There is a huge national need for psychiatric service providers to help all ages, from children to older adults.

Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN

As a family nurse practitioner, my passion has always been in the field of geropsychology – a specialty that utilizes psychological knowledge and methods to understand and assist older individuals and their families in maintaining well-being, conquering challenges, and reaching their highest potential during later stages of life.

This specialty is integral to our clinical practice, both in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Now, let’s dive into what it means to be a psych mental health nurse practitioner and the incredible work done by remarkable practitioners like Drs. Tony Roberson and Cynthia Awadzi from GWU.

▶️ Nurse Practitioner School: What Do Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners Do?

Key points covered in this episode:

Main Point 1: What is a Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?

A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner is a professional who evaluates, diagnoses and addresses the mental health needs of patients throughout their lives.

Offers prescribed medications and therapy to help patients who have mental health disorders or substance problems.

Responsibilities include conducting physical and psychosocial assessments and providing emergency psychiatric care and treatment.

Main Point 2: What does a typical day at work look like for a PMHNP?

The typical day’s activities vary based on the patients and the clinical environment. A PMHNP meets patients for initial intakes, gathers their full psychiatric history and understands their current concerns. It involves assessing their symptoms, making a differential diagnosis, and developing a treatment plan.

Working in an inpatient setting, the focus will primarily be on stabilizing patients with the help of a mental health team. The goal is to prepare them for the transition to an outpatient setting.

Main Point 3: What is the average salary for a PMHNP?

Psychiatric nursing is known for offering generous salaries compared to other specialties in the field. While the salary also varies based on the state or area where you practice – on average, it is advisable to aim for at least $140,000 per year.

Graduate from GW are highly in demand as they are well-prepared to step into the workforce; so you can anticipate good compensation for the skills and expertise you bring to the table.

Main Point 4: Why should someone who wants to be a PMHNP apply to GW?

The MSN: Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program option gives registered nurses the chance to broaden their horizons in healthcare.

✔️ The lifespan curriculum is one of the key factors that sets GW’s program apart. It is crucial for individuals to have the freedom to explore their interests without limitations. That’s why the program spans across children, adolescents, adults, and even the geriatric population – a feature to be proud of.

✔️ Another significant advantage of the program is its hybrid nature, making it convenient for working professionals. The vast majority of the coursework is asynchronous, meaning you can work at your own pace without the need for regular meetings with faculty or peers.

However, you’ll still receive daily support from dedicated faculty who are always available to guide and assist you on your journey – fully committed to ensuring your success.

✔️ Another significant advantage of the program is a focus on addiction management. Many schools of nursing to not have this expertise, but faculty at GW do – ensuring students are prepared to help with our nation’s addiction crises.

If you’re already working as a nurse and are interested in becoming a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, apply here:

Send your inquiries to or contact us at

Phone: 202-994-7901/ FB Fax: 202-296-1229



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About Melissa:

Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN. I am a nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse researcher with over 25 years of experience in the aging and long-term care healthcare space. You can visit my website at to learn more about me, how you can work with me directly,
and/or support future episodes of the podcast. Within the first 18 months of launching this podcast, we reached a ranking of top 10% globally. I have all of you who’ve been with me on this journey so far to thank for that!

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Find out more about her work HERE.