The world, it seems, is at an unpleasant crossroad. On the one hand, health, both physical and mental is waning in a fashion so spectacular nothing comparable has happened in over a century. COVID-19 has taken millions of lives, leaving more still forever changed in the balance.
The resulting pain, panic, and anxiety have put an incredible amount of strain on people’s emotional health all across the planet. Naturally, the situation is catastrophic in the best of circumstances. And to add to it, we are experiencing an extreme nursing and mental health professional shortage, and this causes a much deeper problem to emerge.
In this article, we take a look at the great need for psychiatric nurses and mental health professionals.
It’s Not Only Covid
While it’s quite easy to lay the blame for anything bad that has ever happened at COVID’s feet, the fact of the matter is that the need for improved mental health services did not emerge from out of nowhere in March of 2020.
Perhaps the biggest threat hindrance to mental health support is simply a matter of stigma. People assume, incorrectly that patients suffering from mental health concerns are dangerous. In fact, there are many forms mental illness can take, most of which pose harm only to the individual suffering from the symptoms.
Psychiatric nurses can assist with conditions ranging from anxiety and depression to schizophrenia. While some afflictions can be more demanding than others, training, and other support staff alleviate the burden of personal risk.
Barrier to Entry
It’s also worth noting that it’s simply difficult to become a medical professional of any kind. Those wishing to become psychiatric nurses engage in rigorous coursework at school. When they emerge on the other side of their degree, they are often met with long grueling shifts, and tasks that can be emotionally draining.
The challenges of nursing may not be for everyone. However, those that feel the pull towards a life dedicated to patient care can follow steps that will highlight below to achieve that end.
Perhaps equally prohibitive is the lack of awareness. With little public emphasis being placed on the need for improved mental health treatment personnel and infrastructure, the nursing candidate might not take the time to adequately consider going into the field of psychiatric nursing.
Becoming a Psychiatric Nurse
Those wishing to enter the noble field of psychiatric nursing can follow the steps explained below.
Step 1: Find the Right Program for You
To become a psychiatric nurse practitioner, the first step will be to identify a suitable accreditation program. Online PMHNP programs provide degree seekers the opportunity to pursue a flexible course of study that caters both to their locational requirements, and to their schedules.
Find the option best suited to your needs and follow their admission procedures to be considered.
Step 2: The Course Work
Coursework can take between 2-3 years to complete depending on the pace you select. Fulfilling degree requirements involves a combination of instructional lessons and practicum experience. Degree seekers who select an online university can usually be placed in nearby hospitals that will be able to accommodate their schedules.
Step 3: Do It
Journeying through the coursework might involve up to 15 classes and around five hundred hours of clinical experience. During this time, you will learn the ins and outs of what it takes to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner.
Arduous though it might be, lurking beyond the strenuous study is a rewarding career in mental health-oriented patient care.
Step 4: Being a Psychiatric Nurse
After hundreds of hours of studying and working, you finally become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Next comes finding a job! Most parts of the country are starved for nurses of any variety, so this part will hopefully come easy. Look for placements that suit your lifestyle, and send in your application with confidence. You’ve done the work, now it’s time to reap the rewards in a career you will love!