In this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions–including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!
A child psychiatric nurse is one who works with children and adolescents with psychiatric problems and who focuses on the entire continuum between health and illness. The nurse’s role is aimed at promotion and prevention, early intervention, and treatment of children with mental illness.
The child psychiatric nurse practices in a variety of settings such as clinics, schools, community agencies, psychiatric hospitals, day treatment facilities, and public health departments. Generalist activities of a child psychiatric nurse include teaching parents with emotionally disturbed or mentally retarded children or adolescents; participation as a member of a health care delivery team, and participation in research activities related to the field of child and adolescent psychiatric nursing.
Registered nurse preparation and licensure, with certification in psychiatric/mental health nursing, are required.
Core Competencies/Skills Needed
- Ability to meet the child at his or her developmental level
- Knowledgeable about psychiatric mental health treatment and services
- Ability to facilitate coordination and collaboration among agencies delivering care to children
- Ability to provide services to children and their families
- Flexibility and sensitivity
Related Web Sites and Professional Organizations
- American Psychiatric Nurses Association (www.apna.org)
- Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nurses Association (www.ispn-psych.org/html/acapn.html)
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (http://www.nursingworld.org/ancc/index.htm)