Frequently Asked Questions

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Role of the PMHNP
PMHNP employment
Choosing clinical preceptors
Can I pursue the track without mental health work experience
Nurse practitioner certification information

What is the role of the PMHNP?

The PMHNP focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health needs, which impacts the overall health of clients. Treatment of mental health may include prescribing medications, providing therapy and/or discussing lifestyle measures that can help clients meet their goals. PMHNPs consider the entire person and assure care of mental health from pre-conception to end-of-life care. The PMHNP works alongside many other professions to assure that their client’s needs are being met. They also work through policy, education and program development to meet the needs of the public. Wellness cannot be achieved without considering the mental health of the person.

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Do PMHNP graduates typically have difficulty finding employment?

No, in fact, currently there is a shortage of Mental Health professionals with prescriptive authority in most communities. Allen College frequently receives multiple job postings; there are numerous positions available both statewide and nationally.

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How are clinical preceptors chosen?

Clinical placement is under the direct supervision of the Clinical Coordinator, Nurse Practitioner track leads and course faculty. Students may provide input in the selection process by identifying potential preceptors. Students may also elect to participate in one of Allen College’s Dedicated Education Clinics (DECs).

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Is it possible to pursue the track without mental health work experience?

The psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner curriculum is very specialized. Direct and applied knowledge is recommended, but not required. Students with a limited mental health background can be successful, but increased diligence and a passion for the specialty are critical.

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Is nurse practitioner certification currently available?

Yes, the requisite hours of clinical and educational experiences are integrated within the curriculum. After successful completion of the Allen College PMHNP program, graduates are eligible to complete an exam for national certification.

Please refer to the American Nurse Credentialing Center for additional information:

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