Psychiatric nurse practitioner (PNP) programs teach students to both educate themselves about the field and provide patient care. There are a number of options available to students who are interested in pursuing a career in this field, but the majority of online programs for graduate level nursing education provide students with an opportunity to take their education to the next level.
Inpatient psychiatric nurse programs introduce students to clinical and academic studies as well as patient care. Common topics include advanced patient assessments for psychiatric nurses, population-level mental health care, advanced neuropsychopharmacology, social and individual psychotherapy, and theory of family and individual psychotherapy. Students also learn about the use of medication in treating various disorders and the methods used to manage these medications as they progress through their treatment.
Continuing their clinical training, these programs also give students the opportunity to study various aspects of psychiatric nursing theory. Students will learn how to conduct assessments of patients, create therapeutic programs, and prepare them for discharge from the hospital or facility. The clinical nursing aspect of psychiatric nurse programs is especially helpful for future nurses that are not comfortable with providing medical care on their own. Clinical training can help to prepare students for becoming psychiatric nursing assistants, nurse aides, or psychiatric social workers.
For those who would like to further their education and are not interested in becoming a registered nurse, there is an option to pursue a master's degree program. Programs that focus on psychiatric nursing can be completed in two years, or even less time if an interdisciplinary approach is utilized. A master's degree program in psychiatric nursing is highly respected within the health care industry and is an excellent option for those looking to increase their skills and knowledge of psychiatric nursing.
Nurse practitioner programs are an excellent way for individuals to enhance their education while increasing their earning potential. These programs provide students with the ability to specialize in a particular area of psychiatric nursing. They can choose to pursue a master's degree program in psychiatric nursing or a master's degree program in nursing administration. An experienced nurse practitioner will have vast knowledge of the entire field of psychiatric nursing.
Psychiatric nurse practitioners will be trained to provide basic therapy and patient care to patients, diagnose illnesses and treat those who have them, and manage the mental and emotional effects of those conditions. Once a psychiatrist has diagnosed a patient with a psychiatric condition, the nurse practitioner will work closely with the patient to determine the best course of treatment based on that patient's unique needs. The nurse will also provide a number of patient education services that will include educating patients on appropriate medication, what to expect from the doctor, and how to handle life's daily stressors.
The nursing profession has come a long way over the years, and these programs allow nurse practitioners to advance their knowledge and skills while maintaining their position within the nursing profession. Many programs require students to complete an internship prior to earning a Master's degree. The Internship allows students to participate in real-world clinical training while gaining hands-on experience.
Nursing students have many career options today and a Master's degree program in nursing opens the door to a rewarding, lucrative career that is in high demand. Graduates of psychiatric nurse programs can pursue positions in public health, mental health clinics, hospitals, or nursing homes as a nurse aide, a psychiatric nursing assistant, psychiatric social worker, or psychiatric social worker.
Psychiatric nurse practitioners work closely with doctors to evaluate and treat patients. In addition to taking an advanced degree in psychiatric nursing, they must also pass a national exam that tests the student's knowledge of mental illness. Upon graduating, they will have their license and certification in the state where they practice. They are also required by law to maintain continuing education courses to keep their certification valid.
Students pursuing psychiatric nurse practitioner programs have the opportunity to learn from a respected institution and at a time that works best for them. Distance learning offers flexibility, but offers the opportunity to participate in traditional clinical experience and mentoring that can help prepare students for the challenging career of working in the psychiatric nursing. In addition to earning a Master's . . . . . . degree and becoming a registered nurse, students may receive a Master's in Nursing Administration or Nurse Practitioner designation upon graduation. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to obtain their certification as a nurse practitioner or nurse specialist.
Students in graduate degree programs in psychiatric nursing have many career options available to them after they complete the program. They can opt to pursue employment as a nurse therapist, a registered nurse, or move into the field of psychiatric social work. The program will prepare them for positions at community treatment centers, outpatient mental health facilities, and other health care facilities.