A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) plays an important role in the mental health industry. They support and care for individuals, a group of people, families, and communities dealing with mental health issues. Even though psychiatric nurses cannot directly treat a condition, they work closely with doctors, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and social workers to determine and implement a care plan.
Despite being subspecialty nurse practitioners, these professionals have been integral members of the healthcare team for a long time. However, the recent pandemic outbreak has caused an emotional decline worldwide, which has increased the urgent need for these nurses.
As primary care advances in the 21st century, Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice Nurses will soon lead the way in 2022 and beyond. Let’s look at the significant factors driving the demand for mental health nurse practitioners and discover why this is an excellent time to market. You will likely be able to choose from various fascinating career options in this area.
Reasons Why Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Are In High Demand
Here are five reasons that make Psychiatric nursing one of the most in-demand nursing professions today.
- They are a great source for online counseling
PMHNPs have the flexibility to work from home in many capacities, making them one of the best NP career options for 2022.
As the medical field increasingly relies on technology, telemedicine is becoming increasingly popular, making the psychiatric nurse practitioner job outlook more promising in the years to come.
Often patients in mental distress experience various fears, including driving to a medical facility and a doctor’s appointment. For many of today’s patients, online therapy is becoming a preferred method of receiving counseling.
In addition, a private consultation removes the stigma that accompanies visiting a mental facility, making it easier for anxious patients to find a professional. It is certainly plausible that in the near future, this avenue for therapy may even replace previous in-person sessions as the primary method of therapy.
Nurse practitioners in psychiatry are primarily used for monitoring drugs, providing follow-ups, and funneling referrals to psychiatrists in this role.
- They help make treatment plans
There is no doubt that substance abuse has been a serious issue in the US over the past years. Sadly, the COVID crisis has resulted in the use of opioids and stimulants rising again.
It is often the case that substance abuse and mental illness occur simultaneously. Therefore, nurse practitioners with psychiatry backgrounds are valuable professionals when dealing with substance abuse patients.
Several rehab centers or detention centers count on psychiatric nurses for developing treatment care plans. They also help implement these plans and oversee patients until they are no longer in the dark.
- They fill in for doctors when they are unavailable
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners reports that a shortage of psychiatrists is forcing the need for mental health nurse practitioners to rise, particularly in geriatrics and pediatrics.
All mental health professionals are critically understaffed. To fill this need, nurses and mental health professionals, such as psychiatric nurse practitioners, promote advanced practice nursing positions in the mental health sector.
An advanced psychiatric nurse practitioner is capable of accurately collecting patient health history and conducting physical examinations. With a little guidance from doctors on online sources, they can treat their patients independently if doctors are unavailable. Additionally, they are involved in the entire care process, coordinating from admission to discharge, making them one of the most valuable assets for the healthcare industry.
- Help with the anxiety and the decline of mental health in Gen Z
People are becoming increasingly prone to turning inward for comfort rather than reaching out for assistance, especially teens. The easy availability of medical information and bogus means of support readily available online may have contributed to this harmful development.
Additionally, many people lack access to support from their communities or organizations. Thus, they rely on social media platforms and technological devices for companionship. This negative reliance can lead to more stress among youths.
Our anxiety and problems are bottled up when we draw into ourselves instead of finding healthy means of support and ruminating about our worries. Anxiety can cultivate if people don’t know the healthy outlets for releasing mental tension, such as going outside, exercising, talking to a doctor or counselor, or even a neighbor. It is here that the mental health nurse practitioner steps in. Those psychiatric nurses that work with social workers and public health professionals strive to raise awareness among the youth.
A millennial mental health nurse can be a better resource to deal with teens in treating their mental health concerns as their age gap allows them to build better connections. Moreover, by taking advantage of social media platforms, they can raise awareness and reach out to the Gen Z population deeper.
- Increasing ease and freedom to practice
By completing a psychotherapy certificate program, nurses are equipped with the necessary skills, education, and experience to perform psychotherapy safely in community settings, at a hospital, or privately.
With full practice authority, nurse practitioners can practice independently in underdeveloped areas where physicians and psychiatrists are scarce. Medical neglect is prevalent in rural areas, remote towns, and areas prone to infant mortality.
Although psychiatric nurses have attempted to bridge this gap by contributing to the well-being of this population, the shortage of medical facilities in such areas remains adamant. PMHNPs are also in high demand in all medically underprivileged communities, where drug abuse and mental illness are more prevalent.
Additionally, as mental health issues’ stigma decreases, mental health nurses have a larger clientele. Today, there is more acceptance of emotions, mental illness, and addiction treatment, allowing those battling mental illness to feel less alone. Since mental illness is less stigmatized, the job outlook for psychiatric nurse practitioners is more positive.
This article aims to explain why the demand for a PMHNP is high. The five key factors behind the strong employment prospects unquestionably indicate an excess demand for mental health nurse practitioners in the healthcare system.
As a PMHNP, you will support patients with mental health and substance abuse disorders, have flexibility, a competitive salary, and a wide variety of job options. There is no better time than now to start your new career in mental health and start working with patients.