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Breona Mckinney

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Our healthcare system depends heavily on the work of two highly qualified advanced practice nurses: family nurse practitioners and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. Although their educational routes have certain similarities, their fundamental ideas are completely different (Schlette,n.d.) I chose to pursue my masters concentrating in the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program. The PMHNP’s duties include evaluating, diagnosing, and attending to patients’ mental health problems. For patients with mental health disorders or drug misuse issues, many PMHNPs offer treatment and write prescriptions for pharmaceuticals. Additionally, PMHNPs may offer emergency psychiatric care, physical and psychological evaluations, and assessments of the efficacy of therapy. The majority of PMHNPs working in inpatient settings have typical working hours with occasional night shifts when they are on call, thus nurses interested in this career path should be aware of this (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse practitioner,2019)

Before making my decision, I was torn between the family nurse practitioner and Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner track. When doing research on the duties of a family nurse practitioner I realized this specialty would be best for nurses who enjoy treating the complete spectrum of patient populations, from infants to the elderly.

I thought it would be a wise decision to be a general practitioner so I could obtain employment anywhere, but I quickly discovered the family nurse practitioner field is overly saturated. In addition, I discovered many FNPs struggle to find employment due to the field being overly saturated. Moreover, the difference in salary was another factor in my decision. I thought in depth about the day-to-day responsibilities and duties of both specialties and learned that FNPs are responsible for a lot more. FNPs can work in a range of disciplines and offer care to patients throughout their whole lifespan. An FNP’s main duties can include writing prescriptions, ordering, and carrying out tests, creating care plans, and conducting physical examinations (Neddersen, 2022). Giving their load and making less than a psychiatric mental health practitioner, I immediately realized it would be a better option to pursue my masters as a psychiatric mental health practitioner.

Holly hill hospital is an organization affiliated with providing mental health services. I am currently working PRN with this facility after working 2 years full time as a mental health charge nurse. I plan to continue working with this facility after graduation and securing a job as a mental health nurse practitioner. When applying for the position, I will be required to sit through a panel interview, orientation, and 2 months of on the floor orientation. After completing all steps, I will perform my duties independently seeing my assigned patients, being in rotation for on call under the supervision of a psychiatrist.


Neddersen, J. (2022, June 23). What is the difference between an FNP and a PMHNP? Herzing University. Retrieved July 30, 2022, from


Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse practitioner, American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2019, December 13). Retrieved July 30, 2022, from


Schlette , J. (n.d.).

FNP vs. PMHNP: Which Specialty is Better?

FNP vs. PMHNP: Which specialty is better? Retrieved July 30, 2022, from


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