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Psychiatric Nursing Degree

Psychiatric Nursing

Psychiatric nursing is an area of specialization in nursing which deals with the prevention, care and cure of mental disorders. Psychiatric Nursing can be practice in a variety of places like hospitals, nursing care facilities, out patient facilities, ambulatory care clinics, health departments, private group practices, mental health agencies, mental health settings and long term care facilities.

Psychiatric Nursing covers a lot of areas in the over-all Mental Health of an individual. This field of nursing requires a wide range of knowledge because of so many issues that it has to cover. A Psychiatric nurse may have children, adolescents, adults or geriatric as patients. It caters to all ages and all aspects of Mental Health.

Here are some common responsibilities of a Psychiatric Nurse:

  1. Developing and creating Nursing Care Plans for the individual and special needs of each client.
  2. Assessing every clientís different mental health needs.
  3. To help reclaim and develop their coping abilities to perform and adapt to the everyday life.
  4. To perform crisis intervention, give counseling and therapeutic communication to patients.
  5. Establishing a good nurse-client relationship which is essential in Psychiatric Nursing.
  6. Administering and monitoring of treatment. (Medications, Occupational Therapies, Group therapies, exercise, etc)
  7. Creating a therapeutic and conducive environment for the betterment of clients.

Psychiatric Nursing Degree

In order to earn a Psychiatric Nursing Degree one must first be a Registered Nurse (RN). A Bachelorís Degree (BSN) is not required but it is preferred. You can begin your career with a 2-year associateís degree or a 2 to 3-year hospital based training program.

After getting your degree in nursing, you can start your Psychiatric Nursing Degree by taking specialized classes about Psychiatric Nursing. You can take certifications in training in specific Psychiatric Nursing topics such as psychology, counseling, psychiatric medications, etc. Continuing education units and trainings may also be taken to further add in your knowledge in Psychiatric Nursing.

You can become a psychiatric nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist by getting additional education at Graduate school. Usually, a 2-year Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is needed. You need to complete a certain number of hours under supervision to complete this degree before you become qualified for certification as a specialist in adult or child and adolescent psychiatric-mental health nursing.

The demand for Nurses with Psychiatric Nursing Degree is expected to rise in the future. The population is getting older and also the demand for care outside the hospitals is increasing everyday. Care outside the hospitals give patients a chance to live a more normal life and it is more cost effective. The recent trend in Psychiatric care is outpatient admissions where fewer patients are being admitted inside mental health care facilities. It is safe to say that Psychiatric nursing will continue to be in demand in the future for the outpatient care of mentally impaired patients.

The overall goal of Psychiatric Nursing is maintaining a high quality of life for the patient, and promoting general health, not just sound mental health. A Psychiatric nurse wants the patient to be able to cope in the challenges of everyday life.

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