How to Become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Tennessee - TN

Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Jobs in Tennessee - TN

Tennessee is a state with diverse landscapes including highly populated cities such as Knoxville or rural areas like Appalachia. This allows a great variety of settings in which to work as a mental health nurse practitioner. Most recent data from the Kaiser State Health Facts report shows that 26.3% of adults in Tennessee report poor mental health compared to 33% in the U.S. 30.8% of those adults are women and 21.5% are men. Those most interested in working with the state’s youth will find it noteworthy that 61.4% of children with emotional, developmental or behavior problems received psychiatric care in Tennessee compared to 60% average nation-wide.

The Tennessee Board of Nursing is a key facilitator for those interested in becoming psychiatric nurse practitioners in the state. Their responsibilities center around three major functions: licensure, education and practice. The board interprets the law to determine the appropriate standard of practice. Furthermore, the board is authorized to issue an advanced practice nurse (APN) certificate. To qualify, you must have a current registered nurse licensure, a master’s degree in a nursing specialty area, three quarter hours of pharmacology, national certification and evidence of specialized psychiatric training. One may receive an APN certificate without prescriptive authority in certain situations where the nurse doesn’t meet the pharmacology qualification.

Once licensing is obtained, would be psychiatric nurse practitioners are eligible to pursue employment in a variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, community health organizations, and psychiatric clinics.

Tennessee’s psychiatric nurse practitioners are not required to obtain continuing education credits for re-licensure. To maintain continued competence; however, one must have actively practiced nursing in the past 5 years to meet the standards of competence set out by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.

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