Mental Health in the United States is in a critical state. Research suggests that 1 in 5 American adults 1https://www.nami.org/nami/media/nami-media/infographics/generalmhfacts.pdf have struggled with or currently struggle with mental health issues, and yet more than half of U.S. counties have no practicing psychiatrists. We are at a point in time where it is becoming less taboo to seek professional help for mental health issues, yet those who need it most cannot always obtain help due to a lack of qualified professionals in the field.
If you’re considering a career in mental health, you’ve come to the right place. There are so many rewards of a career in which you get to make use of your empathic nature and a career in mental health is the perfect opportunity to put the “care” in “career”. Working in mental health requires a great deal of empathy, compassion, people skills, and a desire to help others. If this sounds like you, your dream job may just exist in the world of mental health.
A career in mental health doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a psychologist or a psychiatrist. There are a variety of careers available in mental health. Becoming a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner is the perfect career for those who love the versatility and stability of a nursing qualification but dream of a career in mental health. The benefits of becoming a PMHNP are plentiful. Read on to learn why this may be the perfect fit for you.
You’ll never have a shortage of job opportunities
Mental health awareness and the demand for qualified professionals is growing every day. The job outlook for PMHNP 2https://www.aanp.org/practice/practice-related-research/research-reports is very promising with employment in this field expected to grow much faster than other occupations according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 3https://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm. Nurses in general are in high demand, and with a shortage of mental health professionals, you’ll be filling a position that desperately needs to be filled.
The salary isn’t too shabby
The average wage for a PMHNP is around $125,000 – that’s 50% higher than that of a registered nurse.
You can continue working while you study
The downside of formal education is that the time you need to dedicate to study often eliminates the possibility of working a full-time job. Fortunately, you live in the 21st Century, and studying while working is easier than ever! In fact, you can earn your degree in mental health nursing while putting your newfound knowledge to the test.
As a student enrolled in an online PMHNP program, you can study online in your own time while working as a full-time nurse. This unique opportunity means that you can practice your new skills and knowledge while they are still fresh in your mind, with the added bonus of support from like-minded peers, staff, and a student success coach.
You can tailor your career to fit your life
Nursing – including mental health nursing – is a versatile career. As a PMHNP, you can work in a number of settings: bustling hospitals, intimate private practices, inpatient wards, schools, correctional facilities – the choice is yours. The need for mental health professionals is not limited to psychiatric facilities. Mental health exists in all areas of life and issues can crop up for people of all ages at any given time. You can work with children, the elderly, and just about anyone in between.
Furthermore, while your skills are badly needed in the U.S., a career in mental health nursing can take you on exciting new adventures. Nursing exists in all corners of the globe and people everywhere battle mental health issues.
You’ll change lives
Working in mental health means you’ll regularly interact with people at a very low point of their lives. It is estimated that PMHNPs see around 15 patients each day – that’s 15 people every single day who are coming to you for care, guidance and support. Whether they’re battling mental health issues, substance abuse, or challenging life circumstances, they’ve taken the first step in seeking help and you have been given the honor of helping them heal. You will have the chance to add a little light into their lives, and your empathy and care may lead to their life becoming drastically better.
In return, they may even change your life. Seeing the world through the eyes of someone who is struggling will change your perspective and open your eyes like nothing else will.
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