Psychiatric–mental health (PMH) nurses provide care to individuals, families, and communities who have current or potential mental health needs. Essential components of PMH nursing practice include health and wellness promotion through:
- Identification of mental health issues
- Prevention of mental health problems
- Care of mental health problems
- Treatment of persons with the full range of psychiatric-mental health disorders, including substance use disorders
A psychiatric–mental health registered nurse (PMH-RN) cares for those with mental health issues, mental health problems, psychiatric disorders, and co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders. Working with individuals, families, groups, and communities, PMH nurses select and implement evidence-based interventions to promote positive outcomes and recovery. They are key members of interdisciplinary teams and develop partnerships with those with whom they work to assist them with their individual recovery goals. They help people gain, re-gain, or improve coping abilities, living skills, and managing symptoms; maximize their strengths; and prevent further disability.
PMH-RNs with advanced degrees often focus on design, implementation, evaluation, and operations of psychiatric-mental health care delivery. They develop workforce, manage culture, ensure access to care, maintain quality standards, foster safe practice environments, and improve outcomes for individuals and communities.
PMH-APRNS (Nurse Practitioners or Clinical Nurse Specialists)
PMH-APRNs assess, diagnose, and treat individuals, families or groups with complex psychiatric-mental health problems or the potential for such disorders. They provide a full range of psychiatric-mental health services to persons from pre-birth until death. Their key roles include prescribing or recommending psychiatric medication, providing various forms of psychotherapy, and providing clinical supervision. PMH-APRNs are prepared to work independent of other disciplines and may be self-employed or employed by an agency, practice autonomously or collaboratively, and may or may not bill clients for services provided. Due to the need for the services they offer, the scope of practice for PMH-APRNs is continually expanding.