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Why We Need More Psych APRNs and PAs

Posted on May 18, 2018   |   by   |   Advanced Practice Provider, Career Development, Job Seekers

Whether you’re considering a career change or are already working as a Psych APRN or PA, I want to encourage you to continue to further your career. The world needs you!

Mental illness is the world’s leading cause of disability. According to the NIH, one in six U.S. adults lives with a mental illness. Sadly, only half of people with mental illness receive treatment.

As we well know, access to mental health care is a major issue facing today’s healthcare system due to social stigma, the cost of treatment, a shortage of physicians, and other factors. But as an APRN or PA, you can make a difference for the 43 million adults and 17 million children living with mental health conditions.

Why You Should Consider a Career in Psych

Your Collaborative Approach Offers Unique Value to Patients

Psych NPs and PAs provide comprehensive care from a holistic perspective. As a provider who frequently assesses new patients, NPs and PAs often diagnose mental health conditions and guide patients to seek treatment. And, often, screening and early intervention are critical to a patient’s long-term prognosis.

In addition to prescribing medication and managing treatment, NPs and PAs also provide essential case management services and family consultations. Your communication skills not only serve the patient, but also make for a more efficient multidisciplinary healthcare team.

 You Can Pave the Way for More APRNs and PAs in Psych

Despite the growing need for services, the number of psychiatric providers is at one of the lowest levels in history! A recent article on MD Edge lays out the numbers. Even if the current workforce of psych-certified APRNs and PAs joined forces with the nation’s practicing psychiatrists, there still would be a ratio of 986 patients per provider.

According to the UVA School of Nursing, only 4% of the nation’s 253,000 practitioners specialize in mental health.  This isn’t nearly enough to meet the demand.

When you practice successfully in this field, you’re not only meeting an incredible need. You’re also increasing the visibility and recognition of Advanced Practice Providers, joining leading experts in their belief that allowing Advanced Practice Providers to work at their full scope of practice offers a viable solution to today’s mental health crisis.

You’ll be Rewarded for Your Work as a Psych APRN or PA

At Melnic, we’ve noticed a growing demand for Nurse Practitioners with their PMHNP-BC certification or PAs with a Psychiatry Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average salary for Physician Assistants at $ 104,860 and Nurse Practitioners at $ 103,880. Additionally, each of these roles has a growth rate of 36% over the next 10 years. (To learn more about Advanced Practice Salaries, download our free guide!)

However, if you hold a certification in Mental Health, you can expect an 8-10% increase in your salary. Stay tuned next week as I explain how and why you should pursue this career goal!

In addition, you’d have your pick of job opportunities in a range of environments, from hospital-based practices to private practice, to working as a contractor for one or multiple facilities. This is a career path that truly provides flexibility and autonomy.

This Week’s Top Mental Health Jobs for APRNs and PAs

Our Melnic jobs board has Mental Health positions at some of the country’s leading hospitals. If you are considering a change, take a look at some of these great job openings!

  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio has a great Inpatient Psychiatry job for a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner to addressing a wide range of mental health needs for patients from infancy through age 18.
  • A counseling and treatment center in Westport, Connecticut has a position for a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Set your own schedule and work with adolescents, adults, and families providing mental health and substance abuse services.
  • In Hershey, Pennsylvania, Penn State Medical Center is looking for a Nurse Practitioner to join the Department of Psychiatry Outpatient clinic and provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Ohio has a role for Pediatric Psych CNS to manage the complex care of vulnerable children and adolescent patient populations. This is a full time, days, inpatient position.
  • In Pikesville, Maryland, a recovery center has an opening for a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner to provide professional counseling services for children, teens, and adults with mental health issues or who are struggling with substance abuse. This is an hourly contractor position, part time or full time, between 20 and 40 hours per week.

Review our list of Mental Health jobs, then contact us today!

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