15 Best Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Jobs for 2024

Written By: Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN

Have you been considering a career as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHMP)? If so, you can be reassured that there is plenty of work out there in this field as PMHNP jobs top the list as the most in-demand jobs for NPs. With so many choices, you may be asking, what are the best psychiatric nurse practitioner jobs for 2024? I will do my best to answer this question by listing the 15 best psychiatric nurse practitioner jobs for 2024. In addition, this article will delve into some background about the job of a PMHNP as well as the pros and cons of working in this specialty area. Reading this information should help you decide which psych nurse practitioner job is a proper fit and get you started in your career search for 2024.

What Exactly Does A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner’s Job Involve?

A psychiatric nurse practitioner’s job duties are similar to that of a psychiatrist. A PMHNP and psychiatrist both work primarily with patients of all ages who have mental health issues.

Typical psychiatric conditions that a PMHNP treats are:

◦ Depression
◦ Anxiety
◦ Bipolar Disorder

In addition to treating an array of other mental health issues, a psychiatric nurse practitioner may also be hired to work with those who struggle with substance abuse.

Psych nurse practitioner jobs involve assessing the patient’s mental health, developing a treatment plan, and implementing the strategies necessary to treat the patient. This could include medication and therapies such as psychotherapy. Depending on your state scope of practice, certain medications such as antipsychotic drugs and CNS stimulants may have specific guidelines for prescribing for NPs.

In the pediatric and adolescent facility where I worked, the psych NP job duties primarily consisted of meeting regularly with patients to monitor their medication response and provide psychotherapy. The NPs worked in coordination with the psychiatrists who develop the original diagnosis and plan. The PMHNP’s were mainly employed to regularly follow the patients and their progress and ensure that they adhere to the medical program. Along with monitoring side effects, the NP tweaked the treatment plan and consulted with the psychiatrists. Our state happens to be one with a scope of practice designated as reduced practice so the NP’s could not operate independently in this particular instance.

Where Do Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Usually Work?

Psychiatric NPs can work in various settings, both inpatient and outpatient.

Some environments where PMHNP’s work are:

◦ Hospitals
◦ Psychiatric facilities
◦ Correctional facilities
◦ Border detention centers
◦ Clinics
◦ Private psychiatric offices
◦ Detoxification and substance abuse centers
◦ Schools
◦ Trauma centers
◦ Remote telehealth
◦ Long-term care facilities
◦ Government agencies
◦ Private industry
◦ Military and Veterans centers

As you can see, there is quite a range of locale for psychiatric NP jobs. It is no wonder that there is a need for NPs in this field. Read on to find out more reasons why PMHNP’s are in high demand.

6 Reasons Why PMHNP Jobs Are In High Demand

Since there is a critical shortage of all health providers in the US, nurse practitioners are sought after as an essential resource to fill gaps. Let’s explore further exact reasons why there is such a demand for nurses who choose psychiatric nurse practitioner careers in particular.

1. Health Shortage Areas -

According to a report from JAMA, one of the reasons that 1 in 5 people report foregoing treatment for mental health problems and medication is due to the lack of a mental health provider. For those in rural areas or designated health shortage areas (HSA) such as reservations and certain inner-city communities, the lack of healthcare is a significant problem. Increasing mental health nurse practitioner jobs for these areas would help to ease the burden on our over-extended healthcare system and improve the mental wellness of patients that would be served.

2. Baby Boomers Aging Out -

As the baby boomer generation enters their senior years, the need for healthcare increases. This large balloon population of the elderly coming through the health system will require more care as their health deteriorates with age. This includes the area of mental health and wellness. On the flip side, many boomers in the medical field will be retiring, leaving behind a large hole in the pool of providers. Future generations are not entering the field of medicine as quickly as those leaving it, unfortunately. Thus, supply and demand will literally ensure that psychiatric nurse practitioners will continue to be in high demand.

3. Increase in Depression and Mental Health Issues -

Unfortunately, depression, anxiety and suicide are rising. The CDC reports a 17% increase in depression and anxiety cases in the past year. This statistic is a sad reminder of the state of our country’s mental well-being. Nurse practitioners with psychiatric training are essential to help turn the tide on the epidemic of those suffering from mental conditions.

4. Improved Accessibility to Mental Health Care -

With programs such as the Parity Law and the Affordable Care Act, increased funding for mental health treatment makes it easier for more people to receive psychiatric care. In addition, telemedicine has allowed additional mental health services to be easily accessible to all. The availability of mental health nurse practitioner jobs in telemedicine has skyrocketed in the past year. A quick search on any job board will reveal that PMHNP job openings in psychiatric telemedicine are everywhere.

5. Increased Mental Health Awareness -

There has been a positive trend towards accepting mental health issues. This encouraging awareness has led to more patients seeking care due to the stigma being removed. Thus, with the increase in those seeking mental health services, the need for providers and psychiatric NPs is growing.

6. Covid Pandemic -

Let’s face it, the Covid pandemic has brutalized our health and overburdened our health care system. Later in this article, I will break down how Covid-19 has impacted the job outlook for psychiatric nurse practitioners. I will give you a hint; due to the Covid crisis, PMHNP’s are in even greater demand due to the increased need in all areas of healthcare, most notably mental health.

5 Benefits Of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Jobs

There are many advantages to working in psychiatric nurse practitioner jobs.

The top 5 benefits are as follows:

1. Pay is Excellent -

As you will learn later in this article, PMHNPs can make a healthy income. In fact, NPs in this field make more than in most other NP specialty areas.

2. Variety of Jobs to Choose -

A quick look on any job board will illustrate that there is a multitude of environments and job types for psychiatric nurse practitioners. There is no need to stay in a job that you do not like as you can have your pick of positions.

3. Job Satisfaction -

The ability to help others feel better about themselves makes for a satisfying career.

4. Can Work Remotely -

The Covid Pandemic has clarified that NPs can work remotely. In particular, PMHNPs can easily evaluate, counsel and treat their patients via telemedicine. Working from the convenience of home is a real benefit for any NP who wants more autonomy and freedom on the job.

5. Less Stressful Environment -

In general, most psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner jobs are relatively low-stress. Psych NP jobs are typically calm and less hurried compared to a hospitalist NP or those working in critical or urgent care areas. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule in specific environments such as correctional facilities and detention centers.

5 Drawbacks Of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Jobs

There are many great reasons to become a PMHNP but you should be aware of some serious drawbacks.

A few cons for mental health nurse practitioner jobs are:

1. Emotionally Taxing -

Any medical provider working in mental health will tell you that the job can be emotionally draining. Psych nurse practitioner jobs are no exception.

2. Hands-on Skills Limited -

As a mental health professional, you will be providing counseling and prescribing medication. However, NP skills such as stitching, ordering labs tests and performing medical procedures are not typical duties in this specialty area. Some nurse practitioners may miss the more “hands-on” aspect of nursing, while others welcome the change.

3. Frustrating Patients -

Patients with high anxiety and mental illness are known to be non-compliant patients. It is frustrating for PMHNPs who pour their heart into their patients to assist them with their emotional and mental health struggles, only to have the patient not follow through with the treatment plan. Unfortunately, this behavior happens frequently in mental health nursing.

4. Potential Danger -

Working with mentally unstable patients or those with anger issues may pose a real threat to PMHNPs. In addition, environments such as correctional facilities and detox centers may house a criminal element and those who are more likely to lash out at staff than in some other settings.

5. High Burn-out -

Due to all of the issues related above, frequent job turnover due to a high burn-out rate can add to the stress of a psych NP job.


(Here are the 15 Best Jobs for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners in 2024.)

1. Travel Nursing (Locum Tenens)

Travel nursing is an outstanding option for NPs seeking the best psychiatric nurse practitioner jobs that pay the most. Travel nursing is exciting and you will never be bored with your career or life if you choose this lucrative option as a psych NP. At present, sign-on bonuses are up to $8,000 with a 3-month assignment which includes travel and lodging. Wages continue to rise daily, with some locales offering over $5000.00 per week for travel PMHNPs.

Travel nursing is the most in-demand and highest-paying job for all NPs at present due to the nursing and provider shortage that has developed during the Covid pandemic. With the ever-increasing need for psychiatric care, along with providers leaving their jobs due to stress and burn-out from the ramifications of the Covid pandemic on the healthcare system, there is a critical need for PMHNPs to fill the widening gap. At present, medical facilities are scrambling to cover their patients’ mental health needs and are turning to travel NPs to step in for a high price tag.

2. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

It’s a well-known fact that our veterans need some extra care for their emotional and mental well-being. Studies have shown veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in up to 30% of the veteran population. Due to the high prevalence of PTSD and a multitude of other mental conditions, there is a sizable need for psychiatric nurse practitioners in our VA system.

Psych NP jobs with the VA are currently very plentiful. Job boards and USA jobs, the VA employment site, list numerous openings for PMHNP career choices. In addition to excellent pay, the VA offers student loan reimbursement through a program called the Education Debt Reduction Program. This financial perk makes working for the VA a sensible option for new grad psychiatric nurse practitioners. In addition to a healthy wage and the best all-around benefits that government work is famous for, student loan reduction can make this job one that makes sense in the long run.

3. Insurance

Some insurance companies, particularly Medicare, employ psychiatric nurse practitioners to evaluate and monitor their patients with cognitive deficits and mental health. In-home and telehealth assessments are in demand by insurance companies to ensure that their patients' mental health needs are met in their living environment.

Companies such as Molina Health employ NPs for in-home and virtual health mental health services for Medicare, Marketplace, and Medicaid clients. Although services are typically for the senior population, families enrolled in the marketplace are also eligible for care from a PMHNP.

Some duties of psychiatric NP jobs through insurance companies can be:

◦ In-home or virtual mental health assessment
◦ Medication review and prescribing
◦ Counseling
◦ Works with the interdisciplinary team to coordinate care

One bonus to having a psychiatric nurse practitioner on board is that they serve as an extra pair of eyes for those who are homebound or may need a little extra encouragement or care. Psych NPs are generally compassionate and good listeners, providing comfort to the patient and adding value to the healthcare team by minding the clients’ emotional needs.

4. Senior Care

Psychiatric nurse practitioners are needed to evaluate and manage our aging population's mental health treatment and services. Agencies such as Lightyear Health employ psych nurses to assess and monitor those in long-term care facilities and nursing homes. NPs mainly work remotely but they may need to make visits on occasion to the facilities where their patients reside.

Some duties of this type of position may involve:

◦ Initial evaluation
◦ Problem solve cases that the medical management team flags as behavior or psychiatric issues
◦ Work as a team member of the multi-disciplinary team
◦ Ongoing case management

Lightyear Health touts optimum work conditions that make for a satisfying work-life balance. Working 9-5 office hours and no call or weekends leads to a happier career, especially for those with families. They list the salary as $150,000 to $170,000 per year, which is a pretty nice wage for a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

5. Criminal Justice

Who better can help serve the criminal justice system than a mental health professional trained to analyze the motives and behaviors of those who may not think like your average citizen? As one of the best psychiatric nurse practitioner jobs for NPs looking for a fascinating career, a job with the criminal justice system can fit the bill. Working alongside investigators on crime scenes and murder investigations is a unique twist to the typical duties of a psych NP.

In addition, PMHNPs can work on a forensic unit to help victims of violent crimes as well as abuse and sexual assault. Psych NPs have the ability to work well with patients due to their compassion and psychiatric knowledge. PMHNPs are valuable members of the crime team to give insightful direction from a medical and psychiatric viewpoint.

In addition to working for crime units, PMHNPs who work for criminal justice or forensics can work in:

◦ Hospitals
◦ Correctional facilities
◦ Psychiatric hospitals
◦ Community anti-violence programs and centers
◦ Coroner’s office

6. Substance Abuse Center

Psychiatric NPs are needed to staff facilities that deal with clients with substance abuse issues. NPs with experience in psychiatry are especially adept at handling patients who come from traumatic backgrounds, such as those who abuse drugs and alcohol. It takes a special type of medical professional to know how to safely detox and counsel substance-abusing patients back to emotional and physical health. PMHNPs can do just that.

Some psych NP jobs that work in substance abuse that may interest you are:

◦ Private addiction agencies such as Eleanor Health
◦ Hospital detox such as Boston Children’s Hospitals
◦ Community service agencies such as Lifeways
◦ Correctional facilities
◦ Addiction medicine fellowships such as the one offered at St. John’s Riverside Hospital
◦ Treatment centers such as Lucina Treatment Center or Pinnacle Treatment Center

7. Corrections

Working in corrections can be difficult and PMHNP jobs are no exception. However, for some, a career as a corrections NP is just what they have been looking for. Corrections jobs typically offer competitive wages along with a very generous package of incentives such as retirement pay and excellent insurance. A psych NP may find these incentives appealing in this day and age of minimal insurance and literally no retirement benefits packages.

NPs working in corrections may find work in juvenile detention centers, county jails, and state and federal prisons. In general, an NP operates during daylight office hours in this position.

Some duties of a PMHNP in a corrections facility may include:

◦ Perform physical examinations
◦ Develop a comprehensive medical treatment plan
◦ Work in conjunction with physicians and other personnel
◦ Order and schedule tests
◦ Carry out medical procedures, as needed, such as suturing, cast removal, and wound care
◦ Medication prescribing and monitoring

8. Border Detention Centers

Working at our country's southern border at an immigrant detention center can be emotionally draining for a psych nurse practitioner. However, there is a need for empathetic psychiatric NPs who can assist the residents in acclimating to our country. In addition, most of these refugees have undergone extreme conditions and trauma in their lives, necessitating the need for psychological counseling and perhaps medication.

In addition, the US Customs and Border Protection Department hires NPs in various other positions across the US to help ensure the safety and health preparedness of those who work within the department.

The ICE Health Services Corps (IHSC) offers PMHNP jobs along with pediatric nurse practitioner careers.

Psych NPs working for IHSC are needed to help with detoxification and substance abuse treatment and to perform initial mental health evaluations on all refugees processed at our border detention areas. PMHNPs provide psychiatric follow-up care and medication monitoring as needed.

9. Telemedicine

The telemedicine and telehealthcare industry is a growing and exciting area of opportunity for mental health nurse practitioners. In fact, telehealth may be one of the best PMHNP jobs around! Telehealth nurse practitioners enjoy all the perks of working from home along with the satisfaction of utilizing the knowledge and skills that come with their degree as a psych NP.

Psychiatric nurse practitioners may find this remote option to monitor and treat patients with mental health issues to be just as effective as in-person visits. Additionally, patients may prefer this healthcare method due to the privacy and convenience that it offers. Often, stigma associated with mental illness may keep patients from in-person visits due to embarrassment and feelings of awkwardness while in public. Also, for those with anxiety, this feeling may be heightened when having to drive, travel or be around others. For these reasons, mental health care via telemedicine has proven to be very successful over the past few years.

10. Hospital

Psychiatric nurse practitioner jobs in hospitals are still a staple of the NP industry. Psych NP opportunities are plentiful in hospitals where provider shortages are ever-increasing. Recent proposals to increase access to care for nurse practitioners, such as the SAVE Act, are designed to lift regulations for NPs to practice independently in North Carolina, where they were previously restricted. With more opportunities to practice freely, NPs are even more in demand.

Hospitals employ psychiatric nurse practitioners to work with patients of all ages in numerous departments in addition to the psychiatric units. PMHNPs can be found in the ER, critical care, rehabilitation units, and pediatric and adolescent medicine unit. A psych NP may be called to assist wherever there is a psychiatric crisis or mental health need.

Hospitals are currently offering very generous sign-on bonuses for PMHNPs along with excellent pay and compensation packages. With a bright job outlook, now is the time for a Psych NP to work in a hospital if you are seeking outstanding pay and benefits.

11. Free-Standing Clinics

Some of the best psych NP jobs are at clinics such as psych urgent care facilities. Working at an urgent care facility provides PMHNPs to utilize all of their knowledge and skills without the stress associated with hospital work. Mental health NP positions such as those offered by Atlanticare in New Jersey offer full-time dayshift positions with great pay and no holiday coverage.

Working in a smaller environment as a provider has many perks. As one of the primary providers, you will have greater flexibility in your role as an NP, along with tons of autonomy. The job typically confers respect by both colleagues and patients. As a psych NP, you may be one of the only mental health professionals on board, depending on where you work. This added responsibility and expertise will lend itself to staff trust where they rely on your knowledge and mental health experience.

12. Schools

Colleges and school districts are an excellent environment for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner jobs. As an experienced school nurse, I can attest that school nursing is one of the best PMHNP jobs. A school psychiatric nurse practitioner can work autonomously and rarely needs to deal with emergencies. As a respected member of the health team, you will be called upon to meet with students to assess and monitor mental health needs and conditions. In addition, as a psychiatric mental health NP, you will be a leading member of the mental health team during events and times of crisis.

Working in a university such as Saddleback College, you can expect to be an integral member of the staff that ensures that the students are safe and well taken care of. You will provide mental health counseling and medical management for students seeking psychiatric and mental wellness services. The PMHNP will also participate in classroom and community mental awareness classes and programs.

13. ADHD Care

ADHD is a specialty area where psychiatric nurse practitioners can lend their expertise to assist parents, children, and adults with ADHD. PMHNPs are specifically trained to diagnose, prescribe medication, counsel and monitor those who have attention deficit disorder. NPs are particularly adept at counseling due to their excellent listening skills and unrushed approach to patient appointments. ADHD care can occur in private medical or psychiatric practice, clinics, hospitals, schools, or telemedicine.

Practices such as Thriveworks employ psych NPs to work with adolescents with ADHD across the country on-site or via telemed. NPs are required to provide mental health assessments and evaluations along with ongoing care and medication management. Thriveworks PMHNPs work in collaboration with schools, families and primary care staff to ensure smooth transition and treatment across the board for clients. Due to COVID, most work can be accomplished remotely, which is a plus for an NP.

14. Private Psychiatric Practice

Working in a private mental wellness practice may undoubtedly be one of the best psych nurse practitioner jobs. PMHNPs can be an integral part of a team of NPs and psychiatrists or may choose to branch out into independent practice. Depending on which state you practice, those NPs who enjoy full practice authority may independently operate and run mental wellness practices. Managing your own business can be an exciting and lucrative option for psych NPs. Whatever option you choose, you can find a rewarding career in private psych practice.

Free-standing mental wellness facilities such as Lifestance Health and Secure Base Counseling Centers employ psychiatric nurse practitioners for both in-person and telehealth counseling and treatment services. In these positions, NPs can often set their own hours and enjoy much flexibility in their practice. Jobs in private practice are abundant so psych NPs should have a nice variety of positions to choose from when seeking a private practice career.

15. Mobile Crisis Team

For psychiatric nurse practitioners who want to be right in the heart of mental health crises, working on a mobile crisis unit may be your passion. Operating at the forefront of those with mental illness, PMHNPs are an essential part of the street team meeting patients where they reside. Working primarily with the homeless and criminal population, crisis team members help keep those living in the poorest areas safe and receive necessary mental health services.

One such crisis unit is called CASES (Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services). Based in NYC, CASES mobile outreach/crisis unit provides field-based psychiatric assessment, medication management, and psychiatric crisis intervention. In addition, psych NPs work with jails, homeless shelters, hospitals and primary care practices to achieve positive outcomes for their clients. Psych NPs with a heart for our cities' most downtrodden and needy psych patients should find a job with a mobile crisis unit to be potentially emotionally taxing but satisfying.

5 Tips On Choosing The Right Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Job

When looking for a new position, you want to make sure that it is a good fit for your qualifications as an NP. In addition, work-life balance is essential when choosing a job. Read on to find out 5 tips for selecting the right psychiatric nurse practitioner job that will help you find the perfect match.

1. Background -

You will want to take a job in your specialty area of mental health. In addition, if your background and experience are in psych, the job will be easier to acclimate to as a new employee vs. having to learn a whole new sub-specialty.

2. Strengths -

It is wise to match your strengths to the job. If you are an excellent communicator and a people person, you may not be happy working primarily remotely or doing mainly paper reviews. By joining your natural and achieved abilities to a job type, you are more likely to be satisfied in your new career in the long run.

3. Income -

For some NPs, pay may not play a primary role in deciding which PMHNP jobs to consider. However, with so many lucrative psych jobs to choose from, why not figure in the income component? You are a valuable asset to any mental health team and should command top pay as an NP.

4. Lifestyle -

Work-life balance for nurses has been an important nursing topic in the past few years for good reason. Nursing is an emotionally draining profession and nurse practitioners are not immune. Psychiatric NPs, in particular, need to guard their well-being due to the high toll psych nursing can render for many. Deciding how to protect your well-being and finding a job that fits your lifestyle is essential in the decision-making process for a mental health nurse practitioner job.

5. Job satisfaction -

Take the time to ask around your potential workplace to see if the employees are happy with the environment and job. If you can, see if you can shadow one of the psych NPs to get a good feel for the job along with their unfiltered opinions. Nothing speaks louder than how the current employees like their position at a workplace.

8 Ways To Make Yourself Marketable For PMHNP Jobs

To successfully land a top psych NP job at your dream place of employment, you will want to increase your marketability. Here are 8 ways to make yourself more marketable for PMHNP jobs.

1. Have an outstanding resume -

If you want to at least get your foot in the door at your potential employer, you had better send in a well-prepared and eye-catching resume. Your resume does not have to be fancy but you should utilize specific fonts and spacing that are visually appealing and professional. In addition, a quality PMHNP resume can showcase your attributes to make your resume shine above the others. Investing in a resume writing service may be a sound outlay in the long run.

2. Round up some top-notch letters of recommendation -

To be a standout among a sea of applicants, several exceptional letters of recommendation may seal the job deal. With personalized letters singing your praises from reputable medical professionals, your future employer will get a peek into why you will make an outstanding new psych NP for their team.

3. Stay current with skills and knowledge -

Nothing will make you more marketable than having new skills and knowledge that can add to a practice. If you can bring contemporary and innovative ideas and abilities to a future employer, they will see you as an immediate asset.

4. Have a sub-specialty area -

PMHNPs with a sub-specialty can be a lucrative addition to the team. For example, having a pediatric background or substance abuse niche can translate into more traffic for the practice.

5. Bone up on interview skills -

Even the most capable psych NP can bomb a job interview. Don’t be your own worst enemy and allow yourself to sabotage your dream job by being unprepared for the interview. You can ace your next job interview without sweat by researching, studying, and practicing NP job interview questions. Many of the questions may be similar to that of your nurse practitioner school interview, so don’t forget to check out those questions also.

6. Let your passion shine -

If you want your potential employer to warm up to you quickly, allow your natural passion for nursing and the specialty area of mental health to shine through. Providing personalized stories that showcase the love of your profession will help to highlight your enthusiasm.

7. Work a side job -

If you are not confident that your current resume is strong enough to land your ideal psych job, consider working a part-time side job in your field. Any pertinent work in your specialty area or that of your potential job will help bolster your chances of hire. Part-time and short-term work for PMHNPs is abundant, so now is a great time to build your resume.

8. Do your homework -

By researching your future employer, you will be perceived as knowledgeable and well-prepared. Potential management will be impressed that you took the time to learn about their company and show that you are genuinely interested in the job. In addition, you can formulate intelligent questions ahead of time once you know more about the employer.

On Average, How Much Can You Make With A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Job?

Lucky you! Psychiatric nurse practitioners are one of the highest-paid NP specialties. You can expect to make at least $134,702 annually and an average hourly rate of $64.76 as a PMHNP. Due to the increasingly high demand for psych NPs, wages continue to rise for this mental health niche. When job searching, you may be able to negotiate a higher salary due to the shortage of psychiatric nurse practitioners.

$64.76 $11,230 $134,702
(Source: Ziprecruiter.com)

10 States Paying The Highest Salaries For Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Jobs

If you are looking to capitalize on your psych NP degree and make the most of your potential earning capabilities, consider one of the states listed below. Psych NPs in California earn on average $171,710 annually! The northeastern states listed below offer generous pay as well.

One drawback to note is that most of these top-paying states also have the highest cost of living in the US. Only Nevada, Minnesota and Wyoming are not noted in the highest cost of living states from the table below. It goes to show that these 3 states may really be a good choice when looking for the most lucrative psych NP jobs overall.

Rank State Hourly Monthly Annual
1 California $82.55 $14,310 $171,710
2 New Jersey $74.02 $12,830 $153,970
3 Washington $71.53 $12,400 $148,780
4 New York $71.51 $12,400 $148,740
5 Massachusetts $71.29 $12,360 $148,280
6 Nevada $67.80 $11,750 $141,030
7 Minnesota $67.25 $11,660 $139,870
8 Wyoming $67.19 $11,650 $139,760
9 Hawaii $67.17 $11,640 $139,720
10 Oregon $67.07 $11,630 $139,510

10 States Hiring The Most Number Of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners

As you can see from the state chart below, the states with higher populations hire the most psychiatric nurse practitioners. So it makes sense that there is a more significant need for PMHNP jobs in more populated states. California is leading the pack for both the highest population and hiring the most psych NPs.

Although Tennessee and Massachusetts are on the top 10 list for NP hires, they rank in the mid-teens for the highest population. If seeking psych NP jobs, it makes sense to head to one of these top 10 states to find ample opportunity in your field.

Rank State
1 California
2 New York
3 Texas
4 Florida
5 Ohio
6 Tennessee
7 Pennsylvania
8 Georgia
9 Illinois
10 Massachusetts

5 Ways COVID-19 Has Impacted The Future Of PMHNP Jobs And Salaries

The covid pandemic has impacted the world and the healthcare system on just about every level. Psychiatric nurse practitioner jobs are no exception.

5 of the top ways that Covid-19 has impacted PMHNP jobs are:

1. Full practice authority -

NPs in some states that did not have full practice authority have been given more freedom to practice independently. Thanks to regulatory changes in 2020, all NPs and their patients in most states can now enjoy full practice authority due to lifted restrictions. However, these policy changes are only temporary due to the crisis.

2. Mental health on the decline -

Due to the stress and isolation of the pandemic, along with increased limitations on medical care during this timeframe, Americans are in worse mental shape than ever before. The need for immediate and long-term mental health treatment makes PMHNPs a very marketable commodity at present.

3. Provider and nurse shortage -

With the pandemic droning on for an extended period, medical staff have become drained and fed up with their jobs. Health personnel shortages are only increasing due to the health industry's physical and emotional exhaustive nature during Covid-19. As with all types of NPs, psychiatric nurse practitioners are in higher demand due to the exodus of medical staff during this trying time. In turn, this shortage has driven up psych NPs salaries steadily.

4. Medicare and Medicaid changes -

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) changed policy to reduce supervision and other restrictions for NPs. This included fewer in-person visits and increased monitoring via telemed.

5. Increased virtual healthcare -

All types of medicine have increased virtual visits during the pandemic. However, no other specialties have the ability to operate 100% virtually better than the mental health industry. Patients with mental illness seem to prefer virtual appointments due to anxiety and the social stigma that in-person visits may cause.

My Final Thoughts

I hope that I have answered your question about what are the best psychiatric nurse practitioner jobs for 2024. As you can see, the field of mental health medicine is crying out for more qualified psychiatric nurse practitioners. Your dream job is just waiting for you to fill it. After reading this article on the 15 best psychiatric nurse practitioner jobs for 2024, you should feel confident that you can find an incredible and lucrative job as a psych NP. Whether you are a new grad, looking for top pay, flexibility, remote work, or your own private practice, there should be a job that suits you and your lifestyle as a PMHNP. I wish you the best in your pursuit of a new career!


1. What Are The Highest Paying Psych NP Jobs?

Hospital psych NP jobs have been one of the higher-paying PMHNP jobs in the past. However, there is no real rhyme or reason as to which psychiatric NP jobs pay the most at present. Taking a look at Indeed.com, shows exceptionally high-paying jobs in a variety of settings. Some positions are as high as $300,000 or $350,000 per year! Take your time and look around if you want to find one of the high-paying psych jobs. Also, take a peek at travel psych NP jobs as they are currently hot and command substantial sign-on bonuses and pay.

2. Are There Any Remote Psych NP Jobs?

Oh yes! Remote psych NP jobs have become the norm since Covid struck and are most likely here to stay.

3. What Are The Top 3 PMHNP Jobs For New Grads?

It is wise for a new psych NP grad to work in conjunction with a staff of other mental health professionals in order to learn from others in the field. So, I am not recommending a solo practice right after graduation. However, the specialty is wide open for other opportunities for new grads.

New grads' top 3 PMNP jobs are in a private practice that employs other PMHNPs and psychiatrists, hospitals, or clinics.

4. Are PMHNP Jobs Part-Time or Full-Time?

Psychiatric nurse practitioner jobs are offered full-time or part-time, depending on your preference. With so many to choose from, you should be able to find what works best for you.

5. Are PMHNP Jobs Stressful?

Working with mental illness can be emotionally taxing. Typically, the environment and hours are ideal, which helps to make the job less stressful. Some positions such as in corrections, substance abuse and border patrol can be more stressful. Psych nurse practitioners need to be careful of burn-out and learn to practice work-life balance to stay centered.

6. Are There Any Entrepreneurial Psych NP Jobs?

PMHNPs are exceptionally creative and suited for entrepreneurial ventures. In addition to starting your own mental health practice, you can write CEUs or other health content, work in pharmaceuticals, or create a telemed practice for ADHD clients. Ideas for psych NP entrepreneurial ideas are endless.

7. Can a PMHNP Work as a Travel Nurse?

Psych nurse practitioners are very much in demand as travel nurses. Travel nursing is marketable due to the pandemic and the nursing shortage. You can make top wages if you choose a psych travel nurse practitioner position.

8. How Can a Psych NP find jobs?

Look on any job board and type in psychiatric nurse practitioner and multiple jobs pop right up. Check out indeed.com and your state job opportunity site for more possibilities. In addition, many nurse practitioner sites display NP jobs, such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

9. Can PMHNPs Own a Private Practice?

The answer is yes, yes, and yes! Due to differing scope of practice rules in each state, your state may have specific guidelines that need to be adhered to for the exact nature of the practice. But owning and operating a private mental health practice is becoming more common for psych NPs of late.

10. How Can a Psychiatric NP Prevent Burnout?

First of all, choose your job wisely. There is a broad continuum of psych NP jobs, with some being quite stressful vs. those which offer a delightful environment and clients. If you want to stay for the course in your job, you had better find a tolerable one. Being cognizant that your career can burn you out emotionally can help you set limits and make wise choices that fit your needs. As nurses, we are starting to get better at advocating for ourselves, so don’t slip into the time-old practice of sacrificing yourself and your family to the job. With so many opportunities out there, most employers are now beginning to appreciate their providers more than before. You are worth it!

Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN
Donna Reese is a freelance nurse health content writer with 37 years nursing experience. She has worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in her local community clinic and as an RN in home health, rehabilitation, hospital, and school nursing.