What are the Different Mental Health Nurse Jobs?

J. Beam
J. Beam

Nurses who are educated and experienced in mental health care can enjoy a varying degree of career opportunities and jobs. Mental health nurses specialize in providing nursing care in the mental health field and have typically obtained certification or additional training in mental health. Mental health nurse jobs can range from employment in a mental health facility, hospital or private practice to schools, universities and insurance companies.

Some psychiatric nurses specialize in geriatrics, working with elderly patients and their caregivers.
Some psychiatric nurses specialize in geriatrics, working with elderly patients and their caregivers.

Mental health nurse jobs have grown in demand and become more readily available as awareness of mental health has risen. Many insurance companies whose benefit and plan offerings previously lacked specific attention to mental health now provide more specific mental health benefits. Between increased awareness and better benefits, the mental health field no longer carries the negative stigma of earlier times. Additionally, the aging “baby boomer” population has also provided opportunities for growth in the mental health field.

Nurse practitioners provide both counseling services and medical care for people who struggle with mental illnesses.
Nurse practitioners provide both counseling services and medical care for people who struggle with mental illnesses.

Most mental health nurse jobs can be found at medical facilities and private practices. In addition to hospitals and clinics, extended care facilities that provide treatment and care of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients also employ mental health nurses. Jobs can also be found with insurance companies who employ resource nurses for their members. Resource nurses take phone calls from members and answer questions about care, treatment, and other related matters. Universities and accredited nursing schools also employ mental health nurses to provide training in psychiatric nursing.

As with other types of nursing jobs, mental health nursing jobs can be stressful, especially when working directly with patients. However, mental health nursing can also be very rewarding for those who thrive on nurturing and caring for the mental well-being of others. To be more competitive in the mental health field and further increase opportunities for securing mental health nurse jobs, a candidate must first obtain their nursing degree and receive specific training in psychiatric nursing. Certification or affiliation with an accredited organization is also imperative to be competitive and it could also be beneficial to intern at a mental health facility or clinic.

The qualifications and pay range for various mental health nurse jobs will most certainly vary by place of employment. The criteria for obtaining a degree as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) as well as prerequisites for certification exams can be obtained from most accredited nursing programs. The more qualifications and education obtained, the easier it will be to find high-paying mental health nurse jobs.

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    • Some psychiatric nurses specialize in geriatrics, working with elderly patients and their caregivers.
      Some psychiatric nurses specialize in geriatrics, working with elderly patients and their caregivers.
    • Nurse practitioners provide both counseling services and medical care for people who struggle with mental illnesses.
      Nurse practitioners provide both counseling services and medical care for people who struggle with mental illnesses.