A psychiatric nurse is an amazing individual who handles the diverse needs of needy patients suffering from mental illnesses and mental distress. The medical field is home to many nursing jobs for the right candidates.
The challenges that psychiatric nurses experience are well worth the time and effort as psychiatrist nurses help the patients and their families get their lives back on track.
Psychiatric Nurse Job Description
Psychiatric nurses help patients who suffer from psychiatric disorders and problems, such as dementia, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or psychosis. Psychiatric nurses are registered nurses who care for patients, communities, and families affected by mental illnesses.
The daily responsibilities of a psychiatric nurse may consist of creating nursing plans, providing crisis intervention and counseling, assessing the mental health needs of patients, managing therapeutic environments, monitoring and administering treatment to patients, helping patients address their coping abilities, and helping patients with self-care related activities.
The work environment for psychiatric nurses may include mental health facilities, hospitals, health departments, long-term care centers, and outpatient facilities. Other work environments include prisons and jails, military, colleges and universities, home health agencies, behavioral care companies (HMO), and private practice facilities.
These individuals many work long hours or shifts in order to fulfill their duties and responsibilities.It is possible to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner with the advanced practiced registered nurse (APRN) credentials. The basic duties and responsibilities are the same for a psychiatric nurse and a psychiatric nurse practitioner. A psychiatric nurse practitioner has the ability to practice independently and prescribe medications in some states.
Psychiatric Nurse Training
The options to receive training to become a psychiatric nurse include earning a diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited college or university. Psychiatric nurses must be registered nurses (RN), and those with a bachelor’s degree have the greatest number of employment opportunities in the field of nursing. It is also possible to become a clinical nurse specialist or psychiatric nurse practitioner by earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
The coursework consists of core courses and elective courses in such topics as psychiatric medications, psychological therapies, and therapeutic alliances. Additionally, it is necessary to complete clinical studies under the supervision of doctors and other nurses. Psychiatric nurses may also have to participate in continuing education courses to maintain their nursing skills and credentials.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers certification for psychiatric nurses and clinical nurse specialists. Certification is required by employees in certain states and is recommended by employers in other states. Certification increases the chances of landing a job, and it increases the income potential significantly.
Earning specialization in specific areas of psychiatric nursing is a great way to combat the competitive nature of the field of nursing. It is possible to specialize in eating disorders, geriatrics, substance abuse, consulting or liaison, or forensics. Some even specialize in adult and child psychiatric nursing. The ANNCC and other organizations offer specialized certification for interested individuals.
Psychiatric Nurse Salary
A psychiatric nurse can earn a significant income in this field of medicine. The salary potential depends greatly on the location and experience of individuals. Seeking employment in areas with a shortage of certified psychiatric nurses can increase the salary range significantly.
A psychiatric nurse with the registered nurse credentials can earn an hourly rate of around $24 to $32. After earning a master’s degree in nursing and becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner it is possible to earn an annual registered nurse salary of $75,000 to $85,000. Working additional shifts and longer hours can earn higher salaries for certified psychiatric nurses.
Psychiatric Nursing Jobs Outlook
The next ten years hold a great deal of promise for qualified psychiatric nurses with experience. The nursing shortage creates a significant number of opportunities in this area of nursing. Advanced degrees, certification, experience, and additional training as a psychiatric nurse create a greater demand for the skills of these qualified individuals.
The demand for psychiatric nurses influence schedules, available jobs, and salaries; it also affects the training from educational institutions and government funding for these programs. Employers are offering attractive incentives to persuade psychiatric nurses to fill available positions or pursue an education in nursing. These incentives may include signing bonuses, relocation assistance, and loan forgiveness.
Becoming a psychiatric nurse offers the opportunity to work in a rewarding career in healthcare. Mental illnesses do not have to influence the lives of patients and their families in a negative way thanks to the knowledge and skills of psychiatric nurses. Helping patients deal with their illnesses is at the center of their work.