What is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner?

[Image description: person with shirt that says mental health matters]
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A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner is certified and trained to provide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health and substance use conditions. Depending on the laws of the state they practice in, psychiatric nurse practitioners can prescribe medications, order and interpret labwork, offer counseling and therapy, and provide education as relates to disease prevention and supportive health and lifestyle choices.

Although many psychiatric nurse practitioners focus on treating mental health conditions with psychopharmacology (the use of psychotropic medications), Lissa (they, them) is able to offer psychotherapy and/or psychopharmacology services due to additional trainings they have had in somatic psychotherapy approaches including Indigenous Focusing-Oriented Therapy (IFOT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Lissa is also trained and certified in mindfulness meditation, yoga, qigong, and interplay and can integrate these offerings into sessions with clients as well.

A nurse practitioner has been trained at a master’s or doctoral level and received advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse (RN) preparation. Lissa received their master’s degree in December 2015 from Hunter College’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program and is considering pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in the future.

The title used for a nurse practitioner can vary from state to state. Lissa is a board-certified nurse practitioner licensed in both New Jersey (NJ) and New York (NY). In NJ, their role is called an advanced practice nurse (APN) and in NY, their role is called a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP).

Lissa is certified across the lifespan to work as a nurse practitioner which means they can work with all people of all ages. Lissa is only working with adolescents (over age 15) and adults presently.

Check out The American Association of Nurse Practitioners’ web site for additional details about nurse practitioners and the American Psychiatric Nurse Association’s web site for more information about psychiatric nurse practitioners.

For additional information about Lissa’s approach and services, please see the about and offerings pages.

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