Introduction – identifying the role and job description setting of the PMHNP
The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), role and job description is providing primary mental health care services, to those with mental health problems, or psychiatric disorders. The PMHNP is required to assess, diagnose, provide treatment plans, prescribe medication therapy, and offer counsel across the lifespan. The PMHNP provides care in a wide range of settings to children, adolescents, adults, the elderly, and their families. This mental healthcare takes place in the primary care settings, emergency rooms, hospitals, outpatient mental health clinics, senior living communities and in private practices. Being culturally competent to care for the ever changing demographics of the United States is necessary. The PMHNP assess and treats in a holistic manor and utilizes evidenced based practice. Regardless of race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, political persuasion, or socio economic standing the PMHNP is there to treat. The PMHNP role also includes establishing a therapeutic relationship, being sensitive to many abnormal behaviors, and caring for those frequently distressed emotionally. Collaboration and the ability to make referrals are essential for the PMHNP. Patients present with undiagnosed problems and establishing the proper diagnosis by a qualified PMHNP begins with the initial assessment interview (Gilfedder, Barron, & Docherty, 2010).
The PMHNP also has to work within state regulations. According to The Florida Board of Nursing (2014), regulations for nurse practitioners (NPs) requirements are relevant to practicing legally. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners must have an active registered nurse license in the State of Florida, master’s degree or post master’s degree in advanced nursing practice, certification by an appropriate specialty board, and proof of malpractice insurance or exemption. There are other requirements with regards to conviction record guidelines for those with a criminal record. Applicants need an electronic fingerprinting that is submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). If a person has a felony or health care fraud, issues after July 1, 2012, they can be refused for nurse practitioner licensing (Florida Board of Nursing, 2014). Florida requires the nurse practitioner to collaborate with a physician for prescription authority. Florida is only one of two states that will not authorize NPs to write prescriptions for controlled substances.
The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) has established 38 psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner competencies that portrays to the role and domain of practice. The PMHNP is expected to treat in a broad range of settings. Including; continuous comprehensive care, “promotion of optimal mental health, prevention, and treatment of psychiatric disorders and health maintenance” (NONPF, 2013, p....