Top Healthcare Schools
- Kaplan University Online Click for Recommended Degree Program
- University of Phoenix Click for Recommended Degree Program
- AIU Online Click for Recommended Degree Program
While all nursing positions are challenging, psychiatric nursing is challenging in a slightly different way. You will be working with people who have mental disabilities of varying capacities. All psychiatric nurses will be required to have completed online degrees in nursing and hold a current registered nursing license. If you want to help people who often cannot help themselves, this may be the job for you.
Mental health affects people in various ways; therefore, the roles and responsibilities of psychiatric nursing also changes with each patient. One of your primary roles and responsibilities is to work with the psychiatric staff to develop a treatment plan. As mentioned, each patient will require a unique and custom treatment plan. Some people may require medication, other people may require therapy, and others may require in-patient care. Some patients may require a combination of all three types of treatments.
Psychiatric nursing patients may suffer from a variety of afflictions or circumstances. Many times, people have been through a traumatic experience and require assistance learning to cope and continue on with their new normal life. People may have been in abusive relationships, sexual or physical, and finally have the opportunity to take control of their lives back from their abusers. Some people may have a substance abuse affliction and require assistance in regaining control of their lives in a different way. You might also work with people who suffer from afflictions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. This job has the potential to be dangerous. Some patients are suicidal, and others may experience a psychotic break in your presence. You must have a very strong personality while remaining empathetic. You might assist with therapy sessions or the distribution of physician prescribed medication. At the end of the day, you will be helping make people’s lives a little more manageable, if only for the day.
Many psychiatric nursing jobs require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nursing, which will make you extremely competitive for all entry-level positions. You will also be required to be a licensed registered nurse. Each state has various certification requirements. If your new job requires you to move states, check with the state nursing board to determine whether or not you must complete any additional certifications. You may also be required to have many hours experience working in a psychiatric environment. You should start before you graduate.
The more experience you are able to acquire prior to graduation, the better your job opportunities will be in the end. Many online universities have affiliation programs which provide mentorships and internships for program participants. These are the perfect way to gain an advantage in the job seeking arena. If you are unable to find an internship, go to out into your local community and make an opportunity. Once you have a degree, you could work for a hospital, a mental health clinic, a government organization, or a school. Consider contacting any of these institutions in your local community for work experience, even if you have to volunteer a few hours a week.
Psychiatric nursing is becoming more integrated into traditional medical practices. These jobs are growing. Take advantage of the opportunities today by enrolling in classes.