We Need Nurses to Take on the Mental Health Crisis

Sydnee Logan
By Sydnee Logan  | 
We Need Nurses to Take on the Mental Health Crisis

There is a deep demand for diverse nurses who understand the unique stress of the population they serve.

And they’re answering a wider call—between 2014 and 2015, there was a 58 percent increase in mental health nursing jobs requiring an RN and a 17 percent increase in demand for psychiatric nurse practitioner jobs. We need more providers who offer mental health services.

Post-Master’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate

“The shortage impacts mental health at every level. There aren’t enough specialized providers to take on chronic mental health conditions, there aren’t enough educators to train new mental health specialists.”

Tamar Rodney, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, CNE investigates military personnel and veterans with brain injuries, where research with animals suggests inflammation occurring after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a risk factor for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That’s new information since PTSD is traditionally seen as an emotional response to a very bad experience.

For patients with PTSD, a lack of specialized providers means a late diagnosis or a misdiagnosis. The condition itself is difficult to identify and treat; patients may not experience symptoms until long after experiencing a traumatic event.

The patient doesn’t know what’s happening to them. Their primary care provider is a stopgap measure—they may be able to help short-term.

“The need for specialized mental health help is desperate. When a person commits suicide after a late diagnosis or a misdiagnosis, we’re left wondering “how did it get so extreme and we didn’t know?”

Health care affinity: Suicide awareness panel

Monday Johns Hopkins Alumni Association will host a Health care affinity: Suicide awareness panel featuring faculty associate Patty Wilson, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, alum Reginald E. Bannerman, RN, MSN, MBA, NE-BC, and more psychiatric nursing and mental health specialists.

Dr. Patty Wilson brings her expertise treating patients in Baltimore who suffer from debilitating depression, anxiety, and PTSD, in particular young adults who have witnessed violence or are victims of violence.

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Sydnee Logan is the Social Media and Digital Content Coordinator for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She shares what’s going on here with the world.

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