Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners

Certification plan

Introduction

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) trained to offer a variety of mental health services to patients in a range of settings. They diagnose, offer therapy and prescribe drugs for patients with mental disorders and substance abuse or behavioral problems. PMHNPs utilize both therapeutic and medicinal interventions to treat patients and are licensed to offer physical and psychosocial evaluation of their clients. Depending on their state of practice, supervision by a physician might or might not be a requirement.    The paper addresses the practice the PMHNP practice environment for Maryland and compares it with Louisiana state and professional and clinical issues that a new PMHNP needs to consider and address. The paper also provides a checklist for passing the national certification examination.Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners

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The PMHNP practice environment for Maryland

In Maryland, nurse practitioners, including PMHNPs can practice independently, without entering into a collaborative pact with a physician. They may diagnose, perform patient assessments, diagnose and order tests independently without being required to be supervised by a physician.  Nurse practitioners are acknowledged as providers of primary care in Maryland. Nurse practitioners have the authority to prescribe schedule three to schedule five controlled substances (NCSL & ASTHO, 2017).

According to NCSL and ASTHO (2017), for the first 18 months following licensure, a nurse practitioner must work together with a nurse practitioner with full practice authority or a physician, after which they are authorized to practice independently. With proper experience or appropriate training, a PMHNP with the authority to practice independently can get a federal abdication to prescribe products that contain buprenorphine. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners

A comparison of the PMHNP practice environment in Maryland with a state in which I would like to practice (Louisiana state)

In Louisiana, PMHNPs restricted practice authority and are required to enter into a collaborative practice pact with a physician.  The practice agreement must outline the prescriptive authority of the nurse practitioner, a plan for clients who needs admission and plans for diagnostic testing as According to AANP (2017), the ability of a nurse practitioner to prescribe medications and dispense controlled substances should be outlined in the collaborative practice agreement.

When a nurse practitioner in Louisiana writes prescriptions, these prescriptions must state the name of the nurse practitioner as well as the phone number, name and address of the physician that the nurse practitioner is collaborating with. AANP (2017) argue that in order to be granted authority to prescribe controlled substances, a PMHNP must submit an application to Louisiana Board of nursing for the privilege to be granted. The collaborating physician always be accessible for consultation.

Professional and clinical practice issue a new PMHNP will need to consider and address with licensure, certification, credentialing and relocation process

A new PMHNP must understand is that the licensure, certification and credentialing are important requirements for nurse practitioners.  Licenses are given by a state, with certification being awarded by a nationwide body. For instance, a PMHNP residing in Maryland gets licensure from the Maryland state and certification from the American nurses credentialing center. According to ANCC (2018) nurse practitioners need both certification and licensure. Licenses enhance a PMHNP to work as a psychiatric nurse while certification demonstrates the proficiency of a PMHNP in psychiatric/mental health.

After completion of this program, one is eligible to sit for the national certification examination. The national certification examination is administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center(ANCC).  According to ANCC (2018), the board certification exam is an examination based on competency that offers a reliable and valid of the skills and knowledge of nurse practitioners.  When one completes qualification requirements to sit for the certification exam and passes the examination, one is credentialed as a board certified PMHNP. The validity of the credential is five years and one can continue using the credential through maintaining his or her license to practice and through completing the renewal requirements at the period of certification renewal.

For one to qualify to take the certain exam one must have completed courses in standard advance nursing and clinical training in two or more types of psychotherapeutic treatment.  Other eligibility requirements include accumulation of five hundred supervised working hours with adult psychiatric health patients and a valid registered nurse license Gadbois et al (2015) argue for the issuance of a state licensure, a nurse practitioner must take and base the nationwide board certification examination.

The relocation process has implications for a PMHNP. Since scope of practice laws vary across states, a PMHNP must understand practice environment of the new state. Gadbois et al (2015) assert that even though nurse practitioners are certified nationwide, the level to which they might practice independently is determined by the scope of practice laws which vary across states.   These laws control the level of the required educational attainment, the degree of available prescriptive authority and the amount of physician collaboration needed.Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners

Checklist for passing the national certification examination

To apply and take the national certification I will first complete all the graduate project and coursework in psychiatric/ mental health nursing. When applying for the PMHNP national certification examination, I will send my academic transcript to ANCC. When I receive an approval letter for my application, I will start preparing to formulate a study plan.  ANCC (2017) notes that approximately six months prior to taking the certification examination, it is important to create a study plan. This may entail self-study, study group, review course and reviewing current articles and books. Every certification examination provides an outline for test content, sample questions and reference list for free to enable applicants prepare for the exam. I will purchase review materials and enroll for an online review course with Fitzgerald health education associates.

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Conclusion

PMHNPS practitioners play are a crucial role in providing care to patients with mental health problems.  The practice environment of PMHNPs is influenced by scope of practice laws which vary across states.  In Maryland state, PMHNPs can practice independently without  collaborative practice agreements with a physician, while Louisiana state, PMHPs are required to work under the supervision of a physician.  Thereof, it is fundamental that PMHNPs clearly understand the effect of state laws on their practice way state laws National certification of PMHNPs is an important requirement demonstrate the expertise of PMHNPs in offering patient care.

References

American Association of Nurse Practitioner, AANP. (2017). State Practice Environment. Retrieved from https://www.aanp.org/advocacy/state/state-practice-environment

American Nurses Credentialing Center, ANCC.  (2018).  Psychiatric- mental health Nurse Practitioner (Across the LifeSpan) Certification (PMHNP-BC).  Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/our-certifications/psychiatric-mental-health-nurse-practitioner/

ANCC (2017). Certification General Testing and Renewal Handbook. Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/~4ac3ba/globalassets/certification/renewals/GeneralTestingandRenewalHandbook

Gadbois, E., Miler, E., Tyler, D., & Intrator, O. (2015). Trends in State Regulations of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, 2001 to 2010. Med Care Res Rev, 72(2): 200-219.

National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL) & Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. (ASTHO). (2017). Maryland Scope of Practice Policy: State Profile. Retrieved from http://scopeofpracticepolicy.org/states/md/

certification (1)

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners

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