According to Mental Health America (MHA), as of 2022, approximately 19.86% of adults experience mental health issues in the United States, equivalent to around 50 million Americans! Today, millions of Americans are in need of professional mental healthcare services.
According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people suffering from mental health illnesses is increasing globally. Hence, the market demand for mental healthcare professionals like Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP) is rising. This trend is expected to continue amid the mental health scenario prevailing.
If you are looking for a fulfilling career, good income, and growth opportunities, then a career as a PMHNP is a desirable option. Here are some compelling reasons why becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is going to be very rewarding:
- Increased Demand for Mental Health Professionals
As discussed, the prevalence of mental health issues has been on the rise globally, with the COVID-19 pandemic, societal pressure, and declining economic conditions contributing to this trend. However, the psychological health services industry faces a major shortage of essential personnel due to the overwhelming demand, and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners are uniquely qualified to fill this vacancy.
As a result, the market demand for mental healthcare professionals such as PMHNPs has increased. Many educational institutions now offer post masters PMHNP online programs to meet this demand, allowing practicing nurses to pursue a mental healthcare degree easily while fulfilling their job duties. With only 4.7% (approx 9,714) PMHNP certifications existing in the world today, newly graduated practitioners have an incredible opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives by offering top-notch mental healthcare treatment for those who need it most.
Mental health awareness has become paramount in recent years, and influential figures from all backgrounds are initiating conversations to reduce the stigma attached to it. Through their active campaigns, more people are becoming informed about mental well-being than ever before; as a result, an increased demand for certified professionals is seen throughout society. These celebrities have successfully raised meaningful discussions on this critical topic.
- Amplified Job Growth Outlook
As stated in the last point, the increased demand for PMHNP professionals has resulted in more jobs in the mental healthcare industry. The following statistics indicate the feasibility of a career as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP):
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners in mental health offices have a job growth outlook of 26.8 percent.
- For outpatient mental health clinics, the job growth outlook for PMHNPs is 16.3 percent.
- Private Psychiatric Hospitals have a job growth outlook of 26.2 percent.
- State Psychiatric Hospitals have a job growth outlook of 2.3 percent.
- The job growth outlook for PMHNPs in residential care facilities is 30.4 percent.
No matter where you want to work, PMHNPs will see many job openings in the future.
- Caring For Aging Population
Becoming a nurse practitioner is driven by the desire to provide assistance and comfort for individuals of all ages. Kindness, compassion, and understanding are essential characteristics of these professionals. With the increasing senior population demanding mental health care services at higher levels than ever, nurse practitioners have become increasingly important members of communities everywhere.
Older people are at higher risk of developing many mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety. This risk is often amplified when the elderly live alone or are socially isolated. The pandemic and its following lockdowns decreased mobility and interaction for many older people. They often relied on their morning walk or a chess game for socializing, which kept the sense of loneliness away.
Now that the pandemic is over and people are returning to their everyday lives, people realize the need for mental health practitioners, especially for their elderly loved ones. Hence, the need to care for them is more critical now.
- Strong Earning Potential
The demand for mental health professionals is rapidly expanding, yet the available qualified personnel remains scant. As a result, their earning capability has skyrocketed compared to that of BSN-trained nurses. The potential here is truly exceptional!
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a PMHNP is $137,336 per annum. ZipRecruiter states that the range for a PMHNP is from $93,005 to $146,960 per annum, depending on your state and city.
They can further increase this compensation based on their years in this field. Their experience is a valuable addition to their profile and makes them more attractive candidates for recruiters.
- Have A Good Schedule
Being a PMHNP means that you have a set routine and schedule. A regular nurse practitioner might have to serve late night shifts and have unpredictable timings. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners can choose their program at their convenience, especially if they are working in a mental health clinic.
Working at night and on weekends is also an option for PMHNPs if they deem it fit. Whether you prefer working all day, overnight, or on weekends, a PMHNP always allows you to have a set schedule and everyday routine.
- Variety Of Career Paths
As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you have countless opportunities to explore and advance your skills. You can choose from hospital settings, community-based clinics, or wellness centers – each providing unique experiences that will shape and strengthen your knowledge base.
You can also specialize in a specific mental health disorder as a PMHNP. For example, as a PMHNP aspirant, you might decide to become part of special training to support patients who are experiencing Alzheimer’s. As there are many different mental health problems that people experience, there is a wide variety of careers that you can pursue as a PMHNP.
Becoming a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) is an excellent career decision. With soaring market demand and job availability, PMHNPs have the potential to make a high income. Working hours are structured with minimal overtime, so you can spend more time doing what matters most! What’s better? There are countless paths of progression in this field.