Psychiatric Nurses





Psychiatricnurses make use of their expertise in therapy and medications, crisisintervention, as well as mental health to assist patients inmastering their mental illnesses and the stigma emanating from itthereby allowing them to live productive and fulfilling lives(Landers &amp Bonner, 2007). This is accomplished through designingthe appropriate care plans and ensuring that the patients strictlyadhere to the medication plans as non-adherence would result insuboptimal treatment and may increase the probability for worseningand poor quality of life (Heise &amp Servellen, 2014). For instance,in a scenario where the patient is suffering from depressivedisorders, the psychiatric nurse would carry out an initialpsychosocial and clinical history taking, review the educationalmaterials, examine the preferences for depression treatment andadjust them accordingly, collaborate with other professionals on thesame, as well as carry out follow-up monitoring of the patient. Theywould ensure consistency in the treatment so long as there arepromising results, as tantrums can be precipitated by non-compliancewith the provided directions or even transitions between theactivities (Eisbach, 2014).


Asmuch as there are numerous types of nurses working in the mentalhealth field such as LPNs, RNs, CNAs and advanced practicepsychiatric nurses, only advanced practice psychiatric nurses andRegistered Nurses (RNs) have the necessary training for evaluating,treating and counseling the patients (Zolnierek, 2009). In becomingan RN, an individual has to complete a Bachelor’s or Associatedegree in nursing (Thomas et al, 2007). The RN would become nursepractitioners by completing an additional 2-5 years study and earninga Master’s or doctorate in Nursing (Woo et al, 2007). The Nursesmust obtain certification through passing the national CouncilLicensure Examination (NCLEX) (Wand, 2004). Once they have atwo-years experience, they can pursue certification from AmericanNurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as Psychiatric Mental health Nurse(PMHN) (Mackay et al, 2005).

Scope&amp Standards Of Practice

PsychiatricNurses, together with the treatment teams, undertake the developmentof detailed plans that allow for provision of all-inclusive care topatients (Wand &amp Fisher, 2006). They offer supportive counselingthat would assist the patients and their families have enhancecomprehension of the ailments and undertake daily tasks such asmedication management, grooming and dressing (Ross &amp Goldner,2009).

Thereare varied standards of practice that would be applicable topsychiatric nurses. First, they are required to collect all-inclusivehealth data pertinent to the situation or health of the patient.Further, they have to analyze the assessment data to determine theproblems, diagnosis and level of risk. Moreover, they identify thelikely outcomes pertaining to a plan customized to the situation orpatient. Fourth, they come up with plans that prescribes thealternatives and strategies that would allow for attainment of theexpected outcomes. They would then implement the plan so identifiedbased on the data, coordinates the delivery of care, and employsstrategies that would promote a safe environment and health. Thisnurse would also collaborate with the family, patient and otherhealthcare professionals in the provision, maintenance andstructuring of a safe and therapeutic environment. Seven, the nursewould assess the progress made towards the achieving expectedoutcomes (Landers &amp Bonner, 2007). In addition, the nurse wouldsystematically improve the effectiveness and quality of the nursingpractice, a standard that would be measured by the demonstration ofquality through documenting the nursing process application in anethical, accountable and responsible manner among other things (Wooet al, 2007). Ninth, the psychiatric nurse is required to obtaincompetency and knowledge that would be a reflection of the currentnursing practice, as reflected the search for experiences that are areflection of the current practices so as to maintain the competenceand skills in role performance and clinical practice (Landers &ampBonner, 2007). Tenth, the nurse must assess his or her practice withregard to the professional practice guidelines and standards, rules,regulations and relevant statutes so as to allow for thedemonstration of the application of knowledge pertaining to thecurrent standards in the nursing practice (Landers &amp Bonner,2007). This is complemented by the eleventh standard where the nurseis required to interact with, as well as make a contribution to thecolleagues and peers’ professional development through sharingknowledge and providing feedback among others (Woo et al, 2007). Onthe same note, they must collaborate with all stakeholders such asfamily, patients and other healthcare professionals in carrying outthe nursing practice through constant communication and healthypartnership with others. The thirteenth standard revolves aroundethics, where the nurse is required to integrate or incorporateethical provisions in every other area of practice (Landers &ampBonner, 2007). Further, the nurse has to integrate research findingsin the nursing practice, where he or she must use the mostappropriate available evidence in the guidance of decisionspertaining to his practice decisions. On the same note, thepsychiatric nurse has to consider issues pertaining to impact oncost, cost, effectiveness and safety in the delivery and planning ofthe nursing services (Landers &amp Bonner, 2007). Lastly, he or shemust offer leadership in the profession and professional practicesetting through demonstrating the capacity to define a clear visionand the associated goal and taking part in teamwork as a team player.

HelpfulOrganizations and Journals/Publications

Someof the journals ad publications that would be helpful in enhancingthe psychiatric nurses’ capacity to offer services include Journalof Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, International Journal ofPsychiatric Nursing Research, Journal of the American Psychiatricnurses Association, Journal of the Psychosocial Nursing and MentalHealth Services, Journal of Psychiatry, Mental Health NursingJournal, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.

Someof the organizations that would assist an individual in advancing hisor her career in this field and advance one’s knowledge includeAmerican Association, International Society ofPsychiatric-Mental health Nurses, and Association of AdvancedPractice .


Eisbach,S. S, Cluxton-Keller, F., Harrison, J., Krall, J. R., Hayat, M &ampGross, D (2014). Characteristicsof TEMPER TANTRUMS in Preschoolers with Disruptive Behavior in aClinical Setting. Journalof Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Service.&nbspVol.52(5):32-40

Heise,B.A &amp Servellen, G.V (2014). The Nurse’s Role in Primary CareAnti-Depressant Medication Adherence.Journal of Psychosocial NursingVol. 52, No. 4

Landers,J., &amp Bonner, A. (2007). Evaluating and managing delirium,dementia, and depression in older adults hospitalized withotorhinolaryngic conditions. ORL Head &amp Neck Nursing, 25(3),14-25.

Mackay,I., Paterson, B., &amp Cassells, C. (2005). Constant or specialobservations of inpatients presenting a risk of aggression orviolence: Nurses’ perceptions of the rules of engagement. Journalof Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing,12, 464-471.

Ross,C. A., &amp Goldner, E. M. (2009). Stigma, negative attitudes anddiscrimination towards mental illness with the nursing profession: Areview of the literature. Journalof Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing,16, 558-567.

Thomas,K., Force, M., Rasmussen, D., Dodd, D., &amp Whildin, S. (2007).Rapid response team: Challenges, solutions, benefits. CriticalCare Nurse,27, 20-27.

Wand,T. (2004). Mental health liaison nursing in the emergency department:On-site expertise and enhanced coordination of care. AustralianJournal of Advanced Nursing,22(2), 25-31.

Wand,T., &amp Fisher, J. (2006). The mental health nurse practitioner inthe emergency department: An Australian experience. InternationalJournal of Mental Health Nursing, 15, 201-208.

Woo,B. K., Chan, V. T., Ghobrial, N., &amp Sevilla, C. C. (2007).Comparison of two models for delivery of services in psychiatricemergencies. GeneralHospital Psychiatry,29, 489-491.

Zolnierek,C. D. (2009). Non-psychiatric hospitalization of people with mentalillness: Systematic review. Journalof Advanced Nursing,65, 1570-1583.