Psychiatry-Mental Health Nursing

Psychiatry-mental health (PMH) nursing is a specialty focused on providing direct care to individuals, families, groups, and communities, assessing their mental health (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2018). A profession in psychiatric/mental health nursing requires an understanding of behavioral science and psychiatric disorders such as anxiety (panic attacks, phobias), mood disorders (depression, bipolar), substance abuse, and dementia. These nurses also possess keen assessment skills, a vast knowledge of psychiatric medications and therapeutic techniques, and are experts in crisis intervention. PMH nurses develop individualized plans for each patient, provide counseling, assist with activities of daily living and administer medications. Advanced practice PMH nurses assess, diagnose, and treat mental health problems by conducting psychotherapy sessions and prescribing psychiatric drugs. PMH nurses may work in a variety of settings including hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, home health agencies, correctional facilities, outpatient mental health organizations, and schools.

In this Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Resource Center, we’ve put together resources to help you provide the best care to patients with psychiatric and mental health issues. Our Nursing Pocket Cards are quick references and our Guideline Summaries provide need-to-know information from the latest recommendations. Our infographics, tips and mnemonics, and blogs are additional resources to help you during your psychiatric/mental health nursing career. 
American Psychiatric Nurses Association (2018). About APNA: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses. Retrieved from

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