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Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse



Coordinate with medical professionals to treat mentally ill patients.

What does an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse do?

Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses provide specialized treatment for mentally ill patients. For each person, you offer a caring hand and a knowledgeable skill set to help them deal with their disorder. You assess their symptoms, record pertinent information, and offer a diagnosis. You also counsel the patients and their families about common illnesses, such as psychosis, depression, dementia, bi-polar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia.

Your work might take place in a hospital, clinic, rehabilitation center, mental health institution, a patient’s home, or a nursing home. In any of these places, you work with a team of health care professionals.

The title of “Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse” is a broad term that includes a couple different positions in the field of mental health. This makes it more of a category than a job title, per se, as many different titles fall under the umbrella of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse—for example both Child Clinical Nurse Specialist and Family Nurse Practitioners can be Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses.

Your exact title, therefore, depends on how you help people deal with their mental disabilities: the type of patients you choose to treat (for example, children, adults, the elderly, etc.), what state you choose to practice in (titles vary by geography), and the level of training you undergo are all factors in your exact title.

Your duties will vary depending upon this last point—the level and type of training that you undergo. If you’re a Nurse Practitioner, for example, you can also prescribe medications. As a Clinical Nurse, you perform mostly the same duties, but your emphasis is on the therapy, staffing, and systems of the facility.

For any of these positions, you attend seminars and conferences to continually update your knowledge about mental health and to stay current with the newest treatments.

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