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Name: Psychiatric Nurse
Description: The art of using one’s self in therapeutic ways to assist patients to affect changes in self-understanding and behavior. Views individuals from a holistic perspective, taking into account both physical and mental health needs while focusing on human behavior
Client age group: Children, adolescents, and adults
Diagnoses: Acute and chronic mental illnesses including psychoses, personality and mood disorders, neuroses, physical abuse and sexual assault with/without substance abuse and/or medical-surgical problems
Practice roles: Staff nurse, counselor, therapist, clinical nurse specialist, case manager, head nurse, supervisor
Characteristics: Patient care and relationships; autonomy, independence, and teamwork with peers
Drawbacks: Uncooperative or difficult/dangerous clients, excessive paperwork, restrictive patient-care policies, bureaucratic demands, stress and conflict from misconceptions about mental illness
Desirable skills: People skills including self-understanding and communication, medical-surgical skills, psychological and physical stamina
Education: RN with AD, Diploma, or BSN (preferred)
Employers: Hospitals, outpatient facilities, health departments, long-term care centers
American Nurses Credentialling Center
600 Maryland Av., SW, #100
Washington, DC 20024-2571
American Psychiatric Nurses Association
2107 Wilson Blvd, #300-A
Arlington, VA 22201
Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing
1211 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services