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Working as a Mental Health Nurse

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a mental health nurse. For example, did you know that they make an average of $68.95 an hour? That's $143,414 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 12% and produce 371,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Mental Health Nurse Do

There are certain skills that many mental health nurses have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed physical stamina, compassion and critical-thinking skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a mental health nurse, we found that a lot of resumes listed 10.8% of mental health nurses included psychiatric services, while 10.7% of resumes included psychiatric mental, and 9.5% of resumes included mental health. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the mental health nurse job title. But what industry to start with? Most mental health nurses actually find jobs in the health care and finance industries.

How To Become a Mental Health Nurse

If you're interested in becoming a mental health nurse, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 32.9% of mental health nurses have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 28.5% of mental health nurses have master's degrees. Even though most mental health nurses have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a mental health nurse. When we researched the most common majors for a mental health nurse, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on mental health nurse resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a mental health nurse. In fact, many mental health nurse jobs require experience in a role such as registered nurse. Meanwhile, many mental health nurses also have previous career experience in roles such as staff nurse or licensed practical nurse.

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Average Salary$143,414
Job Growth Rate12%

Mental Health Nurse Jobs

Mental Health Nurse Career Paths

Top Careers Before Mental Health Nurse

Top Careers After Mental Health Nurse

Nurse
8.9%

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Mental Health Nurse

Mental Health Nurses in America make an average salary of $143,414 per year or $69 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $180,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $113,000 per year.
Average Salary
$143,414

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range126k - 193k$156k$156,220
Salary Range111k - 162k$135k$134,732
Salary Range109k - 156k$131k$131,015
Salary Range92k - 176k$128k$128,083
Salary Range88k - 180k$127k$126,507
Salary Range92k - 172k$126k$126,372
$86k
$193k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Harmony United Psychiatric Care
Harmony United Psychiatric Care
10/23/2020
10/23/2020
$110,00010/23/2020
$110,000
Community Mental Health Nurse, ST. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, Children and Youth-Watertown Child
Community Mental Health Nurse, ST. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, Children and Youth-Watertown Child
State of New York
State of New York
10/23/2020
10/23/2020
$59,67110/23/2020
$59,671
Community Mental Health Nurse, ST. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, Children and Youth-Watertown Child
Community Mental Health Nurse, ST. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, Children and Youth-Watertown Child
New York State Civil Service
New York State Civil Service
10/21/2020
10/21/2020
$71,67110/21/2020
$71,671
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Children/Adolescent Prescribing)-Board-Certified
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Children/Adolescent Prescribing)-Board-Certified
Universal Health Services
Universal Health Services
10/20/2020
10/20/2020
$108,16010/20/2020
$108,160
Mental Health Nurse II-OPG*
Mental Health Nurse II-OPG*
County of San Bernardino
County of San Bernardino
09/27/2020
09/27/2020
$101,98209/27/2020
$101,982
See More Recent Salaries

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Mental Health Nurse Demographics

Gender

female

75.2%

male

20.4%

unknown

4.4%

Ethnicity

White

71.0%

Black or African American

9.4%

Asian

9.3%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.6%

French

7.6%

German

4.5%
See More Demographics

Mental Health Nurse Education

Majors

Nursing
79.3%

Degrees

Bachelors

32.9%

Masters

28.5%

Associate

20.9%

Top Colleges for Mental Health Nurses

1. Duke University

Durham, NC

Tuition and fees
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Tuition and fees
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Yale University

New Haven, CT

Tuition and fees
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

Tuition and fees
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Tuition and fees
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Tuition and fees
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

7. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

Tuition and fees
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405

8. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

Tuition and fees
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

9. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY

Tuition and fees
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

10. Chamberlain College of Nursing - Arlington

Arlington, VA

Tuition and fees
$19,375
Enrollment
506
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Mental Health Nurse

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Mental Health Nurse

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.8% of mental health nurses listed psychiatric services on their resume, but soft skills such as physical stamina and compassion are important as well.

Best States For a Mental Health Nurse

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a mental health nurse. The best states for people in this position are New Mexico, Nevada, California, and Arizona. Mental health nurses make the most in New Mexico with an average salary of $133,875. Whereas in Nevada and California, they would average $133,717 and $131,154, respectively. While mental health nurses would only make an average of $130,809 in Arizona, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Nevada

Total Mental Health Nurse Jobs:
156
Highest 10% Earn:
$193,000
Location Quotient:
1.35
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Vermont

Total Mental Health Nurse Jobs:
84
Highest 10% Earn:
$197,000
Location Quotient:
2.17
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. West Virginia

Total Mental Health Nurse Jobs:
121
Highest 10% Earn:
$195,000
Location Quotient:
1.76
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Mental Health Nurse Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a mental health nurse. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless mental health nurse resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Mental Health Nurse Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless mental health nurse resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

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Top Mental Health Nurse Employers

1. trustaff
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$127,805
Mental Health Nurses Hired: 
101+
2. MHM Services
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$47,414
Mental Health Nurses Hired: 
16+
3. Corizon Health
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$49,244
Mental Health Nurses Hired: 
12+
4. Child & Family Center
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$39,457
Mental Health Nurses Hired: 
9+
5. New York
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$47,116
Mental Health Nurses Hired: 
6+
6. Truman Medical Centers
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$43,281
Mental Health Nurses Hired: 
6+

Mental Health Nurse Videos

Recently Added Mental Health Nurse Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020