Psychiatric Nurse

Psychiatric nurses are registered nurses or nurse practitioners that specialize in caring for patients who are hospitalized because they suffer from mental disorders such as schizophrenia bipolar disorder or a major depressive disorder. Psychiatric nurses assist these patients with their daily physical needs and routines and they must be sensitive to the individual emotional needs of the various patients. In addition they monitor the medications and other treatment plans that have been prescribed for patients by their psychiatrists. Psychiatric nurses work in mental health facilities long-term care facilities outpatient facilities and government-sponsored institutions. Their jobs can be physically and emotionally demanding and they must be highly observant and prepared to do crisis intervention when patients attempt suicide or when there are incidences of volatile and violent behavior. According to the website www.buzzle.com aspiring psychiatric nurses usually complete a four-year bachelor of nursing degree (BN) from an accredited college university or hospital with a specialty in psychiatric nursing. For hospital work they are required to pass a national licensure exam. The website education-portal.com says that some hospitals require that psychiatric nurses they employ earn Basic Life Support (BLS) certification. Those that go on to earn master’s degrees in psychiatric nursing have an advantage as far as employment opportunities and advancement. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job prospects for this profession are positive. Entry-level psychiatric nurses earn between $40000 and $50000 a year but with experience the average annual salary can reach approximately $70000. A psychiatric nurse with a master’s degree and experience can earn as much as $90000 a year.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $65000
High Salary: $90000
Low Salary: $40000
Tasks: Cares for individuals with mental disorders.
Evaluates the needs of patients.
Helps to develop treatment plans.
Administers medications to patients.
Also Called: Registered Nurse
Nurse Practitioner
Mental Health Nurse
Advanced Practice Nurse
Additional Resources: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5048179_job-description-psychiatric-nurse.html
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/psychiatric-nurse-job-description.html
http://education-portal.com/articles/Psychiatric_Unit_Nurse_Job_Description_Duties_and_Requirements.html