5 Thing To Know About A Career In Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

By Editorial

Mental health nursing is commonly known as psychiatric nursing. It involves the nursing practice that deals with taking care of individuals who are suffering from a mental health disorder and to help them in recovery and improve their quality of living.Mental health nurses possess advanced knowledge on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychiatric patients and provide them specialized care. They work alongside other senior professionals in the hospital.

Read more: 10 Demandable Nursing career options in India

Psychiatric mental health nurses are being registered with individuals, groups, families, and communities, according to their mental health needs. The PMH nurse deals with proper diagnosis, implementation of the nursing process, and they also evaluate the effectiveness of the ongoing treatment. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses offer the most primary care to psychiatric-mental health patients. They assess, diagnose, and treat individuals with mental disorders and they utilize their therapeutic skills to prescribe medication or psychotherapy.

Job Role:

  • The most common and important responsibility of a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse is to arrange all the preliminary treatment of a mental patient. 
  • They assess and evaluate the condition of the patient.
  • They make proper planning for treatment and care.
  • If they find anything that should be improvised or any inconvenience in the treatment process they go for a consultation with other health professionals about the same.
  • They are responsible for the care and psychotherapy treatment.
  • They maintain all the official records of medical.
  • Another important and emotional part that is involved in this profession that they support and educate the family of the patients.

Education & Qualification:

  • There are several training and education courses that can lead to a bright career as a mental health nurse. As it is a specialization that comes under nursing, the candidate must have completed a bachelor's degree in Nursing. Along with the bachelors' certification, he/she must have passed the board examination to get a Registered Nurse (RN) profile.
  • After completing the graduation and registration, they may go for a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing, with a specialization in psychiatry and mental health.

Let's have a glimpse at the five most important things that you should know before choosing a career path in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing.

PMHN: psychiatrists or social workers or psychologists:

Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing (PMHN) are not at all like other social workers or psychologists.If you are going to pursue this as your career it’s important to know the basic difference between psychiatric-mental health nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, and psychologists. Though all four specializations have some overlapping responsibilities, they all differ in the following some ways:

Psychiatrists are physicians and they can prescribe medication to a patient also. They treat mental health as well as disorders. They can suggest and practice psychotherapy. Psychiatrists diagnose the patient’s medical conditions because they are trained as medical doctors.

PMHNs are licensed nurses who can treat psychiatric disorders and like most nurses, they are not allowed to prescribe medication. But some advanced registered nurses with a master’s degree, in some states, can prescribe medication and psychotherapy to patients. PMHN’s job role is to examine, assess, educate, and support patients along with their family but they cannot counsel them.

Psychologists are the Ph.D. or PsyD degree holders but they cannot prescribe medication and cannot diagnose or treat the patient with a mental disorder. They can only perform psychological testing and counseling.

Social workers are from the field of social work a degree in social work, usually a master’s degree. They are well-trained to talk and listen to their clients. They are completely different from the above categories as they cannot involve in any medical diagnosis or treatment.

Your patience, and communication skills will be tested:

As a mental health nurse, you will face several ups and downs in your work life. This job profile takes limitless patience, flexibility, and the ability to listen constantly.That’s why you must remember the words Barbara Drew, Ph.D., APRN, BC, and the former president of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, “learning from our patients, observing their disorders, and reading the scientific and Psychiatric literature will increase confidence in interpersonal skills.”

Mental health nurses are basically meant to support and feed the positive strength to the patient along with his/her family. With their stories and experience and by understanding that life is fragile, and learning life from other's perspectives, you will gain knowledge as well as experience that will make you a better caregiver.It will give you the experiences for a lifetime.

Certification in Psychiatric Nursing And Experience:

To become a certified psychiatric nurse, you need an active nursing license. The candidate who wants to lead a career on this path must practice the equivalent course of a duration of two yearsfull-time as an RN. Furthermore, you must practice at least 2,000 hours as clinical nursing in any psychiatric mental health environment after the course. Additionally, it is better to complete 30 hours of continuing education in the field of psychiatric-mental health nursing over the course of three years or less.

Less Predictable Hours ForHospital-Based Psychiatric Nursing:

The working hours for a Psychiatric Nurse in the hospital may be less predictable than that of others, but the hospital setting may offer advantages. For example, if you have done your weekend and overnight, you may be allowed to work a full-time schedule over fewer days than you would in an outpatient setting. So this type of working schedule is more preferable if you are a traveling mental health nurse. 

Psychiatric Nursing Salary Structure:

Psychiatric nursing is a demanding career field and in some ways, it is a much more demanding prospect than other general nurses. It is also financially rewarding nursing as well. According to the recent survey from Payscale, the median wages for psychiatric nurses is approximately $28.46 per hour. And on an annual basis, the total payment structure rangesfrom around $46,000 to $81,000 per year. The psychiatric nurse can expect a competitive salary along with other benefits like health insurance, vision care, and dental care.

Read more: Community Health Nursing Course and Career Scope

Read Here: Benefits of having nursing as a career option


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