Although psychiatric-mental health nurses work within the nursing model of care, the focus of treatment is on the unique goal of developing a therapeutic relationship with the patient. Psychiatric-mental health nurses receive special training in helping patients to work through mental illness and crises. An overview of psychiatric-mental health nursing is now included in all bachelor of science nursing degree programs.
What is a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse?
Bachelor of science nursing degree graduates who choose to specialize in psychiatric-mental health nursing provide direct care to patients suffering from mental illness, such as depression, dementia, and other psychological disorders. Psychiatric-mental health nurses assist patients with self care activities, administer prescribed medications, develop appropriate care plans, and foster a therapeutic environment that encourages recovery. Work settings for bachelor of science nursing degree graduates in psychiatric-mental health nursing include hospital psychiatric units, home health care, and community mental health facilities.
Required Education to Become a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse
All nurses must be licensed as Registered Nurses within the U.S. through a hospital diploma, associate degree, or bachelor of science nursing degree. In addition, psychiatric-mental health nurses require training in psychopharmacology, family dynamics in mental health and illness, cultural and spiritual implications of nursing care, and legal factors involved in mental health care. Bachelor of science nursing degree programs, such as those offered by Kaplan University, can provide students with specialized training and critical thinking skills to increase competitiveness for desirable positions within psychiatric-mental health nursing.