A Family Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is an RN with an advanced degree specializing in Psychiatric and Mental Health. The job involves assessing, examining, diagnosing, and treating patients with mental health issues or disorders. Their work is varied and can overlap with therapists, psychologists, educators, and doctors.
Overview of a DNP – Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program
- Students prepare to specialize as primary mental health care providers for individuals and families.
- Students learn to apply neurobiological and psychosocial theories and use both pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies in the delivery of mental health care.
- Coursework focuses on mental health care through the full lifespan, with a sub-specialty in child/adolescent psychiatry or adult/gerontological psychiatry.
- Students prepare for the Board of Nurse certification exam and to take either the Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Exam or the Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Exam.
- Students participate in focused clinical environments that facilitate skill building in assessment and treatment of mental health problems.
Steps to Become a DNP Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
- Receive a Registered Nurse Certification.
- Enroll and complete a DNP in family psychiatric & mental health from an accredited school like Capella University, Georgetown University, Kaplan University, South University, or University of Cincinnati.
- Obtain DNP certification and proper licensure, which varies by state.
Salary and Career Information
The job setting will vary depending on what specific job you get. Possible options include home health, family practice settings, criminal justice, behavioral health clinics, additions treatment, pain clinics, private psychiatric practices, hospitals, emergency departments, school based clinics, and long term care. While it is not often a prerequisite to find a job, membership with a regional or specialty nursing organization can increase your employability. The online community Doctors of Nursing Practice is a great resource for these associations, scholarship and grant information, and other general DNP resources.
The average salary of a DNP varies by location, experience, and the type of employer you have. For more information on your earning potential, please refer to our nursing job outlook page.