Mental health has always been a pressing issue, but stigmatization and societal judgment have buried it deeply, forcing people to bottle up their negative feelings. Allowing these issues to aggravate without treatment can have dire consequences. Research claims that 1 in 5 American adults encounter a mental illness in their lifetime, highlighting the extent of the problem.
Numerous mental illnesses run rampant all over the globe to torment individuals. They include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. They arise due to past trauma, disturbed childhood, chronic medical conditions, and substance abuse. Hence, psychiatric nurse practitioners are greatly valued today to help people cope with abundant mental illnesses. However, they must be qualified and adequately experienced in treating patients.
Skills And Qualifications To Be A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Considering mental health is still a highly sensitive issue, psychiatric nurses must be well-trained and have the ideal skills to empathize with and treat such people. Being cautious regarding patient treatment is significant as some have severe suicidal tendencies that can be pushed to the brink if the nurse is not supportive and vigilant.
Primarily, nurses should be flexible in devising alternative treatment options if the first shows no improvement. They should also be empathetic and project a comforting aura to help people feel safe. Creating a non-judgment zone can allow patients to break out of their shells and come clean about their deepest feelings, enabling nurses to devise treatment accordingly. They must have an excellent eye for detail to observe even minute changes in a patient’s behavior and health.
However, it is not possible to acquire all these traits without enrolling in a nursing program that combines academic theory with practical experience. Since you might be a working nurse pursuing specialization, you can enroll in a Post Master’s Certificate Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Online degree. The program can assist you with analyzing, diagnosing, and selecting the correct treatment option for patients with unique mental needs.
Career Outlook Of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
The career outlook of psychiatric nurse practitioners is estimated to be highly favorable in the current decade due to the sheer number of mental illnesses tormenting people. Moreover, the US Bureau Of Labor Statistics indicates the growth of this profession to be around 52% between 2020 and 2030. This surpasses the growth of most fields in the country. However, specific reasons have also contributed to the profession’s positive career prospects.
- Less Stigmatization Of Mental Health
The progress made over the years in removing the persistent stigma over mental health has enabled people to communicate their mental issues freely and seek treatment accordingly. More acceptance and understanding of the previously concealed issues have helped people feel comfortable talking about their innermost feelings. It has increased the demand for psychiatric nurse practitioners who can provide professional help.
- Cheap Labor In Rural Areas
Rural areas are laden with issues like poverty, leading to depression, drug abuse, and critically high infant mortality rates, which can promote negativity among the masses. People in such areas do not have the freedom to seek treatment due to a lack of resources, leaving a massive gap and a short supply of professional help. Considering psychiatric nurse practitioners have full practice authority, they can travel to these areas and offer their services independently.
- High Anxiety Among Teenagers
Bullying has been mainly prevalent among teenagers and young adults. It affects their confidence and promotes negative feelings like social anxiety. Due to the advancement of technology, bullies have found another method of disgracing individuals as online bullying continues to be increasingly popular, surpassing geographical limitations. Moreover, the excessive usage of social media prompts teenagers to stay indoors and ruins their sleeping patterns. It gives rise to depression, which ultimately leads them to seek mental treatment from qualified psychiatric nurse practitioners.
- Health Insurance For Mental Treatment
The value of psychiatric nurse practitioners has also increased with the introduction of the Parity Law in the US. However, a significant number of Americans were not familiar with it until recent times. The law states that mental treatment must also be covered by health insurance. It allows people to have cheap, convenient methods of seeking treatment for mental issues. Implementing this law has helped people realize that mental health is a widely known and understood aspect. It helps them feel comfortable seeking the services of a professional nurse practitioner.
Job Description Of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
Once psychiatric nurse practitioners acquire the relevant qualifications and skills, they must seek professional experience. They must be able to assess the behavior of patients and diagnose their mental illnesses correctly. They also need to devise treatment accordingly and keep alternate treatment options in mind if the first one does not work.
They should encourage patients to adopt healthy habits that can inject positivity, such as regular exercise and appropriate meal plans. It is their duty to monitor changes in the patient’s sleep cycle and food intake to ensure they can take care of their basic needs. They should also strive to lessen their pessimistic thought process and help them view the world positively.
Suppose the patients are addicted to unhealthy habits such as alcohol and drugs. In that case, the nurse must assist them through the rehabilitation process and consistently track their performance to ensure they do not relapse.
Several patients undergo social anxiety due to a troubled childhood or domestic abuse. Nurses need to ease them into interpersonal interactions and help them overcome their anxiety. They must create awareness regarding mental health so more people can feel comfortable seeking treatment instead of suffering alone.
Earning Potential Of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
Nurses’ salaries can differ based on the geographical area they work in, the job title and amount of experience they have, and the overall setting. However, the US Bureau Of Statistics states that recently, the mean salary was estimated to be $101,260 per year. It can vary as people who have their own private practice can earn significantly more than those who work in correctional facilities.
Psychiatric nurse practitioners can earn a hefty salary and find jobs easily due to the sheer demand for mental health care workers. They need to acquire adequate qualifications and have specific traits that can help patients feel comfortable and communicate their mental issues freely.
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