What is a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?
A Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is the highest clinical qualification in mental health nursing. Through extensive study, training and expertise, mental health nurse practitioners are able to autonomously perform advanced assessment and treatment of mental health conditions. This includes the skills and authority to diagnose conditions, order and interpret diagnostic tests, initiate referrals to medical specialists, prescribe appropriate medications and provide counselling and psychotherapy.
To practice as an Authorised Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, clinical training and medical collaboration as outlined below are required:
• 3 year accredited Bachelors degree in clinical nursing/health science.
• 1 year supervised graduate practice
• 2 years Graduate Diploma in Mental Health as a specialty area.
• 5-10 years clinical experience in mental health prior to acceptance into a Master’s of Nurse Practitioner degree.
• Further 5000 hours at an expanded scope of clinical practice in mental health under medical supervision.
• 2 year accredited Master’s Degree – Nurse Practitioner which must include pharmacological and prescribing qualifications.
• Submission of a clinical portfolio to APRHA & NMBA providing evidence of academic qualifications, clinical skills, supervisory reports and letters of recommendation from medical practitioners.
• Ongoing collaborative arrangement with one or more medical practitioners.
A person must also be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia in their state or territory and abide by registration and practice guidelines which include further yearly professional development requirements to maintain registration.