Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, Overview

APN Psychotherapists

APN Psychotherapists assess, diagnose, and treat individuals and families with mental health or substance use disorders or the potential for such disorders. Apply therapeutic activities, including the prescription of medication, per state regulations, and the administration of psychotherapy.

Becoming One
Very Hard
Master's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


Job description

Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses provide advanced nursing care for patients with psychiatric disorders. May provide psychotherapy under the direction of a psychiatrist.

  • Monitor patients’ medication usage and results.
  • Document patients’ medical and psychological histories, physical assessment results, diagnoses, treatment plans, prescriptions, or outcomes.
  • Diagnose psychiatric disorders and mental health conditions.
  • Evaluate patients’ behavior to formulate diagnoses or assess treatments.
Read more about what does an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$75510 per year

Average hourly wage
$36 per hour

APN Psychotherapists with little to no experience tend to make between $50800 and $58770 while the more experienced ones can earn over $88350 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
CA $51 $106,950
HI $47 $98,080
DC $44 $92,350
MA $44 $92,140
OR $44 $91,080

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for APN Psychotherapists are CA, HI, DC, MA and OR.

However, a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Master’s degree

We asked other APN Psychotherapists what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Master’s Degree followed by a Post-Master’s Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Nursing Administration
Adult Health Nurse/Nursing
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing
Maternal/Child Health and Neonatal Nurse/Nursing
Read more about how to become an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse.

Suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Demand for this career is growing very fast
Not suitable for people who likes to start and carry out projects
It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

74% of APN Psychotherapists said they were satisfied with their job and 82% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Helpers and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Learn more about APN Psychotherapists

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Related career information

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