Nurse Practitioner Spotlight
A career as a psychiatric nurse practitioner can be replete with challenges and opportunities. The NP Psych Navigator Spotlight is your chance to learn more about nurse practitioners who are working to advance the profession and mental health in general. In the fifth installment of this series, we profile Jeremy Schreiber, MSN, PMHNP-BC.
NP Spotlight: Jeremy Schreiber, MSN, PMHNP-BC
In this NP Psych Navigator Spotlight, we would like to introduce Jeremy Schreiber, MSN, PMHNP-BC, who discovered a way to merge his fascination with the human mind, his love of teaching, and his desire to help others with mental illness.
Jeremy Schreiber’s entry into healthcare resulted from being raised in a medical household; having a voracious appetite for knowledge, a love of reading, and an interest in the human body and mind; and developing a natural affinity for understanding human behavior.
An Eye-Opening Encounter
A book he read played a pivotal role in shaping Jeremy’s interest in psychiatry. It chronicles medicine’s and society’s perceptions of mental illness in America from Colonial times to around World War I. Jeremy found himself simultaneously intrigued and appalled by its descriptions of historical treatments for mental illness, including lobotomy and hydrotherapy.
Fascinated by what he was learning, Jeremy felt inspired to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology. However, upon completing his degree, something seemed to be missing. He realized that working as a researcher in psychology did not wholly suit his passions, and he needed to consider another career choice.
Back to the Drawing Board
Following several years of contemplating the best path forward, Jeremy decided to return to school. Attending medical school was quickly ruled out given that he was then a single parent with 2 young children, which made this option seem less desirable. He instead channeled his natural desire to help others by becoming a psychiatric mental health nurse.
Upon finishing nursing school, Jeremy worked on an inpatient psychiatric unit of a local hospital. This experience supported his decision to become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). Partway through his PMHNP program at The Ohio State University, he started teaching nursing courses at nearby universities. Teaching gave him the chance to laud the importance of nurses and of nursing as a field, and it also had the added benefit of reinforcing and solidifying the concepts he was learning in class.
Paying it Forward
Although he spent most of his career in community mental health, Jeremy currently is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of an outpatient behavioral health facility in Wheeling, West Virginia. He continues to see patients, and his main areas of interest are mood disorders, neurocognitive disorders, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders.
Jeremy also maintains his role as an educator, serving as a faculty member at a local university and as a clinical preceptor for numerous universities. He enjoys teaching others, who then use their newfound knowledge to help their own patients. In this way, Jeremy hopes to “pay it forward” to his successors.
For Jeremy, the most rewarding part of working in mental health is helping patients. The process of figuring out a problem that no one else has been able to solve—whether it’s finding an effective treatment or just better understanding a patient’s experiences—has been the most challenging, but also the most satisfying, part of his job.
When getting to the root of a patient’s problems, Jeremy considers many potential variables, such as genetics, physiologic abnormalities, psychosocial factors, life stressors, adverse childhood experiences, and comorbid substance use, just to name a few.
A Hopeful Future
As long as mental disorders continue to impinge on the well-being of patients, Jeremy believes there will always be a need for psychiatric providers. Furthermore, he believes the ongoing shortage of psychiatrists will strengthen the role of psychiatric nurse practitioners.
With time, Jeremy is optimistic that society will come to recognize that mental health is paramount and fundamental to overall health. Within the healthcare field, he hopes people suffering from mental disorders will stop being viewed as inferior to others. By improving multidisciplinary collaboration, he is confident that all healthcare providers can work together to reduce the stigma of these disabling conditions.
Jeremy Schreiber, MSN, PMHNP-BC, is a paid consultant of AbbVie Inc. and was compensated for his time spent in the development of this profile. The opinions expressed above are those of the NP contributor and are not necessarily recommended or endorsed by AbbVie Inc.
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