Nursing students often decide to get into the field because they have a desire to take care of others. While physical health is unquestionably important, so is mental health. Unfortunately, some studies suggest that nearly 20% of Colorado residents are living with some kind of mental illness. One specialized group of healthcare providers that are working to improve the mental health of others are psychiatric nurses.
Brian Fun, a graduate of the Denver College of Nursing, started his nursing career in the psychiatric ward of a hospital. While he didn’t imagine choosing the path when he started his education, he likes to encourage nursing students to be open to the role.
“Mental health is important,” he says. “The population that we serve—which is our community, the immigrants, the homeless, the indigent—is so important. I've been a psychiatric nurse for three years, and I love it.”
The pandemic has increased the need for proper mental health. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the percentage of adults with recent symptoms of an anxiety or a depressive disorder increased from 36.4% to 41.5% from August 2020 to February 2021.
Psychiatric nurses make up the second largest group of behavioral health professionals in the U.S., according to the APNA. Nurses work alongside psychiatric teams in a variety of settings such as hospitals, outpatient centers, residential facilities, and clinics, providing mental health care for individuals and their families.
While every day will be different, daily tasks may include partnering with individuals to achieve their recovery goals, providing health promotion and maintenance, conducting intake screening, evaluation, and triage, providing case management, teaching self-care activities, and practicing crisis intervention.
While being a psychiatric nurse is a demanding job, it can be a fulfilling career because you are helping patients at a time when they may not be able to help themselves. You can provide the healing and recovery a patient needs to live a vibrant, successful life.
Psychiatric nurses transform lives, and the career path starts by becoming an RN. If this line of work sounds interesting to you, Denver College of Nursing can put you on the path to this rewarding field. Click here for more information or call us today at (800) 600-6604 and speak to one of our admissions representatives.