Mental Health Nurse Qualifications

Posted on 17. Mar, 2011 by in Mental Health Nursing, Mental Nurse Role, Qualifications

Mental health nurses are nurses that have receive special training in helping people that suffer from various mental disorders. Just like the nursing profession in general, the field of mental health nursing is growing in popularity. Someone who is interested in becoming a mental health nurse should be caring, compassionate, and emotionally stable. He or she should also be a good listener and be sensitive to the needs of people. These skills are very important to have because working in this field can becoming very stressful at times. The job duties that are required of mental health nurses are numerous. They are responsible for taking the patient’s vital signs, supporting the patient and keeping track of a person’s mental and physical health. These nurses not only work with people who have mental disorders, but they also work with individuals who suffer from many other conditions. Some of those conditions include eating disorders and addictions.

The education and training required to specialize in mental health nursing varies greatly. Some mental health nurses are licensed practical nurses that have received one year of education. There are registered nurses that have received an associates degree or bachelor’s degree. Some mental health nurses even hold master’s degrees and have studied mental health in graduate school. Generally speaking, the more education the nurse has, the more employment opportunities and job responsibilities he or she will have.

Certification is not required to practice as a mental health nurse, but it can increase a person’s employment opportunities. For that reason, it is highly recommended that nurses become certified before trying to practice as mental health nurses. The requirements vary from state to state, but many nurses get their certification through an organization called the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Once a nurse has become certified, his or her job opportunities are numerous. Mental health nurses have the opportunity to work with patients in the psychiatric ward of a hospital. They also have the opportunity to work with patients in mental health clinics. Some nurses even work with patients who have substance abuse problems. The sky is the limit for mental health nurses.

Most mental health nurses work because they enjoy their job, but the salary they get is also very nice. The average salary for a mental health nurse ranges from $35,000 to $40,000 dollars. Those who have an advanced degree can expect to bring in about $60,000 dollars a year.


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