Psychiatric travel nurses don’t necessarily have to work in a mental health facility or psychiatric hospital to deliver specialized care to patients suffering from mental disorders. They can also serve in a home care setting, and also help deliver community education to the families of patients preparing for therapy. They have an important role in helping to find therapeutic ways for patients to manage their mental illness.
When you enter the specialty of psychiatric nursing, you will approach patients who can have a diverse array of behavior problems, mental health and psychiatric disorders in areas such as:
Your role is not only as a care and therapy provider but also educator, performing a series of different responsibilities:
Your assigned shift may change depending on where you take a position and what it requires you to perform. Regardless of the case, you must show patience, possess strong communication skills, ability to work well under pressure, and understand the needs that come with each respective patient.
If you want to become a psychiatric nurse, you should have an interest in working specifically with patients who deal with mental illnesses and/or behavioral disorders. You will want to possess the ability to show compassion, empathy with strong attention to detail, and skilled in crisis intervention techniques.
In addition to the training required to be a Registered Nurse (RN), you must successfully pass the NCLEX-RN national licensing examination. You must receive a RN-BC certification in psychiatric-mental health nursing through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). You should have at least 2,000 hours of clinical experience in a psychiatric setting, while obtaining a master of science nursing degree.
Psychiatric nurses earn between $44,000 and $80,000 for a salary, depending on qualifications as well as level of certification, education and experience.
The market for psychiatric nursing is predicted to grow at a rate of 26% by 2020, faster than the average job growth rate for the healthcare industry and the U.S. marketplace at large.
Most psychiatric nurses choose to work in either a mental health facility or home health setting to those patients who require live-in nurses or home care for their disabilities. You can also choose to work in nursing homes with patients who have begun to lose their memory to old age or suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Overall, you can take psychiatric nursing assignments at facilities such as:
Are you thinking about travel nursing but still wondering which field is right for you?
Explore our top travel nursing specialties to learn more: