Behavioral Health Nurse Jobs

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Behavioral Health Nurse FAQs

What hospitals currently have the most Behavioral Health Nurse job opportunities?

The hospitals on Vivian that currently have the most Behavioral Health Nurse jobs are JPS Health Network (45 jobs), Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas (20 jobs), and North Shore Medical Center (16 jobs).

What is a Behavioral Health Nurse?

Behavioral health nurses are registered nurses who specialize in caring for patients with psychological and behavioral disorders. The terms behavioral health and mental health are often used interchangeably and the duties, patient populations, and work settings of a behavioral health nurse frequently overlap with those of a mental health or psychiatric nurse. Although it can be a stressful career path, behavioral health nursing can be very rewarding for those wanting to help patients suffering from mental illness and seeking an in-demand specialty with numerous opportunities.

What does a behavioral health nurse do?

Many patients may have multiple diagnoses that involve both behavioral disorders and mental illnesses, and the duties of behavioral health nurses vary based on their patient population and work setting. Behavioral disorders and/or mental health illnesses a behavioral health nurse may encounter include substance use disorders, eating disorders, self-injury, addictive behaviors, anxiety or panic disorders, personality disorders, trauma-related disorders like PTSD, psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, phobias, and mood disorders like depression or bipolar disorder. Some general duties may include:

  • Completing behavioral assessments

  • Recognizing signs and symptoms of acute/chronic mental illness 

  • Participating in the development of treatment plans

  • Evaluating patients’ responses to treatment, interventions, or coping mechanisms

  • Delivering nursing care based on patients’ specific clinical needs

  • Applying pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods of care

  • Notifying physicians of changes in condition

  • Continuously monitoring patients and surrounding environments for safety

  • Documenting care provided in patient records

  • Educating patients and their families based on assessed needs

Duties involving behavioral interventions may include:

  • Assessing patients’ appearance, mood, and behaviors

  • Identifying and responding to inappropriate/abnormal behavior

  • Encouraging stress/anxiety reduction and relaxation techniques

  • Assisting patients with self-control of behavior

  • Helping patients to develop/use coping methods and other behavioral strategies

  • Initiating early interventions and aid in preventing negative behaviors or violent outbursts

  • Recognizing behavioral changes and implementing measures to manage symptoms/reduce stressors

  • Maintaining a safe, therapeutic environment

Duties for behavioral health nurses treating patients with substance abuse and other dependencies may include providing care for substance abuse withdrawal, overdose, or adverse drug reactions. They may also determine when there’s a need for medical hospitalization due to acute withdrawal symptoms. Other tasks may include:

  • Assessing patients’ reactions to diagnoses/treatments of substance abuse

  • Assessing patients for alcohol/drug-related dependencies, withdrawal, or toxicities

  • Providing care/support for non-substance dependencies, such as sexual or gambling addictions

  • Evaluating patients’ responses to treatment plans and revising as necessary

  • Encouraging patients to participate in support groups

  • Providing information on substance abuse and treatment plans

What certifications are commonly hed by Behavioral Health nurses?

Discover our Behavioral Health Nurse Community Hub

Top 5 Highest Paying Staff RN Locations

Posted on Sep 09, 2021
Nurses make up the largest group of healthcare professionals nationwide, but there’s still not enough of them to go around. This is good news for staff nurses looking for a change of scenery because they’ll have numerous job location options. While some states pay higher salaries than others, it’s important to consider whether it’s a…

Why Registered Nurses Are Becoming (Even More) Valuable

Posted on Aug 05, 2021
Given the events of the pandemic over the last year, and the mass movement of nurses stepping away from the bedside, registered nurses are becoming an issue of supply and demand. Despite 2020 being the ‘year of the nurse’, employers were suffering from huge financial losses and couldn’t do much to incentivize their nurses to…

Top 10 Highest Paying RN Specialties

Posted on Jul 22, 2021
Registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing can explore new career paths with potentially higher salaries by specializing in a niche. The nursing field is constantly evolving, so more than 100 RN specialties are currently available, and many only require an ADN or BSN. Every specialty has…
travel assignment pay breakdown

Travel Nurse Pay Breakdown

Posted on Jun 30, 2021
One of the biggest benefits of travel nursing is being able to move around freely and explore the country, often making significantly more money than you would as a staff nurse. Travel nursing pay is often based on demand for nurses, and travel nurses need to decide if they are willing to be flexible with…

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