Careers in healthcare continue to open as more people develop medical and mental conditions. Nurses are often considered the backbone of the medical field and have a wide range of careers available to them. Psychiatric nurses are just one specialized job role that allows nurses to care for people with mental conditions. Starting as a psychiatric nurse can bring a new level of satisfying challenges to seasoned nurses or be a great starting point for nurses entering the field.
Find open psychiatric nurse jobs today on Behavioral Health Jobs. Easily filter the hundreds of openings by location, experience level, and facility type to find the perfect match for you. Get started on your career search today.
Who Needs Psychiatric Care?
People with psychiatric disorders often have trouble functioning in society. They may have difficulty keeping a job, maintaining personal relationships, or even taking care of themselves. When they check in to a medical facility, they may need special care to help them get better and make a recovery.
Psychiatric nurses are often one of the first healthcare workers patients interact with when entering a medical or mental health facility. They can help provide support and care throughout their entire stay, not just when they are in therapy.
What Is a Psychiatric Nurse?
A psychiatric nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who has gone on to specialize in mental health. They work with patients who have a wide range of mental health disorders, from mild to severe. Psychiatric nurses can work in many different settings, including:
- Outpatient clinics
- Mental health facilities
- Substance abuse treatment centers
- Private practices
What Does a Psychiatric Nurse Do?
Psychiatric nurses often act as a patient’s primary care provider, which means they are responsible for coordinating all patient care. They may also provide direct care to patients, which can include:
- Performing physical assessments
- Taking patient histories
- Conducting diagnostic tests
- Providing therapy
- Creating treatment plans
- Monitoring patients’ progress
- Providing support to patients and their families
Psychiatric nurses also work with other healthcare team members to provide the best care possible. This comprehensive care can include working with doctors, social workers, counselors, and therapists.
What Are the Education Requirements to Become a Psychiatric Nurse?
To become a psychiatric nurse, you first need to become a registered nurse. This path requires completing an accredited nursing program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
After becoming an RN, you can then pursue a psychiatric nursing specialization. There are many different ways to do this, but most people choose to complete a graduate-level program, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
Some RNs may also choose to pursue a post-master’s certificate in psychiatric nursing. This can be a good option for RNs who already have a master’s degree in another nursing specialty.
Salary and Job Outlook for Psychiatric Nurses
The median annual salary for RNs is $71,730. Psychiatric nurses who work in outpatient care centers tend to earn the highest salaries, followed by those who work in hospitals.
The job outlook for RNs is very positive. Projections estimate employment for RNs will grow by 15% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for psychiatric nurses is expected to grow even more due to the increasing prevalence of mental health disorders.
If you are interested in helping people with mental health disorders, then a career as a psychiatric nurse may be a good fit for you.
Psychiatric Nurse Openings on Behavioral Health Jobs
Nurses are a cornerstone in the healthcare field. They provide compassionate care for people going through routine and emergency procedures. Starting a career as a psychiatric nurse can be a fantastic financial and emotional decision, which can bring personal fulfillment and job satisfaction.
If you are interested in a career as a psychiatric nurse, then check out the latest job openings on Behavioral Health Jobs today.