Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Programs in Iowa - IA

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are nurses that have received the post-basic didactic instruction as well as the clinical training required to practice nursing at the advanced levels. According to the Iowa Board of Nursing (IBON), APRNs may practice independently in the state as allowed by the state’s statutes and regulations. Most APRNs work in a collaborative relationship with physicians and other health care providers.

Nurse practitioner (NP) is the most popular category of ARNP in Iowa. According to the Trends in a Nursing report issued by IBON in 2009, the increase in the number of ARNPs has been most dramatic in the case of NPs. Psychiatric and mental health (PMH) is one specialty category of NPs that allows the advanced nursing professionals to assess, manage and treat psychological conditions and disorders as allowed in their scope of practice.

The requirements for becoming an NP under the PMH specialty are listed by IBON. In summary, you have to be a currently licensed registered nurse (RN) in the state, complete an approved graduate level nursing program (typically a Master of Science in Nursing, MSN) and pass a national level certification examination offered in your area of specialty. Since Iowa is part of the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC), RN licenses from other NLC states can also qualify at IBON’s discretion. The Iowa Department of Public Health states that 84 of the state’s counties are mental health professional shortage areas. RNs from all parts of the state, including Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Des Moines are enrolling in traditional and online degree programs as a first step towards this career.

Psychiatric Nurse Schools