Psychiatric Registered Nurse Job Description

Updated on: March 3, 2018

Psychiatric registered nurses or mental health registered nurses, as they are more commonly referred to, work in facilities or hospital wards that cater to patients with mental health problems.

Typically, these nurses work with people who have personality and mood disorders. Psychiatric registered nurses do not only provide direct services to patients but are also instrumental in working with families to ensure that the right plan of care is carried out.

The minimum requirement to practice as a registered psychiatric nurse is an associate’s degree in nursing with a specialization in mental health management.

There are multiple duties that psychiatric nurses perform depending on the type of facility they are working for. They assess patients to determine their mental health conditions, devise appropriate care plans and monitor patients during treatment. They also intervene when there is a crisis and tweak the care plan to ensure that the medical emergency is managed appropriately.

To further understand the role of a registered psychiatric nurse, have a look at the following duties that a person in this role is expected to perform.

Related: Psychiatric Registered Nurse Resume


Registered Psychiatric Nurse Responsibilities


• Assess patients for mental health conditions and document all assessments.

• Devise, plan and implement appropriate care plans that meet the needs of each patient.

• Build professional relationships with patients to promote trust.

• Interpret patients’ needs and concerns regarding their health and treatment.

• Administer medication in a timely and correct fashion.

• Monitor the results of treatment and report any unusual findings to the healthcare provider.

• Assist patients in handling their emotions by applying de-escalation techniques.

• Provide mental health support by managing therapy based programs which may include anxiety and depression management through cognitive therapies.

• Confer with patients and encourage them to take active parts in social activities.

• Determine needed action in the event of deviations from normal findings.

• Educate patients families on mental health care techniques that they can practice at home.

• Ensure appropriate management of patients in mental flares.

• Prepare and maintain patient records in a clear and concise manner.

• Handle irate patients by exercising self-control and objectivity.

• Closely monitor patients to determine if they are at risk of harming themselves.

• Review care plans and make any necessary changes under the supervision of the doctor.

• Consult with doctors and other healthcare professionals to provide patient progress reports and findings.

• Respond to distressed patients by attempting to calm them down.

• Produce risk assessments for individual patients.

• Ensure promotion of recovery-based care approaches.

Category: RN