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Having Psychiatric Nursing As Your Calling

By Don Tan

Are you looking for information on psychiatric nursing? Well, you have come to the right place. Anyone, who is interested in psychiatric nursing, is very much welcome to be part of this challenging yet rewarding profession. With the shortage of nurses in any specialization of nursing, any person who wants to become a nurse is greatly encouraged, especially in psychiatry nursing.

We live in a society where people find it easier to talk about physical illness than psychiatric or mental condition. It is not every day that you meet someone who has interest in psychiatric nursing. So, if you really want to become a psychiatric nurse, then you should know what steps to take in order for you to get started.

The first thing you should is what educational preparation to accomplish in order to gain entry in psychiatric nursing. Just like in any other profession, to become a registered nurse, you must take a nursing program offered in many nursing schools. You can choose either a two-year program leading to an associate degree in nursing, a three-year program for a diploma in nursing, or a four-year college or university leading to a Bachelor's degree in nursing. All of these options are eligible to take registered nursing licensing examination upon graduation.

To help you finally decide if psychiatric nursing is really your calling, it helps if you do some volunteering works in any institutions where you will have a chance to encounter patients with psychiatric condition. If you still feel that this what you really wanted to do, then you should possess skills, such as good communication and relationships skills, and an extensive foundation in the basic and behavioral science to become a psychiatric nurse. Also, if you want to have a strong foundation in psychiatric nursing, might as well obtain a Master's Degree in this specialization, just like what most people interested in psychiatric nursing do.

Now, let's go to the scope of responsibility of a psychiatric nurse. There are actually two levels in clinical practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing or simply psychiatric nursing: basic and advanced. As a basic level nurse, you will work with individuals, groups, and communities, evaluating mental health needs, developing a nursing diagnosis as well as a nursing care plan, and then assessing the nursing care.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses or APRN, on the other hand, have a Master's degree in psychiatric-mental health nursing, therefore assume a position of either Clinical Nurse Specialist or Nurse Practitioner. So, the job of APRNs in psychiatric-mental health nursing includes the duties of basic level nurse, diagnose and treat individuals or families with psychiatric conditions. Also, they act as psychotherapists, educators, consultants, advanced case managers, and administrators.

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