According to theNational Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI) One in five adults in the United States suffers from a mental illness each year; One in twenty adults experiences a serious mental illness each year, and one in six adolescents aged six to seventeen experiences a mental disorder each year. In addition, according to Kessler et al (2007), more than 50 percent of people will be affecteddiagnosed with a mental illness or disorderat some point in their life.
Although mostpeople with mental illnessesdoes not require hospitalization, some will eventually need to be hospitalized to be diagnosed, have their medication adjusted, or be monitored during an acute episode. At the moment, psychiatric nurses are at the forefront of patient care. Read on to learn everything you need to know about working as a psychiatric nurse: job description, salary, certifications, and more!
Table of contents
What does Psychiatry mean?
Psych stands for mental health and psychiatric nursing in nursing. According to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)mental-psychiatric healthIt is represented by the abbreviation PMH. Other common abbreviations are MH, which stands forMental health, and PNP, which meanspsychiatric nurse.
What does Psych mean in medicine?
Since Psy refers to psychiatric mental health, it encompassesemotional, psychological and social well-being. It also covers how people think, feel, and act, including how they respond to stress, interact with others, and make decisions. Mental health is part of the broader field ofbehavioral health. In fact, these terms are often used interchangeably.
Psychiatry and Mental Health NursesEvaluation, diagnosis, care and treatment of patients with mental illness and substance use disorders. They also promote well-being through education and prevention. These health professionals serve individuals, families, groups and communities in avariety of configurations, the following is included:
- primary care
- community health centers
- Substance use treatment programs
- public health facilities
- Forensic Health Environments
- retirement homes
- private practices
Psychiatric Nursing-Mental Healthmay have different areas of focus, such as child and adolescent mental health, gerontology-psychiatric care, acute care, addiction, forensics, disaster care, and military mental health, among others.
Many different professionals work with these populations andthe role of a psychiatric nursecan sometimes overlap with that of a psychologist, social worker or psychiatrist. For example, both registered nurses and psychiatrists can prescribe medication. In addition, all of these professional groups can offer psychotherapy. However, because psychiatric psychiatric nurses have a nursing degree, the nursing process guides their practice.
What is a psychiatric ward in a hospital?
psychological unitsthey can be found in general hospitals or in private mental hospitals. These units provide 24-hour hospital care; This care is provided by psychiatric nurses and group therapists and is monitored by psychiatrists.
In addition to these psychiatric departments, each state has public psychiatric hospitals that provide short-term and long-term care for low-income people, those in need of long-term care, and forensic patients. In addition, the partial inpatient accommodation offers therapeutic services during the day as a stopover between inpatient admission and discharge. Finally, inpatient care offers 24-hour psychiatric care for children or adolescents or inpatient addiction treatment programs.
individuals canchoose hospitalization, or it can be at the urging of a family member or professional. It can also be the result of an encounter with a first responder such as a paramedic or police officer.
What is the job of a psychiatric nurse?
An important part ofRole of the psychiatric nurseremoves the stigma of mental health care and treatment by educating patients, families, communities and other health professionals.
psychiatric nursespromote mental healthin a variety of ways, including the following:
- Working with children who have experienced traumatic events
- Working with soldiers returning from combat
- Help for older adults with Alzheimer's or dementia
- Help youth and adults living with serious mental illness
- Counseling and treatment for people working to recover from opioid, alcohol or other substance use disorders
- Research and create interventions for people with suicidal thoughts.
What Does a Psychiatric Nurse Do?
Within this role, psychiatric and mental health care workers have many responsibilities that vary by qualification. According to APNA, these are some of theDuties of a psychiatric nurse:
- Help people achieve their recovery goals
- Promotion and maintenance of health.
- Admission, evaluation and sighting tests
- Offer case management
- Teach patients self-care
- Manage and control psychobiological treatment
- Practice crisis intervention and stabilization
- Implementation of rehabilitation and psychiatric intervention.
- Educate patients, families and communities
- coordinated care
- Cooperation with interdisciplinary teams.
“I try to sit or walk with my patients as much as possible to build a relationship and make sure they feel heard. Psychology is a lot of emotional work, so I'm always available to patients to talk about their issues and empower them to use the strategies that work best for them to achieve their wellness goals..."Reddit–u/msblankenship
Next to,PMH Advanced Practice Registered Nurses(APRN) perform the following tasks:
- We offer individual, group, couple and family psychotherapy.
- Prescribing drugs for acute and chronic diseases.
- Comprehensive reviews
- Offer clinical monitoring.
- Diagnosis, treatment and management of chronic or acute diseases
- Offer integrative therapy interventions
- Order, conduct, and interpret laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies
- Offer preventive measures such as health screenings and vaccinations.
- Policy development for programs and systems.
- Make recommendations for health issues that are outside your area of responsibility.
- implementation of procedures
How to become a psychiatric nurse
Individuals interested in psychiatric nursing have several options, including earning bachelor's or master's degrees in science, humanities, and nursing. Licensed practical nurses can also pursue further education, training and certification in mental health and psychiatric nursing.
ABecome a Psychiatric-Mental Health RN, people must follow one of the following paths:
- A two-year associate's degree in a nursing program
- A three-year diploma in a nursing program (usually hospital-based)
- A four-year Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) program at a college or university
- An accelerated BSN program (for those who already have a bachelor's degree in another field)
Regardless of the path chosen, all graduates must pass the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-RN).Get your RN licenses.
In addition, individuals wishing to become psychiatric APRNs must complete a master's or doctoral degree from an accredited PMH nursing program.
Psychiatric Nursing Certification
APNA offers the Transitions in Practice Certificate Program to help nurses make the transitionPractice in a psychiatric setting. It is aimed at the following professionals:
- Registered Nurses who wish to move into Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing
- PMH RNs looking to refresh and update their nursing practice
- RNs who work with people with mental health issues in their current work environment
- Training of nurses mentoring PMH nurses
- Nurses hiring PMH nurses
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) also offersCertification options for RN and APRN. RNs may earn the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse - Board Certified™ (PMH-BC™) credential, and APRNs may earn the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification (PMHNP-BC™), formerly the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification.
The following are the eligibility requirements for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse – Board Certified qualification:
- Possess a current and active RN license
- Have worked full-time as an RN for at least two years.
- Complete at least 2,000 clinical hours in psychiatric and mental health nursing within the last three years
- Complete thirty hours of continuing education in psychiatric and mental health nursing within the last three years
These are the admissions requirements for the Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing certification:
- Possess a current and active RN license
- Hold a master's degree, certificate of completion, or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from an accredited psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) program.
- Complete three postgraduate courses in advanced physiology/pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, and advanced pharmacology
- Completed training in health promotion or maintenance, differential diagnosis, disease management and at least two modalities of psychotherapeutic treatment.
How long does it take to become a psychiatric nurse?
The time required to become a psychiatric nurse depends on the level of education acquired. It takes at least two years to become an RN to earn an associate's degree, and becoming an APRN typically takes six years or more. In addition, some certifications, such as B. PMH-BC™ requires RNs to have at least two years of full-time work experience before applying.
Psychiatric nurse salary
Another aspect of working as a psychiatric nurse that depends on a nurse's level of education is salary. WhileRNs earn an average annual salaryfrom $82,750 annually,APRNs deserve an averageof $118,040 annually.
The PMH nurse salary also depends on the settings in which the nurses work. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these areAverage RN Salariesin different scenarios:
- Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals: $80,260
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: $85,020
- Ambulatory Care Centers: $93,070
- Home Health Care: $78,190
- Doctor's Offices: $73,860
- Nursing Facilities (Qualified Nursing Facilities): $72,260
The following areaverage APRN salariesin different scenarios:
- Home Health Care: $133,170
- Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals: $131,830
- Ambulatory Care Centers: $129,190
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: $122,960
- Doctor's Offices: $114,870
- Offices of other health professionals: $108,890
What does psychological care look like?
like many othersnursing disciplines, psychiatric nursing has advantages and challenges. This specialty is not for everyone either. Here are some ways mental health nurses describe their work:
“Be prepared to expect everything! You will find patients trying to find anything near the unit to harm themselves. Psychotic patients who are calm one minute and a target the next. Patients are fascinated by water and constantly try to flood their rooms. Drug seekers, lots of manipulation, pushy behavior.”Reddit–u/Ballerina Celery
“Community psychology is really interesting! You do a lot of medication (refills, pre-approvals, lab monitoring, administration of long-acting antipsychotics, etc.) but you get to know your patients over time, you can see their stable periods and their struggles. They provide preventive education, give vaccinations, advice on giving up smoking, and nutritional education.”Reddit–You set your cleats
Is psychological care difficult?
Here are some of the aspects of PMH care that psychiatric nurses find most challenging:
"In psychological nursing, you deal with a lot of behaviors, you help people navigate complex emotions and trauma... A lot of time is vigilance, which can be exhausting and ethically challenging at times. It's not easy to take people's choice away or tell them they can't wear their favorite hoodie because the rope on the hood is a hazard. But you must follow the rules for everyone's safety. You have to be forced to give medication. You must be able to balance these actions with care and compassion. You have to build trust and support people in some of their darkest moments. It is an honor and a challenge..."Reddit–u/Bright-Garden-4347
"The ugly one? I think it might be the violence. Yes, we get violent patients. We just got a guy who threatened his family with a knife. We've practiced a lot to de-escalate situations and it just takes some common sense on how to calm and redirect people... Accidents happen of course and although I've never been seriously hurt by a patient I've been slapped, spat on quite a few times , kicked and punched.Reddit–du/thackworth
Why choose psychiatric nursing
Despite the challenges, many psychiatric nurses love their job. Here are some reasons why:
“I love working with this population. Helping someone recover brings great satisfaction. Our acute population requires more intervention and occasional restraint, but when someone going through a psychotic episode recovers, it's just amazing to see the change."Reddit–u/hazelquarrier_couch
"You meet amazing people with amazing stories, and you really get to treat the person and not the disease. There are also so many different scenarios, each with their own pros and cons. I can say that my experience was unique and I wouldn't change it for the world."Reddit–u/CrystalPeppers
What Makes a Good Psychiatric Nurse: Advice for New Nurses
Laut Apna, agood psychiatristunderstands that people are not defined by their illnesses. Psychiatric nurses need to be compassionate, sensitive, excellent communicators and exceptional relationship builders. Here are also some tips from the psychiatric nurses themselves:
"In mental health care, you need to have a passion for this field and population, work well in a team, be attuned to small changes in mood or behavior, have the ability not to take patient behavior personally, and have a rather aggressive sense of it have humor. For better or worse, you will NEVER have a dull day in psychiatry."Reddit–u/msblankenship
“When you work in psychology, you have to be very conscious about setting boundaries for the patient. When you are new, some of these patients will take advantage of your kindness and caring, and you will spend most of your time placating just a few patients and giving in to their demands. I've seen that with a lot of the newer nurses on my units."Reddit–tu/moonstarfc
Final Thoughts on Working as a Psychiatric Nurse
do you think you have itPersonality profile for work as a psychiatric nurse? If you are still not sure what type of nursing job you want, the next best step isTaking on the daily nursing shiftsGain first-hand experience in different settings and roles.
By NursaApp for health workersyou can search for available viatical jobs in your area and apply for as many as you like. You can work one day on your days off or one full-time day - it's up to you.
As a psychiatric nurse, you might work in many different settings, evaluating and supporting your patients' mental health needs and working with doctors to execute care plans. As a mental health nurse, you won't treat mental health conditions on your own.What is the highest paid psychiatric nurse? ›
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Salary range: $110,000-$161,500 per year. ...
- Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse. ...
- Psychiatric Registered Nurse. ...
- Mental Health Advanced Practice Nurse. ...
- RN Behavioral Health. ...
- Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist. ...
- Mental Health Nurse.
As a psychiatric nurse, you might work in many different settings, evaluating and supporting your patients' mental health needs and working with doctors to execute care plans. As a mental health nurse, you won't treat mental health conditions on your own.What are the 4 functions of a psychiatric nurse? ›
Administers and notes reactions to psychotropic drugs and other medications. Arranges further medical attention when necessary. Assists the client in understanding the nature of emotional disturbances and accepting the need for treatment. Assists in maintaining a safe and secure environment for staff and patients.How hard is psych nursing? ›
Psychiatric nursing is demanding, in some ways it is more demanding than general practice nursing, but many nurses find it to be the ideal career for their qualifications and interests. It can be a financially rewarding nursing specialty as well.Who are the highest to lowest paid nurses? ›
- Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse – $120,000.
- General Nurse Practitioner – $118,000.
- Critical Care Nurse – $118,000.
- Certified Nurse Midwife – $114,000.
- Informatics Nurse – $102,000.
- Clinical Nurse Specialist – $95,000.
- Nurse Educator – $82,000.
- Legal Nurse Consultant – $81,000.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) earn a nationwide average of $202,470 per year according to the BLS; this makes CRNAs the highest-paying type nursing job by a significant margin.Do psychiatric nurses diagnose? ›
Psychiatric nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat all psychiatric, emotional, and behavioral disorders, including bipolar disorder, substance abuse, anxiety, and depression.Why choose psychiatric nursing? ›
A career in mental health can be both rewarding and challenging. Psychiatric nurses help those that may deal with a variety of mental illness conditions, including trauma, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Helping patients improve their mental health can provide you with a satisfying career.Do mental health nurses have mental health issues? ›
Mental health nurses (MHNs) frequently face emotional adversity and stressors at work that can negatively impact their psychological well-being and result in mental distress.
Those principles are: 1) Patient should be accepted exactly as he is 2) Self-understanding should be used as a therapeutic tool. 3) Consistency is used to contribute patient security 4) Reassurance must be given in a suitable and acceptable manner.What skills does a good psychiatric nurse need? ›
- problem solving.
- good judgement.
- offering advice.
- interpersonal communication.
Communication and therapeutic interpersonal relationships are critical components that must underlie all nursing skills.What is the hardest type of nurse to be? ›
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurses. ICU is an extremely high-pressure environment and these nurses work with patients who have significant injuries and disease with added morbidity risks. ...
- Emergency Department nurses. ...
- Neonatal ICU. ...
- OR nursing. ...
- Oncology Nursing. ...
- Psychiatric Nursing.
- Pathophysiology. In this course, students learn how different anatomical systems work and how diseases or injuries affect these systems. ...
- Pharmacology. ...
- Medical Surgical 1 (also known as Adult Health 1) ...
- Evidence-Based Practice.
The most stressful nursing jobs include ICU nurse, ER nurse, and NICU nurse. In these roles, nurses work in an intense environment with high stakes.What is the lowest paid state for nurses? ›
RNs in California are paid the highest average annual salary of RNs in any state, while RNs in South Dakota are paid the lowest, according to a Forbes analysis of recently updated Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.Who makes more money than nurses? ›
While both nurse practitioners and doctors can enjoy the benefit of great incomes, doctors make almost twice as much as nurse practitioners. In fact, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, doctors typically earn an average annual salary of about $200,000 or more.Where is the highest paid nurse in the world? ›
Switzerland: Nurses in Switzerland have some of the highest salaries in the world, with an average annual salary of around $85000. Canada: Nurses in Canada earn an average annual salary of around $75000. Germany: Nurses in Germany have an average salary of around $65000.Which nurse is most in demand? ›
What type of RN is most in demand? All RNs are in demand more than other occupations. The BLS projects 6% job growth for all RNs between 2021 and2031, compared to 5% job growth for all occupations. Some specialties that are in especially high demand are neonatal nursing, surgical nursing, and critical care nursing.
- Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) ...
- Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) ...
- Become a Nurse Midwife. ...
- Advance in Nurse Leadership. ...
- Begin travel nursing assignment. ...
- Change Nursing specialties. ...
- Relocate to a higher paying state. ...
- Make sacrifices.
In the United States overall, the average registered nurse salary is $82,750 and the median (50th percentile) is $77,600. California, with RN salaries averaging $124,000, is the highest-paying state for nurses as of May 2021 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).What is a psychiatric nurse called? ›
Psychiatric mental health nurses (PMHNs) are registered nurses with specialized training that help assess, address, and monitor mental health and behavioral conditions. They may work with individuals, families, groups, or communities.Is psychiatric nursing on demand? ›
In total, about 11,988 nurse practitioners currently focus on psychiatric and mental health cases. With the increasing demand for these professionals across the country, this field has much potential for growth and has already started to experience an exponential increase in demand.Is a psych nurse a real nurse? ›
Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice Nurses
PMH-APRNs are licensed as Nurse Practitioners (NP) or Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs). They provide the full range of psychiatric-mental health care across the lifespan and can prescribe and administer psychotherapy.
Our estimates are verified against BLS, Census, and current job openings data for accuracy. After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that: There are over 37,974 psychiatric nurses currently employed in the United States.Is being a psychiatric nurse practitioner stressful? ›
Key Skills and Attributes. The work that psychiatric nurse practitioners do is both emotionally and mentally demanding. It requires a broad set of professional skills honed over the course of their careers that allow these nurse practitioners to manage their stress and workload while providing a high-level of care.What is the abbreviation for a psychiatric nurse practitioner? ›
Credential Awarded: PMHNP-BC™
The ANCC Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) (Across the Lifespan) board certification examination is a competency-based examination that provides a valid and reliable assessment of the entry-level clinical knowledge and skills of the PMHNP.
The biggest risk in mental health nursing is a lack of education and training that could lead to errors in judgment and care. A nurse can make a mistake with treatment or medication, which could cause harm to the patient.What are the 6 C's of nursing? ›
The 6 Cs – care, compassion, courage, communication, commitment, competence - are a central part of 'Compassion in Practice', which was first established by NHS England Chief Nursing Officer, Jane Cummings, in December 2017.
In addition to being in demand, psychiatrist positions are by far the highest-paying jobs for psychology majors. When you work where a majority of psychiatrists are employed — within an outpatient care center or within a physician's office — the BLS reports 2022 mean salaries of $299,470 or $280,600, respectively.Where do psychiatric nurse practitioners make the most money? ›
- District of Columbia. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners earn the most in Washington, D.C. The average annual salary is $160,327. ...
- 2. California. PMHNPs in California earn an average salary of $150,205. ...
- Massachusetts. ...
- New York. ...
- Washington. ...
- PMHNP Certification Exam.
The bottom ten percent of psychiatrists make about $133,000 per year, the same as the average salary for entry-level psychiatrists. The top ten percent, however, make $393,000.Why do psychiatric nurse practitioners make so much money? ›
Psychiatric nurse practitioners are highly in demand across the state of California and this growth translates into most PNPs earning handsome salaries.What is the highest degree in mental health? ›
The Doctorate Degree Level
The doctoral degree level is required for those who want to be involved in clinical practice. This includes psychology, for instance, but also licensed mental health counseling.
The best Mental Health Counselor jobs can pay up to $111,500 per year. A mental health counselor is a healthcare professional who helps people facing various mental health issues.What state pays the most for mental health counselors? ›
The states and districts that pay Mental Health Counselors the highest mean salary are New Jersey ($99,390), California ($79,450), New York ($75,700), District of Columbia ($73,500), and Connecticut ($71,650). How Much Do Mental Health Counselors Make in Your City?What are the pros of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner? ›
- Help others. A career in mental health can be both rewarding and challenging. ...
- Enjoy a competitive salary. ...
- Maintain a routine schedule. ...
- Pursue a variety of career paths. ...
- Work in a high-demand field. ...
- Have job security.
So, are nurse practitioners rich? Once again, rich is a relative word, but nurse practitioners can earn a healthy average wage. The starting salary for a nurse practitioner is $82,969 per year. This income is an excellent way to start your NP career at a very livable wage that will increase with experience.
Psychiatrists tend to make more money since they earn a medical doctorate degree, whereas a psychologist earns a doctorate degree and doesn't complete medical school. Self-employed psychiatrists tend to make more than those working in public settings.What is a Gerontopsychiatry? ›
Geriatric psychiatry, also known as geropsychiatry, psychogeriatrics or psychiatry of old age, is a branch of medicine and a subspecialty of psychiatry dealing with the study, prevention, and treatment of neurodegenerative, cognitive impairment, and mental disorders in people of old age.What is the highest paying occupation? ›
|OCCUPATION||2022 MEDIAN PAY||PERCENTAGE INCREASE OVER NATIONAL MEDIAN|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$164,070||254.30%|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||$159,920||245.30%|
The demand for psychiatric nurse practitioners is projected to rise as the U.S. population increases. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the employment of all nurse practitioners will grow by 52% between 2020 and 2030.What is the projection for a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner? ›
Salaries have increased 11% for psychiatric nurse practitioners in the last 5 years. Projected job growth for psychiatric nurse practitioners is 26% from 2018-2028. There are over 10,474 psychiatric nurse practitioners currently employed in the United States.Why do I want to be a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner? ›
They directly improve the lives of people with acute and chronic mental health disorders like depression, PTSD, behavioral disorders, and anxiety. Their work also reaches patients' communities by increasing awareness and providing education on managing and treating these common mental health problems.