Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs in Illinois - IL | Mental Health

Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Programs in Illinois - IL

What do psychiatric and mental health nurses do?

According to American Psychiatric Nurses Association (, basic level psychiatric and mental health nurses (PMHNs) are registered nurses (RNs) that work with individuals, families, groups and/or communities, assess mental health needs, and develop nursing diagnoses. They also develop a plan of nursing care, implement the plan, and finally evaluate the nursing care provided. 

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) that work in the psychiatric and mental health (PMH) field at a post-basic level typically earn master’s degrees in PMH nursing and assume the role of either clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or nurse practitioner.

How do these definitions apply to NPs in Illinois?

APRNs in Illinois are known as advanced practice nurses (APNs). In advanced practice nursing, PMH is the domain of CNSs. Therefore, psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in Illinois are known as CNS – PMH programs.

Where are these programs offered?

RNs working in the state can find approved master’s level nursing program in Illinois campuses, as well as online. Nursing professionals from all areas of the state, including Aurora, Chicago, Joliet, and Rockford are enrolling in these programs and taking the first step towards becoming a CNS – PMH.

What are the advantages of becoming a CNS – PMH in Illinois?

According to the Division of Professional Regulations of the state of Illinois, CNSs in the PMH specialty are APNs that can work in consultation and collaboration with physicians and other approved health care practitioners. Physicians can also delegate some prescriptive authority to CNSs in accordance with Illinois regulations. Other non advanced nursing professionals do not have these privileges.

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