What is an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse (APRN-BC)?

Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Nurses are trained to competently assess psychiatric symptoms, order laboratory tests, and evaluate and diagnose mental illnesses.
Advanced Practice psychiatric nurses are specialty providers with additional training in psychological and psychiatric treatments, including psychotherapy and medications.  APRNs collaborate with primary care, specialty, and complementary healthcare professionals if authorized by individuals in treatment.
All APRNs complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing and become Registered Nurses (RN). They then pursue master’s or doctoral level education in psychiatric nursing. After completing an advanced degree, APRNs take a comprehensive national examination to become board certified. Thereafter, APRNs are licensed by the state where they practice. All of these steps are legally required in Delaware.  After all of these criteria are met, an APRN may apply for prescriptive authority. IN the state of Delaware (and many other states in the US), if an APRN has met all of this criteria and has proven sufficient experience, they are not required to have a collaborative agreement with a physician or psychiatrist.  
To maintain a license and board certification, APRNs must pursue a variety of ongoing educational and professional opportunities in fields related to mental health and illness.