As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Christopher Goisse plays a primary role in a patient’s psychiatric treatment and care. While the psychiatrist or psychologist deals with treating the primary symptoms of a wide range of mental disorders like severe anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and personality disorders, the psychiatric nurse often acts as liaison and consultant with the patient’s family.
Becoming A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Christopher Goisse has a well-rounded background in clinical practice as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). He has worked in various settings providing comprehensive care to communities, individuals, families, and therapeutic groups. Becoming a psychiatric nurse starts with becoming a registered nurse.
After completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BN), which is designed for registered nurses (RNs), the best option is to study for an additional 1 to 2 years to receive a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). As a graduate student, you will have several options for specialization at this level, including geriatrics, mental health, or primary care.
The Role of a PMHNP
Today’s psychiatric nurse practitioners have many innovative therapies and technologies to assist with patient care. There are advanced health assessment skills that a psychiatric nurse will use when screening a new patient or accessing an existing patient’s physical and mental progress. Psychiatric nurse practitioners are expected to have keen observation skills while interacting with patients to determine some truths or recognize some symptoms that may not be forthcoming from or evident to the patient.
In addition to helping plan and roll out mental health treatment protocols, the PMHNP will also administer psychotropic medications that can be crucial in crisis intervention. Other duties include teaching families and patients self-care and coping skills throughout the psychiatric intervention and rehabilitation phases.
The Rewards of Psychiatric Nursing
A psychiatric nurse is at the top of a nurse’s professional career and often interacts with clinical teams, including medical doctors, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, pharmacists, and more. The greatest reward for Christopher Goisse has been witnessing a patient overcome a mental health crisis and return to full employment and a quality lifestyle.
The career path will also have good financial rewards since a licensed RN with a Master’s in Psychiatric Nursing can expect an annual income between $100,00 to $150,000.
Christopher Goisse suggests that men and women in psychiatric nursing always practice good self-care and keep a network of trusted friends, family, and coworkers with whom they can communicate. Most all medical fields are mentally demanding, but that of a psychiatric nurse can sometimes seem daunting.
The mental health nurse practitioner may witness first-hand the bouts of excessive anger, violent behavior, extreme mood swings, or severe and almost catatonic depression. Staying vigilant to avoid becoming burnt-out or overwhelmed is crucial to these health professionals, and will be critical to maintaining a quality home life.