Career Definition of a Pediatric Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
As of January 2019, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners reports that 2.1% of all nurse practitioners (NPs) in the US are employed in the family mental health and psychiatric clinical focus area. A pediatric psychiatric nurse practitioner provides psychiatric and often therapeutic support for children from early childhood through young adulthood. These pediatric psychiatric nurse practitioners provide a holistic approach to mental health care, utilizing knowledge about psychopathology, environmental and familial triggers, and physical or health related issues, to support young patients and their families with emotional and behavioral disorders.
A nurse practitioner can go above and beyond the capabilities of a registered nurse, often without the need to consult with physicians. They are able to recommend and provide treatment, including psychopharmaceutical medications, therapy and counseling, in addition to patient education.
|Educational Requirements||Master's or doctoral degree|
|Job Skills||Diagnostic skills, communication and listening skills, a calming demeanor, a genuine and trustworthy nature, attention to detail.|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$103,880 ( Nurse Practitioners)|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)*||36% increase (Nurse Practitioners)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics
Career Outlook & Salary
In 2017 the median salary for nurse practitioners in general was $103,880, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). While there is limited data available on specific roles within the NP field, it could be expected that adding a more specialized niche, above and beyond primary care, could lead to an increase in salary. In the case of pediatric psychiatric nurse practitioners, the advanced training and other requirements for providing mental health support could lead to higher salary rates.
The type of environment a nurse practitioner is employed within may also affect wages, depending on whether the employer is a large hospital, a smaller private practice, or a mental health facility or treatment center. It could be more common for individuals to pay out of pocket for mental health treatments, as well as relying on insurance, which could improve earnings for a private practice pediatric psychiatric nurse practitioner, as well.
Furthermore, as a nurse practitioner working specifically in pediatrics becomes more experienced, salaries will generally increase, as shown in the following table:
|Experience Level||Median Salary (2019)|
|Entry Level||$84,946 (Pediatrics NP)|
|Mid-Career||$88,753 (Pediatrics NP)|
|Experienced||$93,574 (Pediatrics NP)|
Geography also plays a part in determining salary averages for nurse practitioners in general. The highest earning states in 2017 were California, Alaska, and Hawaii, earning wages of $126,770, $125,140, and $122,580 respectively.
A shortage of nurses, overall, and growing need for health care services have led to increased demand, and the BLS expects rapid growth in the field of nurse practitioners in general: 36% from 2016 to 2026.