Training to become a PMHCNS will include both classroom and and clinical. You must first be an RN to even be qualified to train as a Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. You must also have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEx) in the state where you plan to work as a nurse. A graduate program that focuses on psychiatric/mental health for a master’s degree is the optimal route to take. Some nurses opt to pursue a doctorate so that they are qualified to be instructors.
There are certifications available through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
How Much Do PMHCNS Make?
According to bls.gov, the median range for a most Nurse Practitioners $104,740 as of May 2015. However, the starting pay for those just breaking into this career is $71,530 on average. You can expect to earn well over $170,000 annually the longer you remain in your career as a Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. Pay is also dependent on your geographic location and what type of practice you are employed in.
Employment for most registered and specialized nurses is expected to grow by 16% through 2024.