Mental health nurses, also called psychiatric mental health (PMH) nurses, are registered nurses who specialize in caring for patients of all ages with mental health, psychiatric, or behavioral disorders. They work closely with their patients, forming strong therapeutic relationships and striving to help them manage their mental illnesses and improve their quality of life. According to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, PMH nursing is the fastest growing non-physician specialty in healthcare.
Mental health nursing is a top recruited specialty on Vivian with hundreds of jobs for mental health nurses available at premiere facilities around the country.
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Mental Health Nurse FAQs
What are the best agencies for Mental Health Nurse jobs?
The agencies on Vivian that currently have the most Mental Health Nurse jobs are Stability Healthcare (150), TotalMed Staffing (137), and Host Healthcare (121).
What hospitals currently have Mental Health Nurse job opportunities?
The hospitals on Vivian that currently have the most Mental Health Nurse jobs are Eastern State Hospital (34 jobs), SSM Health DePaul Hospital- Saint Louis (22 jobs), and JFK Medical Center - North Campus (11 jobs).
What does a Mental Health nurse do?
PMH nurses provide care to patients with mental health issues, psychiatric disorders, or behavioral problems. These issues can encompass a wide range of conditions, including depression, anxiety, acute grief, personality disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, dementia, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and psychoses. Some of the common duties for mental health nurses include:
Assessing the mental health needs of individuals, groups, families, and communities
Developing a nursing diagnosis and treatment plan
Providing personal care and psychotherapy services
Evaluating the effectiveness of treatment
Administering medications, but not prescribing them
Assessing the effectiveness and side effects of prescribed medications
Providing crisis interventions and employing de-escalation techniques if necessary
Collaborating with doctors and other health professionals
Supporting and educating patients and their families
Maintaining patients’ medical records
Where do Mental Health nurses work?
Mental health nurses can work in a wide range of settings, including a variety of inpatient and outpatient facilities. These facilities may include the mental health wards of hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, or local, state, or federal mental health facilities. They may also work at substance abuse treatment centers, correctional facilities, home healthcare organizations, or schools for individuals with mental or emotional issues.
What skills make a good Mental Health nurse?
Mental health nurses have a solid foundation in the behavioral sciences and advanced knowledge of the treatment for various psychiatric disorders. They’re experts in mental health assessment and crisis intervention, including recognizing the signs of advancing mental illness. Superior communication and relationship building skills are especially important characteristics of a good mental health nurse, which includes giving and receiving verbal and non-verbal cues. Their attention to detail ensures meticulousness when administering psychopharmacologic drugs, monitoring patients taking these drugs, and educating patients about these drugs. Problem-solving, flexibility, and collaboration also top the list of desirable skills.
How to become a Mental Health Travel Nurse
To begin a basic mental health nursing role, individuals must first become a registered nurse. This requires earning an associate degree or Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited nursing program, taking and passing the NCLEX-RN exam, and completing all licensing requirements in the state of practice.
While certification isn’t required, many nurses choose to earn Psychiatric–Mental Health Nursing board certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center to demonstrate superiority in the field. Most mental health travel nursing positions require one to two years of experience in a psychiatric setting.