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Health Mental Nursing Fields

Mental health Nursing

Mental health nursing is a diverse specialization in the field of nursing. It is a field that specializes in providing care for individuals who have mental disorders of mental health problems.

Levels of advanced practice for mental health nursing

There are two degrees of advance practice for mental health nursing: Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs).


Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) practices the basic level of mental health nursing. These professionals work with individuals, groups, families, and communities to assess mental health needs, develop diagnoses then plan, implement and evaluate individual’s mental health nursing care. They may meet with patient and the patient’s family to assist with communication between all the parties and the physician. They schedule the patient for a one-on-one counselling sessions as well as for a group therapy sessions.


When an advanced practice registered nurse seek additional education and obtain a masters or doctoral degree can specialized in Psychiatric-Mental health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). In addition to the functions performed at the basic level. PMHNPs diagnose, assess, and treat psychiatric disorders and possible mental health problems. These professionals provide a full range of mental health services to patients and their families, groups and communities. They function as psychotherapists and may prescribe various medications and therapeutic interventions. Psychiatric-mental health nurses in advance practices are qualified to practice independently. They may offer direct service in settings like in an office, homes, private and public hospitals, and communities.

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

One of the fields of nursing specializing in mental health is psychiatric mental health nursing. It’s an advance specialty practice with a dual emphasis on interventions through psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners have broader background in terms of biological, sociological, pharmacological and psychological sciences.


A psychiatric mental health nurse work with children, adolescents, adults and older people in a variety of settings, such as in community mental health clinics, government facilities, hospitals and outpatient mental health clinics. These professionals care for people with mental illnesses or mental distress such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression or dementia, substance abuse, eating disorders and forensic.

Roles of a Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Practitioner

Psychiatric-mental health nursing practitioners use their knowledge of pharmacological, biological and complementary interventions and they apply these clinical skills to help the patients recover and prevent further mental disabilities. These professionals prescribe or recommend medications to patients based on individual characteristics. In order to provide patients the most advance and effective way of treatment they also continue to make further studies and get more certifications from the state boards to broaden their skills. They obtain and maintain professional certification if available in the area of expertise. They design quality improvement initiatives and implement them to evaluate the need for change.


Psychiatric mental health nursing practitioners attain knowledge and competency that reflect the current nursing practice. They deliver care in a manner that preserves and protects the patients’ dignity and rights. They maintain patient confidentiality within legal and regulatory parameters.


These are just some of the many roles of a psychiatric mental health nursing practitioners.

By Felix Go, published at 02/15/2012
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