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pay and conditions of psych nursing in usa

nd1960 nd1960 (New) New

Hi all,

I am new to this forum and am hoping you can help. I am a psychiatric nurse in Australia and currently work in the community as a case manager. I am thinking of relocating to the USA and have some questions.

Are most psychiatric nurses employed on an inpatient basis or are they community based? In Australia the focus is on community care rather than inpatient and I was wondering if it was the same in the states.

What about salary and benefits? Are nurses happy with level of benefits and do they feel that facilities are adequately staffed and that there are enough workers on the ground? Are there enough beds for clients to be admitted or are they often kept at home because of bed shortages?

I have worked in psychiatric nursing for 18 years. And initially I trained 3 years in a psychiatric facility working full time and going to classes at the school of nursing on the same campus and later attended University to do my general, or say physical nursing. How are psychiatric nurses trained in the USA?

I am also interested in jobs and roles of a psychiatric nurse, I know this a very broad question, but say typical roles on an inpatient ward or a community psychiatric nurse.

Do you have CAT teams, these are crisis assesment teams that work with community agencies, including police and do community based assesments of those who are in crisis and require immediate assistance.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I am after a real picture of Psychiatric nursing by those that work in it, rather than the glorified, often distorted, view of nursing recruiters.

Hi all,

I am new to this forum and am hoping you can help. I am a psychiatric nurse in Australia and currently work in the community as a case manager. I am thinking of relocating to the USA and have some questions.

Are most psychiatric nurses employed on an inpatient basis or are they community based? In Australia the focus is on community care rather than inpatient and I was wondering if it was the same in the states.

What about salary and benefits? Are nurses happy with level of benefits and do they feel that facilities are adequately staffed and that there are enough workers on the ground? Are there enough beds for clients to be admitted or are they often kept at home because of bed shortages?

I have worked in psychiatric nursing for 18 years. And initially I trained 3 years in a psychiatric facility working full time and going to classes at the school of nursing on the same campus and later attended University to do my general, or say physical nursing. How are psychiatric nurses trained in the USA?

I am also interested in jobs and roles of a psychiatric nurse, I know this a very broad question, but say typical roles on an inpatient ward or a community psychiatric nurse.

Do you have CAT teams, these are crisis assesment teams that work with community agencies, including police and do community based assesments of those who are in crisis and require immediate assistance.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I am after a real picture of Psychiatric nursing by those that work in it, rather than the glorified, often distorted, view of nursing recruiters.

Hi-

Your post was interesting to me - I am a psych nurse in Connecticut and am looking at going to Australia for a year to work.

I work on an inpatient, locked (we take both voluntary and involuntary patients) unit at a medium size community hospital. Total hospital beds around 250... are capacity on the psych unit is 16.

I can only speak for my region, but I can tell you that you could find either an inpatient job or a community based job relatively easy. The community is always in need of psych nurses. The truth is that we actually need more longterm psych hospitals for the most chronically mentally ill. It has really become a revolving door around here and we often discharge patients in less that ideal circumstances simply because what they need is to be cared for on inpatient setting for longer that 1-2 weeks. My feeling is that we are at a crisis, at least in the state of Conn regarding mental health. But, jobs there are!

Pay and benefits. I think my hospital is pretty good in this regard. Pay range for RN's is $21-38 dollars/hour depending mostly on years of service (Pay raise each year). They have a strange way of figuring out vacation - amounts to about 3- 4 wks/year , but that also includes holidays. Health and Dental are good plans but the employee copay has risen drastically over the last few years as it has for everyone in the states.

Specific psych training over here is a little lacking for general RNs. I think 4 yr degrees have a little more of a psych component than a 2 yr but it is still, in my view, minimal. Alot of on the job training. I think that, in general, in order to be a good psych nurse one has to be passionate about it and so I think that helps bridge the "educational gap" somewhat... most of my collegues are involved in furthering their education one way or another.

Duties. What can I say - we manage the unit. Morning report, meds, breakfast trays. Community meeting, Group therapy (MSN prepared nurse runs this), Medication groups. Team meeting each morning with all the disciplines. Admissions, Care plans, care plan updates. Discharges. Managing the mileu... handling difficult patients, setting limits, reassuring, teaching. It is kind of hard to describe because each day is different..

Hope this is helpful. Feel free to ask more questions or pm if you would like!

Christine

Are most psychiatric nurses employed on an inpatient basis or are they community based? I work inpatient at Veterans Hospital- locked admissions but generally speaking I would probably say yes they are looking to decrease inpatient episodes.

What about salary and benefits? I make a competative salary for the area of the country I work in. I can't really complain there. I have excellent vacation but must pay my own health insurance & it is not the best, keeps getting worse actually which sucks.

Are nurses happy with level of benefits and do they feel that facilities are adequately staffed and that there are enough workers on the ground? No there are never enough workers be they professionals or paraprofessionals. I think however staffing is horrendous everywhere nowdays.

Are there enough beds for clients to be admitted or are they often kept at home because of bed shortages? From what I am seeing in the NE they are downsizing the number of inpatient beds everywhere & it is becoming increasingly hard to get patient admitted inpatient without committment status.

How are psychiatric nurses trained in the USA? I attended college for 4 years & have a BSN then was eligable to sit for state boards, passed & thus got my nursing license.

Do you have CAT teams, these are crisis assesment teams that work with community agencies, including police and do community based assesments of those who are in crisis and require immediate assistance. Yes

Thunderwolf, MSN, RN

Has 32 years experience. Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatric, Behavioral Health.

I think you guys spelled it out pretty well to the original poster.

Thank you!

Any other views on the state of psychiatric nursing in the USA?

The only thing that I can add in is to make sure that your training meets the requirements for licensure in the US. You will need clinical and theory hours in OB and pediatrics also. Not sure if they were included with your program.

The US doesn't recognize what is called "specialist " training for licensure in the US, what they doing in the UK, as well as Australia now. It is required that you are a generalist first. Not sure about your training back then, if it actualy included everything. Otherwise, you will need to make up those hours. :)

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply to my questions.

Hi all,

I am new to this forum and am hoping you can help. I am a psychiatric nurse in Australia and currently work in the community as a case manager. I am thinking of relocating to the USA and have some questions.

Are most psychiatric nurses employed on an inpatient basis or are they community based? In Australia the focus is on community care rather than inpatient and I was wondering if it was the same in the states.

What about salary and benefits? Are nurses happy with level of benefits and do they feel that facilities are adequately staffed and that there are enough workers on the ground? Are there enough beds for clients to be admitted or are they often kept at home because of bed shortages?

I have worked in psychiatric nursing for 18 years. And initially I trained 3 years in a psychiatric facility working full time and going to classes at the school of nursing on the same campus and later attended University to do my general, or say physical nursing. How are psychiatric nurses trained in the USA?

I am also interested in jobs and roles of a psychiatric nurse, I know this a very broad question, but say typical roles on an inpatient ward or a community psychiatric nurse.

Do you have CAT teams, these are crisis assesment teams that work with community agencies, including police and do community based assesments of those who are in crisis and require immediate assistance.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I am after a real picture of Psychiatric nursing by those that work in it, rather than the glorified, often distorted, view of nursing recruiters.

I work at a State Mental Hospital in northeastern U.S. There are a lot of different aspects of nursing there.To start, there is over a 1000 patients, divided into five buildings (based on acuity and disease) and halfway apartments( for patients preparing to be transitioned back into the community). This is an adult population, the youngest age is 18 and the oldest I don't know because I do not work in geopsych. But there is a geriatric population in one building. Also with an admission building.The system is very well run by RN's, the CEO is a RN with an MBA.

The RN is

manager

and patient advocate. Groups are run by psychologists and addictions counsleors. The RN takes care of the medical aspect, each shift plays different parts. I like it, the benefits and pay is great, better than the private sector especially the health benefits. There is opportuinity for advancement . THere is a medical doctor and psychiatrist on grounds 24 hours, seven days a week. THe staff is diverse; there are people there from probably fifty different countries.

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