Mental Health Nursing

Mental health nursing professionals are responsible for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illnesses. Read on to learn about degree programs for mental health nurses as well as information about a career in this field.

Inside Mental Health Nursing

Mental health nurses work with mentally disabled individuals or groups, providing various forms of periodic or round-the-clock care, including counseling and psychiatric medication dispensation. Mental health nursing is an advanced practice area within the nursing field. This means that a student wishing to be a mental health nurse will need to be a Registered Nurse (RN) and obtain a master's degree for this special focus. In addition, before caring for patients, all RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses to become a licensed nurse. This must be taken before entering a master's degree program in nursing.

Education Information

Graduate nursing degree programs are often called Master of Science in Nursing, with a specialty that must be chosen by the student. The program for psychiatric nursing often includes classes that cover nursing theory, advanced practice, neuro-psychopharmacology, psychiatric nursing with families, forensic nursing, ethics in health care and addiction counseling. There are options for doctoral work as well, often leading to careers in research, academics or administration. The following articles describe the different paths to becoming a mental health or psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Distance Learning Options

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