Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Mental well-being is included in the World Health Organization’s definition of health. The definition depicts the significance of mental health as a spectrum of life wholesomeness. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, in addition to psychiatrists, are invaluable healthcare workers who strive to improve mental health care and the overall status of communities (Phoenix, 2019).
Appropriate PMNHP certification, licensure, and accreditation are thus required prerequisites before granting PMHNPs the mandate to perform their duties. This paper discusses the certification and licensure process for PMHNPs, the state-specific scope of practice, and practice restrictions or limitations.
Certification and Licensure
While the two terms are frequently used interchangeably, they are not synonymous. Certification indicates that a PMHNP is competent to care for patients in a specific setting. In contrast, licensure indicates that the nurses are legally permitted to practice in a specific state or residence (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2020).
The nursing boards in each state list the requirements for certification and licensure, and nurses must follow the stated provisions. Nurse practitioners can obtain certification in psychiatric mental health after earning a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
The American Nurses Credentialing Center certifies graduates who have a registered nurse license, have worked 500 supervised clinical hours in the PMHN program, have completed courses in advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, and advanced pharmacology, and have studied content in health promotion, differential diagnosis, and disease management (American Psychiatric Association, 2020). A PMHNP is awarded the credential and is fully licensed, depending on the state, after meeting the eligibility requirements to sit for the certification exams and successfully pass them.
State-Specific Scope of Practice for PMHNP
A PMHNP’s responsibilities are diverse. In Texas, a PMHNP, in addition to the general functions of an advanced nurse practitioner, diagnoses and treats common psychiatric conditions and crises (Rice et al., 2019). Mood disorders, psychotic conditions, substance abuse disorders, and stress-related conditions are all possible.
Furthermore, PMHNPs must manage patients’ medications in collaboration with psychiatrists. This necessitates collaborative practice in healthcare, particularly in a mental health setting where many other healthcare providers may be involved in managing a single patient at the same time.
The PMNHP in Texas state continues to provide a variety of non-pharmacological management services, including individual, group, and family psychotherapy (Rice et al., 2019). Moreover, the PMHNPs counsel patients with various psychiatric conditions, provide comprehensive patient-family mental health education, perform age-appropriate screening procedures, advocate for family psychiatric mental health clients, and promote wellness-oriented self-care (Rice et al., 2019).
The education and experience gained by PMNHPs enable them to perform the various duties listed as well as practice in a variety of settings. As a result, it is critical for PMHNPs to be adaptable to changes in the environment, as well as willing to learn and collaborate with other professionals.
State-Specific Restrictions and Limitations for Practice
The restrictions on PMHNP practice in Texas are minimal. First, before becoming a PMHNP, the written practice agreement specifies the nurse practitioner’s prescribing authority; however, a physician is frequently required to review it (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2020).
Similarly, PMHNPs are free to practice with few restrictions, except that they should always work alongside psychiatrists to avoid medicolegal issues. The freedom to practice is essential because it allows mental health patients to receive care anywhere without being referred to a psychiatrist. As a result, the majority of mental health care workers in Texas state are PMHNs, and if a problem persists, they consult psychiatrists.
PMHNP’s Prescriptive Authority and the DEA Process
The state of Texas recognizes the value of PMHNPs in the delivery of mental health care. The written practice agreement in Texas states that PMHNPs have full prescribing authority. They can prescribe schedule II-IV controlled substances (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2019). They also dispense and administer controlled substances and therapeutic devices in addition to prescribing. However, before PMHNPs are granted prescriptive authority, they must first complete the previously mentioned rigorous training, accreditation, and licensure.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is a series of letters and numbers assigned by the DEA to a healthcare provider. It comprises six numbers, two letters, and a check digit. The first letter identifies the provider’s type, while the second letter is the first letter of the provider’s last name (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2019). Before applying for a DEA number, the nurse must be licensed to practice in the stated state.
The application requires a visit to the DEA’s website and the following information: social security number, state license information, and credit card information (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2019). There are about six sections to fill out, which require information about the nurse’s personal and practice details, prescribing authority and limitations, business activity, and the background and payment (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2019). The DEA numbers allow the DEA to track who is prescribing controlled substances and how much is being prescribed.
Patients’ mental well-being is just as important as their physical well-being. While some people consider mental health to be a lesser aspect of health, the definition of health is incomplete without it. PMHNP fills the gap in the number of mental healthcare workers.
Being accredited and licensed as a PMHNP requires MSN or DNP training. PMHNPs are mandated to diagnose and treat various psychiatric disorders, both pharmacologically and non-pharmacologically, in addition to the general functions of advanced nurse practitioners. In the visible world, where people’s mental health is despised, precautions must be taken to avoid the annual increase in the incidence and morbidity from psychiatric conditions.
American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2020). State Practice Environment. American Association of Nurse Practitioners. https://www.aanp.org/advocacy/state/state-practice-environment
American Psychiatric Association. (2020). Telepsychiatry. Psychiatry.Org. https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/telepsychiatry
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2019). National Provider Identifier Standard (NPI). Cms.Gov. https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Administrative-Simplification/NationalProvIdentStand
Phoenix, B. J. (2019). The current psychiatric mental health registered nurse workforce. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 25(1), 38–48. https://doi.org/10.1177/1078390318810417
Rice, M. J., Stalling, J., & Monasterio, A. (2019). Psychiatric-mental health nursing: Data-driven policy platform for a psychiatric mental health care workforce. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 25(1), 27–37. https://doi.org/10.1177/1078390318808368
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Instructions
Write a paper using APA 7th edition discussing practice authority for PMHNPs in the state of Kentucky USA, including regulations related to prescriptive authority. What challenges do foresee that might confront you regarding entering into practice, relative to the current practice climate in your state?