Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Psych Nurse: Job Overview and Responsibilities

Job Descriptions July 14, 2013

Psychiatric nursing is a specialty within the broader specialty of nursing itself. To become a psych nurse, one must be a dedicated student, strive for high grades and be willing to constantly educate oneself as new therapies and treatments emerge. There are two types of psychiatric nurses, depending upon the level of education the individual is willing to work toward: psychiatric mental health registered nurses (PMHNs) and psychiatric mental health advanced practice registered nurses (PMH-APRNs).

Education for the Pscych Nurse and Advance Practice Psychiatric Nurse Positions

The PMHN generally requires a two-year associate’s degree in nursing or a three-year degree in nursing. As much as a four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing may be necessary. The longer one is willing to stay in school, the more specifically applicable courses they will be able to take as they pursue their RN degree. Students specialize by taking courses in psychiatric nursing. Graduates from all of these programs are eligible to take the RN licensing examination after graduation. After receiving their RN, they can go on to pursue a higher degree in advance practice psychiatric nursing.

An advance practice psych nurse (PMH-APRNs) often specializes in child and adolescent psychiatric, adult psychiatric and family psychiatry. Child and adolescent mental health nursing, gerontological-psychiatric nursing, forensics, eating disorders and substance use disorders are a few possibilities. Their educational program typically consists of basic science (pathophysiology), advanced health assessment, brain and behavioral correlates, advanced psycho-pharmacology and psycho-therapeutic techniques. This is followed by clinical rotations in outpatient mental health hospitals or residential care facilities. Advanced mental health nurses often diagnose and work with patients who have ADD, eating disorders, alcoholism or drug addiction.

A psych nurse’s education requires ongoing educational seminars and retesting of their clinical skills on a regular basis. Advanced masters and doctoral degrees are required for the individual to work in such challenging positions as that of the psychiatric primary-care provider, psychotherapist or university-level professor of psychiatric nursing. Advanced psychiatric nurses are also licensed to prescribe medication in all fifty states.

Typical Responsibilities of a Psychiatric Nurse

•Completes physical and mental health assessments
•Records all care information concisely, accurately and completely
•Works with patients’ families to help improve the patients’ lives and to help families deal with a mentally ill patient
•Administers prescribed medications
•Helps patients with their coping skills
•Controls drugs and medicines
•Observes and reports any and all changes in behaviors
•Administers and monitors treatment
•Helps develop care plans for patients
•Helps develop after-care programs for patients leaving the facilities
•Performs other position-related duties as assigned
•Makes appropriate referrals to other healthcare professionals and community resources for individuals and families
•Orders age-appropriate tests and other procedures that provide data for constructing individual treatment plans.
•Maintains a therapeutic relationship over time with individuals, groups and families in order to achieve client-specific outcome
•Concludes therapeutically the nurse-patient relationship and transitions the patient to other levels of care when appropriate
•Prescribes pharmacological agents for patients with mental health problems and psychiatric disorders based on individual characteristics
•Provides psycho-education to individuals, families and groups to promote knowledge, understanding and effective management of mental health problems and psychiatric disorders
•Adheres to all OSHA safety rules and regulations

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, 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
  • 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
  • Does psychology interest you? See if Grand Canyon University could be a good fit for your journey in discovering the human mind!
  • GCU offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in either General Psychology or Industrial & Organizational Psychology.
  • The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education, blending the study of traditional humanities in a modern context.
  • GCU offers a variety of learning options, including: traditional degree programs offered at our main campus, online degrees, or evening classes meeting once a week at various locations.
  • Founded in 1949, GCU is a regionally accredited, private Christian university and is recognized as offering some of the best online education programs in the nation.
  • Request information and learn more about our program offerings, start dates, financial aid and more!
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
  • 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!