Thursday, September 21, 2023

Mental Health Education For Nurses

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What Are The Education Requirements For Psychiatric Nurses

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Education requirements include holding an active RN license, which may be achieved via an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s degree. The trend in the healthcare industry is shifting toward primarily hiring BSN-educated registered nurses, but this is not currently an enforced requirement. Earning more education, however, will make an RN more money and create better opportunities.

What Is A Psychiatric Nurse

The psychiatric or behavioral health nurse specializes in caring for patients receiving treatment for a variety of mental illnesses, addiction, eating disorders or substance abuse. Patients with psychiatric disorders require a great deal of emotional support, education, and therapy from skilled mental health professionals. Working with patients and the interdisciplinary team, including case managers and social workers, to assess and provide a safe discharge environment is a large part of the day-to-day of a psychiatric nurse. This specialty is suited to the nurse who is patient and kind, but not afraid to lay down some boundaries when necessary.

Burnout Directly Impacts Patient Safety

One of the most dangerous impacts of nurse burnout resulting from being overworked is patient safety. Nurses who suffer from burnout can:

  • Become disengaged with their patients
  • Make poor decisions
  • Make mistakes

Patient care suffers in a time of desperate need. Over time, stress from management, strained staffing, and lack of breaks can make mistakes easier.

Jenna Liphart Rhoads, Ph.D., a nurse educator, points out when she was feeling burnt out, she often felt callous or hardened toward her patients.

“This is never intentional because a nurse does not want to hurt anyone or be distracted,” Fox says, “but the greater the stress and burnout, the more likely it can happen.”

In times of trauma, like living through a pandemic, the brain distances you to protect you during high stress. When a nurse experiences this, they are often unable to be fully mentally present during patient care, which can often lead to mistakes.

“Nurses who have burnout typically ‘turn off’ their emotions in order to deal with getting through the workday,” Rhoads says. “This impacts patient care because patients can perceive that burned-out nurses are not as emotionally invested or available.”

A key way to address burnout, prevent dissociation during work, and increase patient care is to prioritize the mental well-being of nurses through increased access to mental health days. Nurses can relax and practice self-care for nurses before returning to work recharged.

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What Does A Psychiatric Nurse Do

Psychiatric nurses treat patients with varying mental health or behavioral problems. They often assist in assessing and diagnosing patients, monitoring symptoms and behaviors, and providing short or long-term care. This type of nurse also typically has a hand in developing care plans for psychiatric patients, as well as educating and working with the patient’s family to ensure follow-through with home care.

Becoming A Qualified Nurse For Mental Health

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Mental health nursing is a branch of nursing that specializes in the care of clients with mental illness or distress. Nurses within this branch help their clients in ways that promote physical and psychological well-being and emotional health. The profession is about understanding the clients mental health conditions, managing their symptoms, and being aware of the factors that can trigger these symptoms. Mental health problems that clients may suffer from include: anxiety and depression, mood disorders, psychosis or schizophrenia, personality or eating disorders, or problematic alcohol or drug use.

According to World Health Organisation statistics, one in four people will experience mental illness sometime during their life. Because of this, mental health nurses usually work with a wide array of clients from different religious, cultural and economic backgrounds. Adaptability is a strong requirement for an MHN.

People suffering from mental illness are often stigmatised in our society. As such, your job as a mental health nurse would also largely be in terms of advocacy for mental health issues.

If you feel that working with clients who suffer from mental illnesses is something you might be passionate about pursuing, you would do well to gather the information we provide in this blog to start you off.

Education Training and Employment Australia

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Improved Mental Health Training For Undergraduate Nurses

Every year, around four million Australians experience a mental health condition and they deserve high quality health care, whenever and wherever they need it and regardless of where they live.

Nurses and midwives are the largest professional group in the health workforce and are on the frontline of our healthcare services across Australia.

An important strategy to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Australians is to ensure that all nurses who graduate have received appropriate education and mental health training, and have developed competency in the care of people with mental health issuesregardless of the clinical speciality they choose to work in.

Evidence tells us there is need for more mental health educational content in nursing degrees, so to help address this situation, the Coalition Government has provided $128,000 to the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses to undertake work to review mental health training and content in undergraduate nursing degrees. This work commenced in January 2018 and will be completed in June 2018.

The project is taking a detailed look at the current mental health content of undergraduate nursing degrees and clinical nursing placements in mental health settings.

Education, professional development and clinical placements are essential components of efforts to sustain and build the mental health nursing workforce, and the mental health capacity of the broader nursing and midwifery workforce.

Implications For Nurses Wellbeing And Workforce Health And Safety

These study findings indicate some significant health vulnerability in the nursing workforce. Traditional approaches to managing nurses health issues have been largely reactive that is, the provision of employee assistance programmes offering after the fact follow up and counselling services . The implications of this study are that the healthcare industry needs to be more proactive through providing wellness programs and employee screening and promoting awareness campaigns. Developing an increased level of mental health literacy in managers may provide a first level of detection for low vitality and CMDs in the workplace.

Several studies have explored mediating effects on nurses mental health. Mental health status as a component of job strain can be predictive of propensity to leave, with nurses mental health being favourably influenced by coping behaviours . A number of strategies are available. The compatibility of a persons characteristics with those of their work , for example, can moderate perceived stress, work-family conflict and mental health the negative relationship between work overload and mental health may be improved by intervention to reduce incivility and bullying behaviour in the workplace clinical supervision has been suggested to mediate nurse distress, stress and mental health and reductions in psychological stress .

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Psychiatric Nurse Salary & Employment

The average salary of a psychiatric nurse is $57,703 in the US with a range of $45,790 – $80,143. Things like level of education, place of employment, location, and experience will affect salary.

The aging population means that the employment outlook for a psychiatric nurse is good, since the elderly typically experience a higher rate of cognitive illness. Communities are also generally in high need of mental health nurses in clinics and hospitals in underserved areas.

Fundamentals Of Mental Health Nursing

Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Introduction, Patient Rights -@Level Up RN

5 March 2022

Practising as a registered nurse is a rewarding, respected career with a very promising future. The Australian government site, Job Outlook, shows robust growth prospects for the highly skilled role of an RN. While there is a diverse range of specialisations available to nurses, from aged care to rehabilitation, community health to medical practice nurses, surgical RN to paediatrics, there is a growing need for mental health nurses in Australia and beyond.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has estimated that around 45 per cent of Australians will experience mental illness in their lives. Some people experience episodic mental illness, while for others, it is like a shadow that never leaves their side. A staggering 2 to 3 per cent of those with mental illness have a severe, intense, chronic and disabling form. Anxiety is the most prevalent mental illness, followed by affective disorders like depression and substance abuse.

As our population increases and the stigma of mental health declines, more people are reaching out for help. This leads to better outcomes for patients and greater opportunities for those interested in the field. Postgraduate studies in this complex field position those with mental health nursing qualifications and experience as crucial members of the health team they offer hope, support and evidence-based care to those who need it most.

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Transition To Mental Health Nursing Course

What is the course about?

Our Transition to Mental Health Nursing Course was developed in response to the shortage of trained mental health nurses available in Australia. The demand for Mental Health Nurses has never been greater but it is difficult for nurses to obtain employment within this specialty without further training after their Bachelor Degree.

This program has been developed in collaboration with different hospitals and healthcare providers in Australia to ensure that students who graduate from this program will meet their needs and requirements when applying for jobs as Mental Health Nurses.

What does the program include:

  • 5 days of online theory and practical learning spread over 2 weeks followed by
  • 3 weeks of clinical placement within a public or private healthcare facility
  • For nurses already working within Mental Health, there is the option to attend the workshop portion only.

Learning Objectives Include:

  • Examine treatment options and specific nursing interventions for each mental disorder.
  • Equip nurses to assess, intervene and holistically care for each mentally ill patient.
  • Review current ethical principles and legislative policies in regard to mental health.
  • Develop the ability to care for and advocate for mentally ill patients.


How To Pursue A Career As A Mental Health Nurse

Working as a mental health nurse is a challenging and rewarding career for anyone interested in promoting mental wellness. Mental health nurses use their skills to help and support those who are struggling with mental illnesses or disorders.

If you want to work in the healthcare industry and are interested in helping others with their mental health, this profession could be a good fit for you. In this article, we will discuss how to become a mental health nurse, their job description and average salary.

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Four Keys To Mental Health Nursing Success

Mental health nursing is both an art and a science, expertise and experience, clinical understanding and compassion. What works well for one patient may be dreadful for another. However, there are some essential traits of a mental health nurse who is able to establish effective therapeutic intervention. They may seem obvious, but they are essential.

The role of a mental health nurse is to provide a therapeutic ear, voice and environment, and not to draw conclusions about the rights or wrongs of a patients experience. Mental health nurses have excellent communication skills and can listen with kindness and empathy. It is important to use befitting facial expressions, body language and tone of voice, as they are crucial for encouraging a remedial relationship. Ask pertinent questions, and use language to encourage patients to be engaged in their treatment.

Mental illness may have profound symptoms that limit the capacity of a patient to follow instructions. Be patient and understand that sufficient trust is needed before patients will be able to reveal their psychological wounds and innermost thoughts. Mental illness often makes people feel at risk and isolated, which could result in brain fog, irritability, anger or erratic behaviour. A primary responsibility of a mental health nurse is being calm, steady and fully present voicing concerns with the appropriate treating team member.

Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria


Inclusion criteria for studies were English language accounts of empirical research which investigated mental health nurses experience of providing physical health care or examined the effectiveness of any intervention that aimed to improve outcomes related to the provision of physical healthcare. Thus, studies of interventions aimed at changing nursing practice, behaviour, knowledge, attitudes, or experiences were eligible, but not those which solely attempted to determine the effect of an intervention on nurses in terms of patient outcomes. While improvement in patient care and outcomes is clearly the desirable endpoint of any intervention on nurses, previous reviews have indicated that no good quality studies exist . Additionally, studies were only eligible for inclusion where the practitioners involved comprised or included mental health or psychiatric nurses or mental health nursing students, or registered nurses whose practice was within mental health services. Included studies could have used any design or methodological approach. As in previous reviews, studies solely about mental health nurses providing care for people with alcohol/ drug misuse, or mental disorder/substance misuse dual diagnosis were not eligible. Studies about mental health nurses and the provision of emergency physical care or of their experience of providing care for the seriously deteriorating physical health of a patient were omitted as this is the subject of a separate review .

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Career Pathways And Opportunities

With the increased awareness of mental health comes the increased demand for mental healthcare services.

A mental health nurse can choose to practice in varying work settings, such as in a private health facility, public hospital or in the community.

If you are considering to advance your career, the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and the Department of Health of each state and territory in Australia offer scholarships to study mental health nursing.

About Mental Health Nursing

Our suite of mental health nursing programs are developed specifically for clinicians employed in the specialist area of mental health. They provide clinicians with knowledge and skills across a range of mental health settings, including: acute care, community mental health, and psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery services. As mental health service provision continues to evolve, our courses will provide you with professional development opportunities and equip you to respond to the needs of consumers.

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Are Any Certifications Or Credentials Needed

The PsychiatricMental Health Nursing Certification, or RN-BC, may be required by some facilities after a set amount of time after hire.

Eligibility for the RN-BC includes:

  • Have practiced the equivalent of 2 years full-time as a registered nurse
  • Have a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice in psychiatricmental health nursing within the last 3 years
  • Have completed 30 hours of continuing education in psychiatricmental health nursing within the last 3 years

Read more for further clarify on psychiatric nurse certifications.

Advance Your Career In Mental Health Nursing

Mental Health Nursing

Southern Cross Universitys Master of Mental Health Nursing is a specialist qualification attained through fully online and part-time study over two years. This program is the first of its kind, bringing together the latest in mental health industry standards as set by the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing.

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Why Should Nurses Dig Deeper To Uncover Reasons For Mental Instability

Patients with mental health issues are often seen as difficult. Nurses should not judge a patient because of the patients behavior instead, they need to provide care in a respectful manner. Sometimes trauma and chronic health conditions can trigger depression or anxiety. In some cases, diseases or medications are the reasons for the appearance of mental distress.

For example, patients suffering from Parkinsons disease, thyroid disorders or side effects from beta blockers can have symptoms that mimic depression. Stress can activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which controls mood and emotions, and it regulates bodily functions such as digestion, the immune system and energy expenditure.

Working As A Nurse Who Feels Burnt Out Is Incredibly Isolating

Five Distinct Stages of Burnout

  • 1. Honeymoon stage
  • 4. Crisis stage
  • 5. Enmeshment

At the point of enmeshment, burnout symptoms are so embedded in a person’s life that they may not even fully realize it. If nurses are seen as heroes, sacrificing themselves everyday for others, it’s even harder to realize when you’ve been sacrificing too much for too long.

Nurses may also hide that they are experiencing burnout. They might feel they have no choice but to keep working despite burnout, which can lead to isolation.

“Most of us try not ever to let our patients see or deal with our stress because we know they come first,” Venney says. “But it can be hard to be comforting and strong for our patients when we are struggling with burnout.”

At this point, nurses do not feel their struggles are taken seriously. In a pandemic that’s brought on massive amounts of hospitalizations and deaths, nurses feel their struggles are often seen as a secondary concern.

The narrative even before the pandemic is that nurses are heroes or the “strong ones.” But this narrative can strip nurses’ humanity.

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What Are Some Ways Nurses Can Help Mentally Ill Patients

Nurses are prepared in an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program to deliver patient care. They may decide to specialize in a field of medicine like pediatrics, geriatrics or oncology.

Regardless of their specialty, nurses may deal with patients who are either showing signs of or are at risk of developing mental illness. Patients with mental illness can display a wide range of symptoms, including despondency, aggression or violence.

Nurses have to be aware that an unsociable, sullen or troublesome patient may be exhibiting signs of mental illness. A patient with mental illness may require nurses to adopt the following strategy:

  • Assess a patients mental state.
  • Establish good communication with the patient.
  • Build a relationship with the patient.
  • Use language that shows consideration.
  • Provide sensitive patient-centered care.
  • Consult with knowledgeable mental health professionals.
  • Refer a patient to community services.

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