Career Spotlight: Psychiatric Nursing
Are you looking for a shake-up in your professional life? Consider becoming a psychiatric nurse! Psychiatric nursing is a great field for nurses who want to help patients heal mentally and learn to live fulfilling, productive lives, even with a mental illness.
What is a Psychiatric Nurse?
Just like it sounds, psychiatric nurses treat patients with psychiatric problems. According to Discover Nursing, “psychiatric nurses treat patients diagnosed with conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. They’re also trained in behavioral therapy, which allows these nurses to teach patients, and their loved ones, how to deal with challenges that go along with psychiatric disorders.”1
How do you become a Psychiatric Nurse?
A Psychiatric Nurse is required to have a degree in nursing. This can either be an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). You also have to take a certifying exam on psychiatric and mental health nursing.2
Once you have your degree in nursing and mental health certification, you can start working as a psychiatric nurse in a psychiatric hospital or other mental health facilities.
How much do Psychiatric Nurses make?
The average yearly salary for a Psychiatric Nurse is $66,640.2
This of course is dependent upon the type of degree you have, where you are working and multiple other factors.
What does a normal day look like for a Psychiatric Nurse?
This career path revolves around working with patients on a mental level. All Nursing Schools lists basic tasks psychiatric nurses perform during their work week:
- Assess mental health needs
- Develop nursing care plans
- Help patients regain or improve their coping abilities
- Manage the therapeutic environment
- Assist patients with self-care activities
- Administer and monitor treatment regimens
- Crisis intervention and counseling2
A huge part of psychiatric nursing is safety. “As a healthcare professional, I think our number on concern here is safety,” Stephanie, a psychiatric nurse says. “We make sure that all patients are safe on the unit and we encourage them to come up to us if there is any kind of issues. We keep this a positive, safe environment.”4
Is Psychiatric Nursing the right choice for me?
Psychiatric nursing is a great field for those with great communication skills and crisis intervention techniques. RN to BSN says the ideal candidates for psychiatric nursing are “compassionate, detail-oriented professionals with good judgement skills.”3
Stephanie says one of the greatest things about being a psychiatric nurse is seeing patients reach their mental health goals. “The one thing I love about my job is I get to see these people recover. Slowly but surely they do reach recovery, and it’s so rewarding to be a psychiatric nurse and see that happen. It’s rewarding to see them succeed at their goals.”4
Psychiatric nursing is a great choice for nurses who want to help patients on more of a mental level. It is a profession where the nurses get be an active part of a patient setting and reaching personal goals.
Do you have a suggestion for another nursing career spotlight? Tell us in the comments below!