Psychiatric Nurse

What Is A Psychiatric Nurse?

A psychiatric or behavioral health nurse is trained to care for patients suffering from a variety of mental diseases, addictions, eating disorders, or substance abuse. Patients who suffer from psychiatric problems require extensive emotional support, education, and therapy from trained mental health experts. Collaborating with patients and the interdisciplinary team, which includes case managers and social workers, to assess and provide a safe release environment is a significant aspect of a psychiatric nurse’s day-to-day. This specialty requires a nurse who is compassionate and caring, but yet assertive when necessary.

How to Become a Psychiatric Nurse

Those who are certain they want to be a psychiatric nurse should plan on taking a few mental health courses during their undergraduate studies. After earning their RN license, the majority of nurses get experience in general nursing before pursuing a career in psychiatric nursing, while it is not uncommon for a newly graduated nurse to enter the specialty immediately. Determine a focus while entering psychiatric nursing; geriatric care, eating disorders, and child/adolescent mental health are just a few of the specialized areas in which a psychiatric nurse may explore working.

What Education Do Psychiatric Nurses Need?

A valid RN license is required, which can be obtained through an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s degree. The trend in the healthcare business is toward recruiting registered nurses with a BSN, but this is not a mandated requirement at the moment. Earning a higher degree, on the other hand, will increase an RN’s earnings and open up new prospects.

Is it necessary to obtain any certifications or credentials?

Certain hospitals may demand the Psychiatric–Mental Health Nursing Certification, or RN-BC, after a specified period of employment.

The following criteria apply to the RN-BC:

  • Have worked as a registered nurse for the equivalent of two years full-time
  • Possess a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical experience in psychiatric–mental health nursing in the preceding three years.
  • Within the last three years, have completed 30 hours of continuing education in psychiatric–mental health nursing

What Types of Jobs Do Psychiatric Nurses Have?

Psychiatric nurses serve in a range of healthcare settings that provide services related to mental health. Hospitals, private practices, and mental health facilities are often included in this category. In addition to community clinics, schools, penal facilities, and long-term care facilities, psychiatric nurses are frequently employed.

What Is the Role of a Psychiatric Nurse?

Psychiatric nurses care for patients who suffer from a variety of mental health or behavioral disorders. They frequently aid in the assessment and diagnosis of patients, the monitoring of symptoms and behaviors, and the provision of short- or long-term care. Additionally, this type of nurse is generally involved in the development of care plans for mental patients, as well as teaching and collaborating with the patient’s family to ensure home care is followed through.

What Are the Responsibilities and Responsibilities of a Psychiatric Nurse?

  • Assess symptoms of mental illness and assist in diagnosing and treating individuals
  • In a mental facility, keep an eye on patients.
  • Family members should be educated on the patient’s condition and treatment plan.
  • Collaborate with psychiatric physicians and other mental health specialists as a member of a multidisciplinary psychiatric care team.
  • Assemble a network of activities and services for patients
  • Assist patients in establishing and achieving short- and long-term mental health goals
  • Assist patients with drug administration

Salary and Employment for Psychiatric Nurses

In the United States, the average income for a psychiatric nurse is $57,703, with a range of $45,790 to $80,143. Salary is affected by factors such as education level, employer, geography, and experience.

Due to the aging population, work opportunities for psychiatric nurses are excellent, as the elderly often face a higher risk of cognitive disorder. Additionally, communities often have a strong demand for mental health nurses at clinics and hospitals located in underserved areas.