Psychiatric nurses are registered nurses with specialized training that helps them assess, address, and monitor mental health conditions. They often work on a team with other mental healthcare workers that can include therapists, social workers, mental health workers, psychologists, behavioral specialists, and psychiatrists.
A psych nurse differs from other types of nurses in a number of ways. Psych nurses treat both the mental and physical health of patients and spend most time having one-to-one interactions with those patients. You won’t be stuck behind a computer here. Spend your days doing the thing that brought you to nursing—what you trained to do—helping patients get better.
Psych nurses not only need medical-surgical knowledge, they also need strong communication skills, the ability to think on their feet, critical thinking skills, and compassion to provide effective, trauma-informed care.
Psychiatric nurses can expect to:
- Partner with individuals to achieve their recovery goals
- Provide health promotion and maintenance
- Conduct intake screening, evaluation, and triage
- Provide case management
- Teach self-care activities
- Administer and monitor both psychological and physical treatment regimens
- Practice crisis intervention and stabilization
- Engage in psychiatric rehabilitation and intervention
- Educate patients, families, and communities
- Coordinate care
- Work within interdisciplinary teams