Mental health is increasingly becoming a major concern worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, one out of four people in the world is affected by mental health issues. Women, in particular, are at high risk of developing mental health problems due to various reasons. Theses include hormonal changes, work stress, and family responsibilities. Like with any healthcare provider, there is an array of options when it comes to mental healthcare professionals. However, a lesser-known option is that of a psychiatric nurse practitioner (PMHNP). PMHNPs can provide a unique and helpful approach to treating various mental health conditions. In this article, we will explore the benefits of seeing a psychiatric nurse practitioner for your mental health needs.
First, what is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner?
PMHNPs are qualified mental healthcare providers with advanced, specialized training. They are a type of advanced practice nurse. This is a category that includes other types of nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and nurse anesthetists. They start as RNs and then, after working for some time as a RN, return to school to earn a graduate degree as a Nurse Practitioner. PMHNPs earn a master’s degree or a doctorate. Their entire graduate education is specialized to psychiatric care from a nursing perspective. Which means they consider all aspects of a person’s life when evaluating them. Their work and educational background allows them to have a comprehensive understanding of the intersection between physical and mental health. This means that PMHNPs individually tailor their approach to each patient, taking into account all aspects of their health and wellbeing.
One of the benefits of seeing a psychiatric nurse practitioner is getting personalized care. Every person has unique mental health needs. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner can evaluate these needs and develop a personalized care plan that addresses these needs more effectively. This can include the type of therapy, medications, and other treatment options that will work best for your unique symptoms.
Compared to seeing a psychiatrist, seeing a psychiatric nurse practitioner is typically more cost-effective. Nurse practitioners provide comprehensive evaluation and prescribe medication, but their services are generally less expensive. Some PMHNPs provide psychotherapy as well.
Psychiatric nurse practitioners are trained in the nursing model to consider the whole person when addressing mental health issues. They take into account the person’s background, lifestyle, family dynamics, and other variables that can influence mental health. This means that psychiatric nurse practitioners can offer a more holistic approach to mental health treatment considering both the biological and psychosocial factors contributing to mental health needs.
Continuity of Care
Seeing a psychiatric nurse practitioner ensures continuity of care. This means that the nurse practitioner is involved in the patient’s care from start to finish. This can be especially important for individuals who need long-term mental health care. It ensures that changes in treatment plans are made thoughtfully, with full understanding of the patient’s history and mental health needs.
Taking the step to see a mental health care provider can be difficult, but it can make a huge difference in an individual’s life. By seeing a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you can expect personalized, cost-effective, holistic, and consistent mental health care focused on your needs. This can lead to better mental health outcomes and a higher quality of life overall. For women in particular, seeking mental health care from a psychiatric nurse practitioner can be a means of taking care of themselves and prioritizing their own mental health needs.
Nurtured Well, LLC has two psychiatric nurse practitioners to help you find the best medication so you can live your best life!
About the author: Sharon P. Fisher, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, PMH-C has been a nurse practitioner for over 17 years.