Important Things To Consider Before Starting A Career In Mental Health

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Mental Health  Nursing is a career that requires its nurses to have a certain level of understanding and awareness when dealing with individuals suffering from mental illnesses. . The career of mental health nursing is within the scope of many individuals. Careers in mental health are rewarding, but difficult because one must be able to work with people who may not always welcome help. Education and training are essential elements when deciding whether or not to become a nurse for this particular industry. Be sure to seek out resources before starting your journey so you know what to expect along the way.  Below is some information that may assist an individual in making the decision to pursue a career in mental health nursing.

The Importance Of Education And Training

There are many different pathways that one may take in order to gain more education and training in the field of mental health nursing. Some of these include personal experience, college courses online or through an accredited school, continuing education courses through hospital programs, mentorships with qualified professionals already working in this industry, workshops offered at community centers/organizations, and those conducted by nurses already working within the field. There are a number of mental health nursing courses available for those who wish to pursue the profession: The best way to learn is from those who have been doing it successfully for years; however, there are also lots of resources available which teach invaluable information about how to better help patients with psychological problems and mental illnesses.

In most cases, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in order to get a job as a mental health nurse. Most employers prefer that you get at least a master’s degree in mental health nursing or social work, though having a bachelor’s degree may get you an entry-level position where you would have the opportunity to work your way up the ranks. As of 2014, mental health nursing was one of the most popular specialties for master’s degree graduates in nursing and is expected to grow by nearly 18 percent between 2010 and 2020. You may find an accelerated program that will allow you to obtain a bachelor’s degree in another related field, such as psychology or sociology, along with a graduate degree in mental health nursing.

Salary Information For Mental Health Nurses

As of 2012, mental health nurses earned an average salary of $64,300 per year. This salary varies depending on how much experience you have working as a nurse in this field and the geographical location you work in. For example, the top 10 percent bring home nearly $90,000 annually while entry-level mental health nurses make approximately $48,000 each year. Mental health nursing was listed as one of the best jobs for 2013 because it had great hiring prospects, with salaries expected to grow by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020.

The salary range for nurses is usually between $20,000 and $70,000. This information can vary depending on your location. Other factors that may affect your salary are whether you are working in a hospital or health care center or privately in another setting, the amount of experience you have if your employer provides any kind of benefits beyond healthcare insurance, and the number of hours you work per week. It is important to find out all these details about an open position before accepting it so that you know what to expect.

Mental health nurses are not frequently paid on salary but receive wages based on an hourly rate or fee-for-service basis. This means that they are usually compensated per shift worked, rather than receiving a set weekly wage. The median hourly wage for this profession was $23.76 in May 2015. You could be paid more or less depending on your level of education, the number of years you have spent working in mental health, and whether or not you are certified to practice in a given state.

Job Description For Mental Health Nurses

Because this profession requires so much one-on-one time with patients, there is no typical day for a mental health nurse. However, they may find themselves spending hours at a time listening to their patient’s concerns and guiding them through various activities, all designed to improve the patient’s quality of life. Helping people manage their stress levels and teaching them how to maintain good mental wellness are essential skills for these nurses. They may use techniques like meditation or yoga to help their patients relax, or refer them to psychologists or other mental healthcare professionals for additional assistance if needed.

Types Of Mental Health Nursing Careers

There are numerous career paths within the field of mental health nursing and each one varies in terms of the job description, salary, and amount of time required for training. The four most common areas that individuals choose to pursue include psychiatric nurse practitioner (PNP), registered nurses (RN), licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/LVN), and certified nursing assistants (CNA). It is important to decide which area you will specialize in before pursuing further education. If you would like more information on specific careers associated with this industry, simply search online or at your local library for additional resources.

Education of Patients

Patients who are in mental health nursing facilities must be provided with the proper care and education required by state law. This means that individuals who work within the field of mental health must have some sort of background or degree related to this area. Before obtaining employment, it is important for one to know if he or she requires an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate depending on where he or she wishes to work. The type of education desired will determine which universities offer programs that provide the preparation needed for the individual to become successful. However, make sure you check with your state board to ensure you know what requirements your particular state has set forth before committing yourself to a college program. Many schools offer educational programs that are conveniently offered online or on campus for students who live in cities where it might be difficult to attend classes because of their location.

As previously stated, the field of mental health nursing is a rewarding career, but it can also be very challenging. However, if one is able to maintain strength within himself/herself and the patients being cared for, then there should not be any problems encountered throughout his or her time working in this industry. As long as he or she continues learning about how people function mentally and staying abreast of what’s happening with the proper treatment methods available today, then he or she will have nothing but success!

Since mental health nursing is such a large specialty area, there are many different opportunities available when pursuing this career path. Be sure to consider some vital points before making your decision.

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