Psychiatric nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who specialize in psychiatry and perform similar duties as a psychiatric physician. Psychiatric nurse practitioners speak to patients about their feelings and then diagnose the patients mental health based on their conversation. Unlike less qualified registered nurses, psychiatric nurse practitioners are licensed and able to diagnose mental illnesses and prescribe medications. The duties of a psychiatric nurse practitioner include treating patients with anxiety disorders, feelings of depression, multiple personality disorder and suicidal thoughts to name a few. These highly educated nurses hold advanced degrees in nursing and are more affordable to employ than psychiatrists. Psychiatric nurse practitioners can also offer their patients one-on-one counseling services much like a therapist. They also teach the patients family members about the patients mental illness, including what to expect, how to react and how to cope with their feelings.

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