Things You Need to Know About Psychiatric Nurse

Things You Need to Know About Psychiatric Nurse

Oct 15, 2014 | 8:00 am

When dealing with patients that have mental illnesses and disorders, a psychiatric nurse is required and must possess advanced communication skills. They must be great listeners, observers, problem solvers and have excellent critical thinking skills. They must be able to put out a fire at the blink of an eye and be able to handle stress and crisis. When dealing with clients, they also deal with families of patients, adding all new rules of protocol. There will also be times when they deal with involuntary holds on patients due to endangering themselves or others, or other complex legal issues.

Sample Questions

According to Scrubs Magazine, psychiatric nursing is among the top 10 highest paid nursing specialties’ with an average salary of $95,000 per year. It goes on to further explain that region and employer also plays a part of the range of salary.

Some of the questions that can most likely be expected will be about your education, training, experience and previous positions. They will ask you to tell them about yourself? Why do you want to work for us? How did you learn about us? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Can you give an example of a major problem you faced and how did you deal with it? Why should we hire you? What are your qualifications and education background? How do you handle stress? How you handle crises?

Be ready for what you might be asked. Know your resume and have your transcripts ready. Write down the name of the person that interviewed you. Create some questions that you can ask them. Preparing ahead of time will let them know of your readiness and drive for the position.


On Working Nurse, in an article titled “Assessing and Treating the Mind and Body,” Maxine Sands, RN, MSN who is employed by Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center in Los Angeles was asked what she loved about psychiatric nursing. She replied by saying, “ For me, the respect for the human experience and the compassion for every individual are what keep me focused, interested and loving what I do.”

In an article on Nurse Zone titled “Are You Psyched for Psychiatric Nursing,” Barbara Drew, PhD, APRN, BC who is the former president of American Psychiatric Nurses Association and a professor at Kent State College of Nursing, was asked what she enjoys most about psychiatric nursing and she stated, “I most enjoy the interpersonal connection with clients and their families and having the ability to utilize my knowledge to help the client explore ways to cope with their issues.”

When speaking with healthcare professionals, one of the things that keeps coming up when asked what they like best about the medical field is “making a difference,” that is, interacting with the people, their medical team members, and sharing experiences. They will also tell you that it is a hard and demanding career and when they first started, they did not know how hard it was going to be. Now is the time for you to ask yourself, is this just a fantasy or a true determination in your heart? If you really value the science and want to help people, a challenge will not hold you back. You will be inspired to move forward and accomplish something worthwhile in your life.