Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Pysch Nursing jobs: Why Become a Psychiatric Nurse

Career News September 22, 2013

Many registered nurses are working in specialized fields, and psych nursing jobs offer another area of specialization that provides both job satisfaction and financial rewards. There are jobs available in general hospitals and psychiatric hospitals, as well as in psychiatrists’ offices and home-health agencies. Some psych nurses become certified and go into private practice where, depending on the state, they may even prescribe medications.

Why become a psychiatric nurse?

Psych nursing jobs are not easy, but has intrinsic rewards. Being a psychiatric nurse and interacting with patients can make a long-term difference in a patient’s life.

Sandra Thompson, who has been a psychiatric nurse for many years, finds it rewarding to connect with her patients and gain their trust. This makes them feel better about themselves and more likely to take their medications and follow their treatment plan.

Other psychiatric nurses say they have more independence and decision making authority than in other areas of nursing. Psychiatrist Beth Murphy agrees that psych nurses have a lot of input into how psychiatrists develop their treatment plan. Murphy states that the “psych nurse/psychiatrist relationship tends to be less hierarchical than other areas of nursing.”

What are the main duties of nurses with psych nursing jobs?

Psychiatric nurses assess the mental health of patients. They treat all types of mental disorders ranging from schizophrenia to depression. They may work with suicidal patients and those with drug addiction disorders. Psych nurses spend a lot of time with their patients in order to develop a trusting relationship and help their patients improve their daily lives.

Psychiatric nurses work with psychiatrists in developing individual treatment plans. They teach patients and their families the importance of complying with the treatment plan. They often work with families, so the family knows what to expect of their loved one who has a mental disorder and to learn how to react, if presented with certain situations.

Are there any special skills needed for psych nursing jobs?

A male psychiatric nurse with thirty years of experience, and another psychiatric nurse who has been in private practice for many years, have come up with their own recommendations for certain skills they feel a psych nurse should have.

• Be able to listen
• Be nonjudgmental
• Be decisive
• Tolerate ambiguity
• Be able to be calm even in the midst of chaos
• Learn how to diffuse situations that might become violent
• Enjoy the job

How do I become a certified psychiatric-mental health nurse?

All registered nurses can work in hospital psychiatric units and other psych nursing jobs without special psychiatric nursing certification. In fact, nurses can only become certified after they have a certain amount of experience working as a psychiatric nurse.

In order to become certified as a psychiatric-mental health nurse (PMHN) by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), nurses must pass a certification test. In order to be eligible to take the test, a registered nurse must meet the following criteria:

•Be a registered nurse in a state or territory of the U.S. or hold an equivalent license in another country that is recognized by a state licensing board in the U.S.

•Have two years of experience working as a registered nurse.

•Within the three years just prior to taking the test, the registered nurse must have a minimum of 2,000 hours working as a psychiatric and mental health nurse.

•Within three years just prior to taking the test, the registered nurse must have 30 hours of continuing education credits in psychiatric and mental health nursing.

Psych nursing job outlook and salary expectations

There is a nursing shortage in all areas of nursing. By 2020, a shortage of 800,000 nurses nationwide is expected. This is true of all areas of nursing, and it is expected that psych nursing jobs will continue to be easy to find. The salary depends on the state, as well as the level of education and experience. It ranges from an entry-level position of $32,500 to $90,000 for someone with five years of experience.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Work in the fascinating and rewarding field of psychology - earn your bachelor's or master's degree online with Grand Canyon University.
  • The College of Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research, creativity, ethical formation and inquiry through critical, analytical and interdisciplinary study.
  • GCU's bachelor's and master's in psychology degrees combine academic theory with practical application.
  • Gain a comprehensive study of human behavior within a Christian values-oriented environment designed to emphasize compassion and ethics.
  • Join a values-based community surrounded by compassion, ethics and research on human behavior.
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your degree online from Ashford University!
  • Choose from Undergraduate and Graduate classes
  • Business, Health Care, Psychology and Liberal Arts programs to choose from
  • Apply Now! Classes begin every Tuesday!
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology program helps students prepare for careers in counseling, marketing/sales, human services, ministry, and more.
  • The School of Psychology & Counseling received a 95% match rate for 4th year Psy.D. student internships in 2015.
  • Programmatic accreditation for psychology programs is provided by the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
  • Get Matched to Psychology, Counseling, Human Services, Organizational, and Clinical Psychology Degree Programs and MORE.
  • View Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate and Graduate Certificate Degree Programs in Psychology and Human Services Near YOU!
  • Accredited and Flexible Psychology Degree Programs to Fit Your Time and Budget. Use Our Matching Service - It's Easy and FREE!
  • Online Courses

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your degree online from Ashford University!
  • Choose from Undergraduate and Graduate classes
  • Business, Health Care, Psychology and Liberal Arts programs to choose from
  • Apply Now! Classes begin every Tuesday!
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology program helps students prepare for careers in counseling, marketing/sales, ministry, and more.
  • The School of Psychology & Counseling received a 95% match rate for 4th year Psy.D. student internships in 2015.
  • Programmatic accreditation for psychology programs is provided by the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
  • Get Matched to Psychology, Counseling, Human Services, Organizational, and Clinical Psychology Degree Programs and MORE.
  • View Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate and Graduate Certificate Degree Programs in Psychology and Human Services Near YOU!
  • Accredited and Flexible Psychology Degree Programs to Fit Your Time and Budget. Use Our Matching Service - It's Easy and FREE!
  • Online Courses

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!