A psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is licensed to provide mental healthcare as specified by the ANA scope of practice to adult, geriatric, and pediatric populations. The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP) perform a variety of roles including performing mental health evaluations to determine psychiatric conditions, interpreting lab and other diagnostic procedures, and prescribing of drugs among other functions. The paper comprehensively discusses various components associated with PMHNP including the practice agreements in California, physician collaboration issues, and barriers for PMHNP practicing independently in California.
The PMHNP performs duties under the scope of Registered Nurses (RN) relying on standardized procedures for authorization to execute overlapping medical functions. They operate under the Nursing Practice Act (NPA) to perform a variety of roles including mental and physical assessments, prevention of diseases, conducting of immunization and skin tests among others. The Californian PMHNPs are mandated to provide mental health services in collaboration with a consulting physician (Coffman et al., 2018). The other practice agreement is that NPs in California are not permitted to sign death certificates. Only qualified Medical Doctor (MD) is allowed to sign a death certificate (Xue et al., 2016). The PMHNPs are only authorized to approve handicap parking permits and thus cannot declare someone dead.