Psychiatric nurses care for pediatric, teen, adult, and elderly patients who may have a broad spectrum of mentally and emotionally related medical needs. Basic psychiatric nurses are registered nurses who work primarily with patients needing mental health or psychiatric care.
Advanced practice psychiatric nurses are also RNs but they have earned certification as certified nurse specialists (CNSs) or have taken graduate courses to become clinical specialists/nurse practitioners (CNS/NPs), or psychiatric nurse practitioners ( PNPs)
Psychiatric_nurses may sub-specialize in areas such as child-adolescent mental health nursing , geropsychiatric nursing, forensics, or substance abuse.
Psychiatric nurses perform a wide range of direct –care nursing duties for the mentally ill and emotionally disturbed. Some psychiatric nurses may work as community health nurses. They may also work for insurance or managed –care companies, or in health care institutions or government facilities.
Basic psychiatric nurses earn starting salaries that range from $35,000 to $40,000 annually.
Advanced practice psychiatric nurses earn salaries that range from $60,000 to more than $80,000 a year.