4 answers

How competitive is the career I'd like to go into?

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I would like to pursue my dreams of becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner but I am scared of actually staying committed to it because If its too competitive I'm worried I will be jobless once I graduate from college. #psychiatric-nurse-practitioner

4 answers

John’s Answer


A psychiatric nurse practitioner is a PMHNP - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. The federal government's Health Resources & Services Administration in 2016 predicted an oversupply of PMHNPs. See https://bhw.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/bhw/nchwa/projections/psychiatric-nurse-practitioners-physician-assistants-2018.pdf Many schools opened PMHNP programs after this report was published. After graduating from nursing school, it is very important to work as a nurse before going to nurse practitioner school. Some schools accept students who have no experience as a nurse. Other PMHNP schools like the one I graduated from require psychiatric nursing experience to be admitted. I learned as much from working as a psychiatric nurse as I did in school. Both types of knowledge are needed.

John recommends the following next steps:

  • Learn more about nursing schools since you have to be a nurse before you can be a nurse practitioner.
  • Go to orientation sessions at nursing schools so you can find out what it takes to get admitted.

M. Christina’s Answer


I often see postings for openings for "Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners" whenever I do a job search. There are many different specialties for NPs, and there are not as many that choose mental or behavioral health tracks. Do keep in mind that you will need a bachelors degree and a masters degree to be a Psych NP. It is not a specialty that is very competitive but there may not be many graduate programs that offer the program.

M. Christina recommends the following next steps:

  • Google "Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs" and go over their application requirements. You can even try calling the school to see how many people they admit per year.
  • Go on LinkedIn or Craigslist and type "Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner" to see how many openings there are to get an idea of the demand for the position.

Wendy’s Answer


Nursing is an exciting career that can take you in many directions. Becoming a psychiatric NP is a wonderful career.

There are many opportunities working with diverse populations from children to seniors. All nursing programs are rigorous but that shouldn’t dissuade you. It’s worth the hard work. Good luck.

Anjana’s Answer


Always do your research! Call the school you are interested in, talk to current students: what is the program like and where did you work prior to applying to the program. Talk to the professors and see if you can shadow one. Also, ask if you can get in touch with a recent graduate. Ask, how long did it take you to find a job as a new graduate? What type of experience will help me the most and set me apart from other job seekers. Now that you have first hand insight and have made some connections you can move forward in your decision to become a psych NP in a more meaningful way. Good luck!