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Become A Mental Health Nurse

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Working As A Mental Health Nurse

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Make Decisions

  • $63,640

    Average Salary

What Does A Mental Health Nurse Do At Lifeworks NW

* Provides psychiatric evaluation for clients including gathering and maintaining patient information and records, including social and medical history obtained from patients, relatives, and other professionals.
* Analyzes and evaluates patient data and test findings to diagnose nature and extent of mental disorder.
* Reviews and evaluates treatment procedures and outcomes of other psychiatrists and medical professionals.
* Provides information and education about pharmacological factors in the treatment of and service of clients to other agency staff and the general public as needed.
* Provides ongoing medication management and monitoring including monitoring for side effects and therapeutic drug levels.
* Provides consultation with Primary Care Providers, LifeWorks NW therapists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and treatment team when indicated.
* Maintains chart notes in electronic health record system within 24 hours of patient care.
* Provides medical supervision of client treatment plans including review and signature.
* Advises and informs guardians, relatives, and significant others of patients' conditions and treatment.
* Check e-mail/voice mail throughout the day when working and responds as appropriate.
* Meets standards for documentation and work accuracy as defined in the Performance Evaluation including timely completion of progress notes, assessments, treatment plans, authorization requests.
* Meets standards as defined in the Performance Evaluation for direct service, implementation and utilization of the clinical model, quality of clinical practice and teamwork.
* Continually increases level of cultural sensitivity, awareness and competency.
* May be required to work evenings or weekends.
* May be required to travels between sites.
* Teaches, takes continuing education classes, attends conferences and seminars to increase understanding of mental, emotional, and behavioral states and disorders.
* Participates in regular individual and team meetings with supervisor.
* Attends informational and clinical meetings which may include all staff and team meetings, consultation with other staff and required trainings

What Does A Mental Health Nurse Do At Tri-City Medical Center

* Evaluates patients, families, and home environment for admission to and continued service from the agency while maintaining confidentiality.
* Diagnose, conduct therapy, and prescribe medication for patients who have psychiatric disorders, medical mental conditions or substance abuse disorders.
* Provides emergency psychiatric services, psychosocial and physical assessment of their patients; treatment plans, and manages patient care.
* Serve as a consultant or educator for families and staff.
* Focuses on psychiatric diagnosis, including the differential diagnosis of mental disorders with psychiatric symptoms, and on medication treatment for psychiatric disorders.
* Practices under the supervision of the assigned supervising psychiatrist.
* The Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner provides care and comprehensive care and can:
* Evaluate an individual’s health history, performing a physical examination and ordering and interpreting results from appropriate laboratory and diagnostic test/procedures.
* Diagnose health and medical conditions by reviewing all available health information, and applying advanced clinical decision making processes.
* Manage health problems by developing an individualized plan of care, prescribing medications or treatments, obtaining consultations and referrals and coordinating health care services.
* Promote health by ordering screenings, prescribing preventive therapies (diets, exercise, etc.) and teaching/counseling of individuals, families, and groups.
* Collaborate with patients and families, and other health care providers.
* Safety and Infection Control Responsibilities

What Does A Mental Health Nurse Do At Kbrwyle

* Technically direct and teach other staff, provide evidenced-based educational lectures and participate in in-service training to staff members.
* Diagnose and treat patients with common acute conditions, chronic illnesses, or minor trauma within accepted protocols, clinical practice guidelines, Nurse Practice Acts, and/or in consultation with a physician.
* Promote preventive care and health maintenance including annual physicals, positive health behaviors and self-care through both formal and individual education and counseling.
* Communicate and collaborate with a diverse group of people for the purpose of informing the healthcare team of plans/actions, for teaching/education to benefit the patient/family and organization.
* Recognize conditions that require isolation and ensure universal precautions are used in all patient encounters.
* Attend staff meetings to provide case discussion, continuing education, and continuous quality improvement and safety

What Does A Mental Health Nurse Do At Didi Hirsch Mental Health

* In collaboration with the Medical Director and Nursing Administrator, develops confirms and maintains nurse practitioner protocols for the care of patients in Family and Adult Divisions.
* Develops and maintains a patient load of size and complexity commensurate with licensure, experience and agency needs according to protocol.
* Sees patients as needed regarding medication evaluation, furnishing medications and monitoring, injections and otherwise as needed.
* Originates and maintains a Nursing office on site and staffs open clinic hours as assigned or as needed.
* Provides psychoeducation about medications and illness management in group therapy and community outreach settings as assigned.
* Attends treatment team meetings as assigned, providing consultation on medical issues.
* May direct receipt, handling, storage, dispensing and tracking of meds including samples.
* Assists in refilling medications as needed as well as provides TB testing to clients and staff as needed.
* Directs, and provides training in, infection control and provides staff and patient education on an ad hoc basis.
* Receives, reviews and responds as appropriate to calls regarding medical or medication issues according to protocol.
* Provides liaison to pharmacy providers and to laboratory providers including reviewing lab reports.
* Assists the Program Director and Medical Director in preparing for audits.
* For more information or to apply, please visit

What Does A Mental Health Nurse Do At Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

* The Chief Nurse, Mental Health exhibits leadership that is characterized by substantial and continuous responsibility and accountability for population groups or integrated programs that cross service and/or discipline lines and influence organizational mission and health care.
* In addition, the Chief Nurse, Mental Health makes significant and sustained contributions to the nursing profession that may include publication, membership on task forces, intramural and extramural committees, consulting, or use of creative approaches to enhance quality of patient care and productivity of providers.
* The incumbent's nursing practice encompasses developing and implementing programs to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of patient care.
* Activities include, but are not limited, to the following:
* Programmatic oversight includes acute inpatient mental health units, STAR Clinic, Acute Mental Health Clinic, TIDES, MICHM, Veteran Recovery Center, and future Mental Health related areas.
* Establishment of effective relationships within service and other hospital services.
* Establishment of collegial relationships with other leaders in the large health care community.
* Acceptance of expanded and continuing responsibility/accountability for planning, implementing and controlling integrated programs.
* Making decisions, forecasting requirements necessary for long range planning and model development for effective delivery of health care services.
* Facilitating through collaboration the delivery of patient care and assuring the implementation and maintenance of standards for professional practice within the scope of the position

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How To Become A Mental Health Nurse

Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses also must be licensed.


In all nursing education programs, students take courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and other social and behavioral sciences, as well as in liberal arts. BSN programs typically take 4 years to complete; ADN and diploma programs usually take 2 to 3 years to complete. All programs include supervised clinical experience.

Bachelor’s degree programs usually include additional education in the physical and social sciences, communication, leadership, and critical thinking. These programs also offer more clinical experience in nonhospital settings. A bachelor’s degree or higher is often necessary for administrative positions, research, consulting, and teaching.

Generally, licensed graduates of any of the three types of education programs (bachelor’s, associate’s, or diploma) qualify for entry-level positions as a staff nurse. However, employers—particularly those in hospitals—may require a bachelor’s degree.

Many registered nurses with an ADN or diploma choose to go back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree through an RN-to-BSN program. There are also master’s degree programs in nursing, combined bachelor’s and master’s programs, and accelerated programs for those who wish to enter the nursing profession and already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) must earn a master’s degree in nursing and typically already have 1 or more years of work experience as an RN or in a related field. CNSs who conduct research typically need a doctoral degree.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

In all states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories, registered nurses must have a nursing license. To become licensed, nurses must graduate from an approved nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Other requirements for licensing vary by state. Each state’s board of nursing can give details. For more information on the NCLEX-RN and a list of state boards of nursing, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Nurses may become certified through professional associations in specific areas, such as ambulatory care, gerontology, and pediatrics, among others. Although certification is usually voluntary, it demonstrates adherence to a higher standard, and some employers require it.

CNSs must satisfy additional state licensing requirements, such as earning specialty certifications. Contact state boards of nursing for specific requirements.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. Registered nurses must be able to assess changes in the health status of patients, including determining when to take corrective action and when to make referrals.

Communication skills. Registered nurses must be able to communicate effectively with patients in order to understand their concerns and assess their health conditions. Nurses need to explain instructions, such as how to take medication, clearly. They must be able to work in teams with other health professionals and communicate the patients’ needs.

Compassion. Registered nurses should be caring and empathetic when caring for patients.

Detail oriented. Registered nurses must be responsible and detail oriented because they must make sure that patients get the correct treatments and medicines at the right time.

Emotional stability. Registered nurses need emotional resilience and the ability to manage their emotions to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses.

Organizational skills. Nurses often work with multiple patients with various health needs. Organizational skills are critical to ensure that each patient is given appropriate care.

Physical stamina. Nurses should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as moving patients. They may be on their feet for most of their shift.


Most registered nurses begin as staff nurses in hospitals or community health settings. With experience, good performance, and continuous education, they can move to other settings or be promoted to positions with more responsibility.

In management, nurses can advance from assistant clinical nurse manager, charge nurse, or head nurse to more senior-level administrative roles, such as assistant director or director of nursing, vice president of nursing, or chief nursing officer. Increasingly, management-level nursing positions are requiring a graduate degree in nursing or health services administration. Administrative positions require leadership, communication skills, negotiation skills, and good judgment.

Some nurses move into the business side of healthcare. Their nursing expertise and experience on a healthcare team equip them to manage ambulatory, acute, home-based, and chronic care businesses. Employers—including hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and managed care organizations, among others—need registered nurses for jobs in health planning and development, marketing, consulting, policy development, and quality assurance.

Some RNs choose to become nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or nurse practitioners, which, along with clinical nurse specialists, are types of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). APRNs may provide primary and specialty care, and in many states they may prescribe medications.

Other nurses work as postsecondary teachers in colleges and universities.

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Mental Health Nurse jobs

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Mental Health Nurse Career Paths

Mental Health Nurse
Pediatric Nurse Staff Nurse Clinical Director
Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Therapist Respiratory Therapist Registered Nurse
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Supervisor Case Manager
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Adjunct Professor Clinical Social Worker
Clinical Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Supervisor Nursing Director Case Manager
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Therapist Clinical Supervisor Nursing Director
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Nursing Director Case Manager
Director Of Case Management
11 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Clinical Manager Nursing Director
Director Of Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Clinical Manager Career Manager
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Registered Nurse Nurse Manager
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Pediatric Nurse Nurse Occupational Health Nurse
Health Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Clinical Supervisor Assistant Professor Clinical Pharmacist
Manager Of Clinical Services
9 Yearsyrs
Home Health Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Nurse Manager Registered Nurse Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Registered Nurse Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Home Health Nurse Staff Nurse
Registered Nurse Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Licensed Practical Nurse
Resident Services Director
6 Yearsyrs
Nurse Manager Program Director Personal Trainer
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
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Mental Health Nurse Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Swahili

  • Russian

  • German

  • Vietnamese

  • Korean

  • Tagalog

  • Japanese

  • Dutch

  • Cheyenne

  • Somali

  • Hmong

  • Danish

  • Yoruba

  • Armenian

  • Kinyarwanda

  • Cantonese

  • Hebrew

  • Portuguese

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Mental Health Nurse

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Mental Health Nurse Education

Mental Health Nurse

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Real Mental Health Nurse Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Child & Family Services, Inc. Fall River, MA Jul 09, 2015 $114,400 -
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Child & Family Services, Inc. New Bedford, MA Jul 19, 2015 $114,400 -
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Child & Family Services, Inc. New Bedford, MA Sep 07, 2015 $114,400 -
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Child & Family Services, Inc. Fall River, MA Sep 07, 2015 $114,400 -
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Child & Family Services, Inc. Fall River, MA Jul 19, 2015 $114,400 -
Mental Health Nurse Practitioner The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX Aug 27, 2013 $94,000

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Top Skills for A Mental Health Nurse


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Top Mental Health Nurse Skills

  1. Mental Health Services
  2. Treatment Plans
  3. Group Therapy Sessions
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Administer and deliver mental health services in a psychiatric hospital to clients of all ages.
  • Created individual treatment plans, functional assessments, progress notes, intake and discharge summaries.
  • Utilized therapeutic communication with patients, designed and implemented group therapy sessions, observed treatment team rounds.
  • Provide ongoing medication management for patients with psychiatric illnesses.
  • Provided psychiatric evaluation, medication management and education for patients with serious and persistent mental illness and debilitating personality disorders.

Top Mental Health Nurse Employers

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Mental Health Nurse Videos

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Lifespan) | Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

Psychiatric Nurse, Career Video from drkit.org