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Should I become a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner or a Clinical Psychologist?

I'm interested in mental health. At first I was set on being an adolescent psychologist, but then I saw mental health nurses practitioner. To become a mental health nurses practitioner, there's less school required (only masters) and it pays equal (if not more than) a clinical psychologist's salary.

If anyone has one of these professions, can you please share your experience?

Thank you.

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Kelli’s Answer

I am a therapist, but I have worked closely with both. Both positions are in need, and it depends more on what you are interested in. As a psychologist, you would be doing more assessments and therapy with clients. As a PNP, you would primarily prescribe medications.
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Priya’s Answer

Hi Kamari, there are other fields in mental health you can look at as well. A master's degree in counseling or social work will also allow you to do therapy for clients as well. I currently have my master degree in counseling and am able to do therapy with the population I chose (adults.) Think about how exactly you would like to help clients, and I hope you also get feedback from those in each of these fields and do some research into their approach. If you are in college, professors, academic advisors, and career counselors may be able to give you good insights! Good luck!
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Jessica’s Answer

Hi Kamari!

Great question, I can see why you are struggling between the two professions, as they both are great options. I would recommend the Mental Health Nurse Practitioner because you can finish faster and still make similar money as opposed to becoming an Adolescent Psychologist. The beauty of this field is that you do not have to stay on one specific profession, so if this winds up not being something you like, you can always switch. Best of luck!
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