Psychiatric Nursing Career Profile and Description

A psychiatric nursing career is a valued career because this job is considered as a service to mankind. A psychiatric nurse provides personal nursing care that encourages the patients to maintain self-care and provides emotional support to the patients by physical presence and interaction. She also observes and records the behavioral changes in the mentally ill patients over time and reports the findings to the doctors.

To serve the job well, a psychiatric nurse should be well aware of the common symptoms exhibited by the mental health patients and should also be aware of the safety precautions that should be taken in the emergency situations.

Psychiatric Nursing Duties and Responsibilities

The essential duties of a psychiatric nurse are as follows:


  • Evaluating patient care needs.
  • Administering the patients with the prescribed medications and necessary physical care regimen.
  • Monitoring and recording the patient condition on a regular basis.
  • Accompanying patients to their appointments.
  • Providing emergency care in crisis situation, if any.
  • Managing the admissions of the patients by collecting information and directing them to the respective wards.
  • Providing psychotherapy and specific teaching to the patients as per the needs.
  • Assessing the patient’s discharge planning in coordination with the members of the healthcare team.
  • Evaluating the positive effects and the side effects of the medications prescribed to the patients and then reporting it to the healthcare professionals.

Psychiatric Nursing Skills and Specifications

The required skills are as follows:

  • Proficiency in basic computer applications.
  • Knowledge of mental illness, psychiatric rehabilitation and psychotropic medications.
  • Ability to assess mental status of the patients accurately.
  • Ability to provide education on psychiatric care.
  • Ability to multitask.
  • Positive interpersonal skills and organizational skills.

Psychiatric Nursing Education and Qualification

  • Master’s degree or bachelor’s degree in psychiatric/mental health nursing from an accredited nursing school with a RN certification.
  • Relevant experience as a registered nurse in a mental health hospital or an active treatment unit preferred.

Psychiatric Nursing Salary

The salary of a psychiatric nurse ranges from $28,566 to $41,544 per year.

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