also undergo an MSN degree and a PHD or DNP degree to increase their scale of understanding, skills and gaining a better position in future. To be a certified psychiatric nurse, individuals must also have a 2 year of experience as a registered nurse from any recognized institution.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Skills

Being a Psychiatric nurse practitioner is one of the most strenuous tasks as your communication and your personality act as the most crucial components. You definitely need to have a complete knowledge of the various mental health problems, but it is essential for the individuals to have great interpersonal skills to put the patient in a comfort zone. Some of the essential skills include-

  • Strong Observational Skills– there are times when you may meet people around who are undergoing serious stress but are unable to vent out their pain. In fact, your own family members might face various problems that can ruin their life. To be a Psychiatric nurse practitioner you must be capable enough of observing and understanding the problems of people, even without they speak it out.
  • Interpersonal Communication Skills– comforting the patent is the major thing that you need to do. You may get encountered with several individuals who might be facing huge psychic issues. Unless you get compatible with them and create a communicational bond, you will find it difficult to find the root cause of their problem.
  • Good Judgment Making Skills– understanding a problem and then resolving it out is what a Psychiatric nurse practitioner is supposed to do. Unless she is capable enough of knowing the criticality of the disorder, she can’t find the perfect clue of treating or resolving it.

Where Do Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Work?

In general, psychiatric nurse practitioners work under dynamic situations at various places. Some of the most known places where they may have to work include mental health clinics, psychiatrist offices, hospitals, long-term care centers, community health centers, or correctional institutions as well. Their work settings might be both mentally and physically demanding.

They usually have to work full time and the shifts may last from 8 to 12 hours. They may even have to work in evenings, nights and weekends as well in some of the situations. Working in any such field requires huge physical stamina and mental strength. In spite of all the challenges, the job of a psychiatric nurse practitioner is really rewarding and beneficial.

Psychiatric Nurse Salary

If we consider the pay scale of psychiatric nurse practitioners, then there are various factors which may completely influence the salary which they may earn. As it is a clear fact that the nurses in this field usually work according to their caliber in various sub-streams of psychological understanding, their salaries also differ based upon their knowledge, educational qualifications, understanding, and experience.

As per some recently published statistics on 4th February 2018, a psychiatric nurse practitioner may earn an average of $97,800 annually. This figure might differ as per the country, state, region or the community they are working for.

Moreover dealing with a critical disorder may let the nurses earn better salary along with many non-monetary advances. Some of the specific fields where the nurses work include Substance abuse nursing, Geriatric psychiatric nursing, Child and adolescent mental health and Forensic psychiatric nursing. Each of these provides the individuals with different salaries, changing pay scales and additional perks based on their performance and the betterment of the condition of the patients.

Along with salaries, they receive great perks in the form of paid leaves, insurances, childcare, social security, pensions and much more. These may also differ as per the prescribed ideas of a particular area or hospital. All the facts and statistics are extracted from various researchers ad surveys. The answers from various employers, employees have depicted these particular facts and they are extremely credible.

How Much Do The Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Make Every Hour?

In every state, there are different provisions for psychiatric nurse practitioners and their salaries also differ accordingly. However, if considering the standard example of USA, the hourly earnings of an individual range around $40.62 – $91.74. Remuneration is not the only benefit which they attain. Along with this, they are even entitled to enjoy the benefits of $38.46 as an hourly tip every year, an overtime serving the benefits up to $40.69 – $116.

Average Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Salary Description
Basis Pay Scale
Salary $75,720 – $127,668
Bonus $582 – $13,412
Profit Sharing $984 – $14,681
Total Pay $77,710 – $143,785

Along with this, their bonus amount ranges from $618 – $13,585 and the profit sharing amount is summed up at $984 – $14,681. When all of these factors are combined all together, the earning of an individual nurse practitioner goes somewhere around $77,636 – $143,737 which is quite impressive and desirable.

The salary structure for this psychiatric nurse practitioner was referred from Payscale

Highest Paying States

There are numerous ways in which the Psychiatric nurse practitioners can scale up their salary. They must show exceptional skills which are required to help the patients in attaining a healthy mental being; moreover, with more experience, the nurses can get huge benefits within no time. In spite of this, there are several states where the need of Psychiatric nurse practitioners is largely felt, thus, due to increased demand; their pay scale is also high. Some of these states include-

The top Paying States
States Average Annual salary
California $1,20,930
Alaska $1,17,080
Hawaii $1,14,220
Massachusetts  $1,12,860
Oregon $1,11,210

Thus, working in any of these states can help the nurse practitioners in creating greater prospects for their life. They may not only get benefited with huge monetary revenues, but their overall skills and capabilities will also develop.


Thus, being a Psychiatric nurse practitioner is not only about diagnosing the people with mental issues, but it involves the all-around activities that can help the individuals, families or the communities in dealing with their everyday mental problems. It is a fact that you have to work in a dynamic environment, with people belonging to different cultures, and with those who are somewhere out of their normal state of being. Yet, the job can bring out various chances for development in future.

Know more –