Why I Want to Be a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

I was called to nursing years ago as a second career choice after being a certified educator in Texas, teaching classroom science. My passion to help people was the driving force behind the career I have today. As I took the journey from teacher, to nurse, then family nurse practitioner, one thing has remained constant, the drive to learn more. I feel that practicing as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) will help me provide enhanced mental health care services to patients by providing optimal assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plans across multiple ages and populations.

A couple years ago, while working in primary care as a nurse practitioner I started to get an urge to grow from my current practice and landed a position in geriatric psychiatry. It was a natural transition as I had performed most of my primary care practice in the nursing home setting. This position was part-time, and I keep my primary care position. About a few months after leaving the part-time position, a former colleague of mine introduced me to my current position working full time in geriatric psychiatry. I have gained experience with dementia, psychosis, and depression/anxiety which are highly prevalent in my patients. It only feels natural to expand my knowledge in psychiatry by getting a certification as a PMHNP so that I can continue to provide services in the field I have grown to love.

As a PMHNP, I hope to become more proficient in handling the mental and physical ailments of my patients by providing the best care possible. Today I work with the geriatric population, but with a certification as a PMHNP, I can enhance my practice across the lifep providing psychotropic pharmacotherapy and psychotherapeutic interventions to a vast array of populations, including children, adolescents, young adults, older adults, and their families. I feel PMHNPs are growing as greater demand is needed to promote mental health and treat various psychiatric disorders. It brings me great pleasure to gain more knowledge in this realm of practice as a nurse practitioner and bring better care to patient populations who suffer from various psychiatric disorders.

My experience in prior careers has led me to develop my current practice today. Being a classroom teacher has given me experience that helps in providing proper patient education leading to adherence in care plans for those who have mental illness. Working as an RN at the bedside as help me develop a pleasant bedside manner which is important in communicating with patients and families. My education in the College of Pharmacy has help me develop good pharmacotherapy practices needed in advanced psychotropic medication therapy. Currently practicing as a nurse practitioner in the field of psychiatry further helped me to grow as I discuss care plans with licensed social workers and professional psychotherapist ensuring patients receive holistic care. Lastly if given the opportunity to gain a certification as a PMHNP, I can obtain more tools needed to serve patients with psychiatric disorders and in a mental health crisis.

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