Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role

Assignment 2-WK7-AS-2
Week 7 Practicum Journal- Checkpoint for Certification Plan
Learning Objectives
Students will:
• Evaluate progress on certification plans
Report your progress on the Certification Plan completed in Week 1 and submitted in Week 4.( SEE THE ATTACHED REPORT)
• What have you done to prepare for your certification?
• Have you completed the scheduled tasks assigned on your timeline? If not, what are your plans to stay on schedule?Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role

Week 1 FOR WK 4 -Practicum Journal Entry- Certification Plan

A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) is a person who is certified by the Board of Nursing to practice as nurse practitioner in a specific area in psychiatry and mental health nursing. A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) has the abilities to perform a physical assessment, diagnose a patient and prescribe medication either independently or under the supervision of a physician, depending on the state (Woo, Lee & Tam, 2017). Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role

. The purpose of this practical journal assignment is to describe the practice of PMHNP environment in my state of Maryland, comparison of the practice of PMHNP in my state (Maryland) and the other state I would have like to practice which is Louisiana. Finally, the professional and clinical practice issues needed to be considered by a new PMHNP, and the checklist to follow in passing the National Certification exam will be detailed.


Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Practice Environment in Maryland

A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) in Maryland is required to complete Maryland Nurse Practitioner Programs and also pass the Board examination. In Maryland, a PMHNP is supposed to specialize in one area which is mental health field for that practitioner to practice in that state. Secondly, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) can practice in all the 50 states including the District of Columbia (American Nurses Association, 2014).

In Maryland, it is not a requirement for PMHNP to have a collaborative agreement with a physician. This means that a PMHNP can independently without being supervised by a physician carry out functions allowed by the law such as diagnosis of mental disorders, prescription of medication from schedule II-V drugs, or ordering medical tests. This means that PMHNPs in Maryland can do the majority of the same functions as psychiatrists and therefore PMHNPs have the legal authority to form independent practices. To enter into practice and be licensed as a PMHNP in Maryland, one is required to have a master’s degree and accreditation in a nurse practitioner program. In addition, an independent PMHNP can be able to open their clinics. However, the practice of PMHNPs in Maryland is influenced by the political environment (Barton Associates, 2017).

The psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) focuses on improving and advancing nursing practice skills in the care of individuals with mental disorders. The program includes practicum and course work covering various healthcare needs.  A restriction in practice stipulated by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is that nurses are restricted to participate in only one element of Nurse Practitioner practice (Gadbois, Miller, Tyler & Orna, 2016).


Comparison of PMHNP practice environment in Maryland with a State I would like to Practice (Louisiana)

The only similarity is the both PMHNPs in Maryland and Louisiana is that PMHNPs can make referrals for physical therapy. However, there a lot of differences in terms of the scope of practice between these two states. There must be a collaborative agreement by law between the PMHNP and the physicians for one or more elements of the practice of the PMHNP in Louisiana unlike Maryland.  In this respect, PMHNPs in Louisiana do not have autonomous practice. Besides, the medical staff membership in Louisiana is reduced as the physicians recommend the PMHNPs to be part of the medical staff in which they practice. In addition, PMHNPs cannot individually prescribe schedule II controlled substances for chronic pain, intractable pain, or obesity in Louisiana unlike Maryland. State statute and/or Administrative Code in Maryland recognizes nurse practitioners as primary care providers but it does not define whether they can be primary providers in Louisiana (Barton Associates, 2017).Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role

In this respect, it can be deduced that the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) environment in Maryland differs in various ways as compared to the scope of practice in Louisiana. Maryland has a legal board that oversees the admission procedure. In Louisiana, a collaborative agreement between the PMHNP and the physician is needed when it comes to medical prescriptions unlike in Maryland. Unlike Louisiana, Maryland obliterated the prerequisite of on-site supervision of the PMHNP by a physician. Therefore, PMHNPs in Maryland has a higher level of practice freedom when compared to Louisiana (Barton Associates, 2017). It will be therefore challenging for me to live and practice in Louisiana even though my family lives there after I have practiced in Maryland which has maximum independence in the scope of practice.

Professional and/or Clinical Practice Issues needed to be Considered by New PMHNP

Credentialing procedure is used to evaluate if a nurse mental health nurse practitioner meets the professional requirements and certification as well. The credentialing process consists of aspects such as verifying the education completion, licensing, as well as verifying if the nurse successfully passed certification and review tests.  A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner(PMHNP) is also supposed to provide a copy of the DEA certificate from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. A PMHNP can only practice after all credentials are verified. The credentialing system conducts the probationary length and this can take like four weeks to start working (Ellis, 2018).

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is the body responsible for providing certifications to a psychiatric mental nurse practitioner (PMHNP).  In effect, The PMHNP must be certified by ANCC before acquiring a license to practice in the state of Maryland. Lastly, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner is required to have malpractice insurance coverage before being issued with coverage to practice (Judge-Ellis & Thad 2017).Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role

A Checklist for Passing the National Certification Exam

            The check that list that will be followed for passing the National Certification Exam entails the following:

  • Successfully completing my last class (NURS-6670) in master’s program as a PMHNP student at Walden University and ensuring that I understand the contents of all the materials at the start of the program.
  • Attending a review course with my preferred review course to be either Fitzgerald Health Education Associate or Barkley and Associates in May 2019.
  • Comprehensively study the relevant books, especially the review book by Johnson K & Vanderhoef D (2016). Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Review and Resource Manual, PMHNP-BC Pocket -Prep, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification Review by Barkley and Associates with its audio CDs.
  • Using educational resources and practice tests available through the internet resources from American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and Board Vitals
  • PMHNP Exam Flashcards
  • Read about test taking skills adequately to equip me on how to analyze and answer questions.
  • Adequate preparations to cover all the examinable course work will enable me to pass the certification exams
  • Planning to finally take my board exam in middle of June 2019.

Making preparations for my certification is a major landmark for my career which requires a high level of organization for a successful outcome.  To achieve this success, I came up with a study guideline which comprised of tests to assess my skills and review questions that specifically focused on the requirements for certification for primary mental health nurse practitioners.  I also decided to enroll in a course review class: Barkley & Associates review class that is to begin on the 1st and 2nd of May 2019.  In order to review questions, I make use of   the pocket prep application and board vitals with are online resource tools. Therefore, daily, I review 10 questions from each of the resources.


            I also joined a study group where we conduct discussions and questions based on a material that we have all read or discussion on a particular topic that we have conducted. Writing down my to-do list has also proven to be essential as this helps to decide on the activities that should be done first which are more important and those that can be done later. For instance, for my study review, I started with studying Kathryn Johnson’s and Dawn Vanderhoef’s 4th Edition PMHNP Review and Resource Manual Chapters 5-6.Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role

Taking tests has also turned out to be an essential step in assessing for the skills and knowledge gained and areas that need more development to be efficient and successful in the certification exam.  Generally, I have learnt that, the most significant skills to succeed a standardized test is being able to plan prior and maintaining focus towards the ultimate goal of passing the test.


Kheirzadeh, S., Marandi, S. S., & Tavakoli M., (2017). The Relationship among Academic Discipline, Gender and Total Exam Score on Test-Taking Strategies: The Case of the General English Section of the National Iranian PhD Entrance Exam.

Lee, Y. H., & Haberman, S. J. (2016). Investigating test-taking behaviors using timing and process data. International Journal of Testing16(3), 240-267.

Mosack, V. (2010). Psychiatric Nursing Certification Review Guide For The Generalist And Advanced Practice Psychiatric And Mental Health Nurse. Jones & Bartlett Learning.Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role