How to Become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in North Carolina - NC

Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Jobs in North Carolina - NC

Nurse practitioners (NPs), which are one designated specialty category for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), practice under the joint auspices of the North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) and the North Carolina Medical Board. The clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) function under NCBON only.  A joint document published by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, and the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses defines advanced practice registered nurses – psychiatric and mental health (APRN-PMH), as licensed registered nurses (RN) that have the educational preparation of nurse specialists or of nurse practitioners; at minimum a master’s degree in the specialty category of psychiatric-mental health nursing. In North Carolina, both PMH – CNSs and PMH – NPs continue to be present.

If you’re currently an RN, to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner in North Carolina (PMH – CNS or PMH – NP), you’ll need to successfully complete an accredited master’s program. Following the completion of the program, you have to pass a national examination as an APRN in the designated specialty area of PMH. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers this exam. 

According to a website that collects state data (, North Carolina ranks 33rd out of 50 states with a Health Index of -1.03. Increasing affordable service to underserved population can help improve the health status of the state as a whole.  Numerous nursing professionals in multiple areas of North Carolina including Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cary, High Point, and Wilmington are opting to take the master’s classes as the first step towards this meaningful allied health career.

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