How to Become a Psychiatric Nurse

Do you want to become a psychiatric nurse more than anything else in the world? If so, you should be pleased to know that it is relatively easy to get involved with this career. You will have to go through a degree program to get the training you need, but that would be necessary in any career. Here is a look at how to become a psychiatric nurse so you can start your career as soon as possible.

Step 1 – Determine If Psychiatric Nursing Is Right for You

Before you can go through the steps to become a psychiatric nurse, you need to decide if this really is a good career fit for you. There are many other nursing programs you could work in, so you don’t necessarily have to settle into this one if it doesn’t suit your goals in life. Here is a look at the work that may be involved with your profession:

  • Evaluate patient needs
  • Oversee mental health wards
  • File progress reports
  • Check vital signs
  • Prepare patients for appointments
  • Change bed pans
  • Administer medication

Think you can handle that? If so, read on to find out how to become a psychiatric nurse.

Step 2 – Get an Education in Psychiatric Nursing

There are several degree programs you could go through to become a psychiatric nurse, so you really just have to find one that you like. If you want to be a nurse practitioner, you will need a master’s degree or higher. If you just want to work as a nurse, any undergraduate degree should suffice. Here are some of the most common degree programs associated with psychiatric nursing:

  • Diploma of Nursing
  • Associate of Arts in Nursing
  • Associate of Science in Nursing
  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Registered Nurse
  • Master of Science in Nursing

Step 3 – Get Certified

When you get out of school, you will have a chance to take certification exams to verify your skills. Doing this will give you a better chance at finding a job in the future. Possible certifications include:

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • Critical Care
  • Family Practice
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Step 4 – Find a Job as a Psychiatric Nurse

Getting certified should provide you with everything you need to start working as a psychiatric nurse. There are tons of employers you can work through once this happens, so you might want to explore the opportunities in your area. You could find work in…

  • Community Mental Health Centers
  • Psychiatric Service Facilities
  • Health Clinics
  • General Health Hospitals
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Psychiatric Hospitals

Just look around and see what opportunities present themselves to you. If you find the right job at the right time, you could see salaries like these in your career:

  • Less than 1 year of experience: $22,500 – $42,500 per year
  • 1-4 years of experience: $37,085 – $66,717 per year
  • 5-9 years of experience: $35,234 – $117,446 per year
  • 10-19 years of experience: $40,000 – $74,500 per year
  • 20 years of experience or more: $42,729 – $74,251 per year

You now know how to become a psychiatric nurse, so all you have to do is follow through with the process. Start your future today and see where it takes you.