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A mental health nurse, who is also commonly referred to as a psychiatric nurse, is a type of nurse who works with patients who have personality and mood disorders. They most commonly work in hospital psychiatric wards, but do work in other mental healthcare facilities. Mental health nurses often work with both patients and their families to ensure the best possible treatment. According to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, the average starting salary for mental health nurse jobs is between about $35,000 and $40,000 a year. For mental health nurses who have advanced degrees, average earnings are about $60,000 a year.
Mental health RN jobs include providing very basic patient needs, such as administering medications, monitoring for side effects which may be experienced, and ensuring that patients maintain personal hygiene. Psychiatric nurses who have advanced degrees have more responsibilities in terms of the diagnosis and treatment plan for patients. Mental health nurses also commonly explain the patient's condition and treatment plan to their family members. It is common for mental health nurses to go on to become nursing instructors, nurses, and administrators.
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