Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Psychiatric nurse

Psychiatric nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who provide mental health education, treatment, and counseling to individuals and groups in a variety of settings.

Psychiatric nurses hold a nursing degree and certification (RN). This requires a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from a 4-year university or an associate degree in nursing (ADN) from a 2-year college. All graduates must successfully pass the Registered Nurse Licensing Examination. Graduation from a state-accredited program is a prerequisite to taking the licensing examination.

Advanced practice nurses (APNs) are RNs who have met advanced educational and clinical practice requirements. They work as Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) or as Nurse Practitioners (NPs). APNs who specialize in mental health nursing diagnose and treat individuals or families. And in many states they can prescribe medicines.

A registered nurse must hold a current license in the state in which he or she practices. Licensing requirements are managed by individual state boards of nursing.

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