Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

By | October 3, 2023
Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Job Description
Advanced Psychiatric Nurses provide various services in the treatment of mentally challenged patients.

This post provides detailed information on the advanced psychiatric nurse job description, including key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.

It also highlights the major requirements you may be expected to fulfill to be hired for the advanced psychiatric nurse role by most recruiters/employers.

What Does an Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Do?

Advanced psychiatric nurses are trained to provide a wide range of mental health services to patients and families in a variety of settings.

They are advanced practice RN whose primary focus is on providing psychiatric behavioral health services, health care, treating co-occurring psychiatric and addictive disorders; and effectively determines when hospitalization is warranted, or assisting in developing alternatives treatment plan.

The advanced psychiatric nurse job description entails providing ongoing medication management services to new and existing clients according to their clinical need.

They also diagnose, conduct therapy, and prescribe medications for patients who have psychiatric disorders, medical organic brain disorders or substance abuse problems.

They are licensed to render emergency psychiatric services, psychosocial and physical assessment of their patients, and treatment plans, as well as to manage patient care.

The advanced psychiatric nurse role also involves serving as consultants or as educators for families and staff; rendering advice to patient, family members and others regarding various health problems, as well as prescribing treatments and drug use.

They focus on psychiatric diagnosis, including the differential diagnosis of medical disorders with psychiatric symptoms, and on medication treatment for psychiatric disorders.

They are responsible for performing the full scope of nursing practice involving a high level of autonomy and independent practice.

The advanced psychiatric nurse work description entails planning, implementing, and assessing nursing care consistent with medical treatment and care in collaboration with a physician.

It also involves re-evaluating nursing care of individuals requiring emergency nursing measures.

Psychiatric nurses perform comprehensive physical examinations; they secure health histories and perform or order laboratory tests, as well as conduct other appropriate procedure to evaluate the health status of patients or clients.

They provides direct nursing care and/or directs professional, technical and paraprofessional nursing staff in management of selected patients with emphasis on high risk difficult-to-manage cases, ex: suicidal children, adolescents and adult patients; highly combative, non compliant cases; adolescent obstetric patients with medical complications; childhood and brittle (unstable) diabetic cases; multi-system failure cases; patients dealing with dying, terminal illness, etc.

Their duties also include providing continuity of an individualized health care program for clients by referring to or collaborating with physicians and other members of the health care team.

They develop and recommend practice standards which pertain to assigned programs; evaluate care outcomes and suggest strategies to improve program delivery.

Advanced psychiatric nurses also serve as researchers in creating and testing methods of nursing in the area of specialization (psychiatric mental health, pediatrics, maternal and child health, adult health, community (public) health, gerontology, etc.) with emphasis on the overall effectiveness of the methods.

Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Job Description Example/Sample/Template

Advanced psychiatric nurses perform various functions, including providing preventive care/measures through the promotion of mental health activities, providing intervention when emotional/mental health problems arise; and the stabilization of individuals at their highest level of functioning.

The major tasks, duties, and responsibilities of an advanced psychiatric nurse are shown in the job description example below:

  • Assist in developing departmental educational programs based upon standards of practice; conduct formal and informal classes and experiences for staff to support and promote the patient care programs
  • Perform the role of an expert educator, advisor, and consultant on the issues of mental health to department chiefs and staff
  • Organize outpatient psychiatric care within the framework of the behavioral health care service line
  • Conduct initial psychiatric evaluations and follow-up appointments for patients on caseload
  • Complete patient medical records documents required by the agency which include the necessary elements for billing
  • Complete other documents as needed by patients, such as FMLA, Social Security Disability, and immigration forms
  • Collaborate with physician supervisor
  • Make referrals as may be medically required and appropriately within the agency
  • Perform patient prescription injections
  • Take part in agency meetings, and that include treatment team meeting and emergency drills
  • Provide behavioral health services within the scope and practice as defined by the State Nurses Association’s Scope of Practice for Nurse Practitioners
  • Create and maintain accurate records, appropriate legal documents, and other reports of client care consistent with the law
  • Collaborate with the medical and nursing administrators to plan, implement, and evaluate programs to assure competent and effective clinical practice that advance programmatic goals, and that strengthen the systems that support the quality of patient care
  • Deliver specialized care to emotionally distressed individuals both as inpatients and outpatients, and offer consultation within the general hospital community
  • Lead patient counseling, medication management, crisis intervention, milieu therapy, group therapy, and critical incident debriefings
  • Counsel groups of families and/or staff members after crisis situations or in the care of highly contagious disease, ex: AIDS patients, etc.
  • Assess, plan, develop, implement, and evaluate an effective and efficient treatment program that will appropriately meet the needs of patients utilizing best care practices, industry standards, organizational guidelines, appropriate accreditation standards, and applicable federal laws, including HIPAA
  • Obtain comprehensive health histories; perform or request special diagnostic and laboratory tests; interpret test results and develop comprehensive psychiatric treatment plans
  • Provide mental health assessments, diagnosis, and treatment plans in identified areas; provide medication management for patients; and maintain appropriate health records
  • Prescribe pharmaceutical therapy consistent with medical evaluation, treatment plan and current standards of practice
  • Refer clients properly for more specialized or inpatient interventions as clinical situations warrants
  • Participate in a team management approach to patient care/treatment
  • Maintain appropriate files; develop and follow through on treatment plans within organizational guidelines
  • Maintain quality care through participation in peer review, policy development and quality improvement programs
  • Maintain appropriate documentation of clinical and counseling services, including all necessary billing information
  • Ensure accurate and consistent use of encounter forms for all client contacts with behavioral health providers to ensure accurate billing of third party resources
  • Maintain and update professional knowledge and proficiency through continuing education, staff meetings, and workshops; and serving on special committees.

Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Requirements – Abilities, Skills, and Knowledge – for Career Success

To be effective in performing the obligations, purpose, and objectives of the advanced psychiatric nurse job, and be successful in the career, you will need to acquire certain qualities and qualifications.

Employers or recruiters also expect candidates for the advanced psychiatric nurse position to meet those qualities and qualifications to be granted an interview for the job.

They include:

  • Some experience assessing and providing medical services to patients with behavioral health disorders in a psychiatric or primary care setting
  • Experience with adults, adolescents, and children
  • Working knowledge and experience assessing and treating adults/adolescents with alcohol and other drug abuse/dependence
  • Expert clinical judgment and the ability to be self-directed and demonstrate initiative in an expanded role
  • Possess outstanding conflict resolution and problem-solving skills, as well as critical thinking ability
  • Effective oral and written communication skills to relate with staff, patients, and community providers
  • State Board of Nursing certified
  • Registered Nurse License
  • State Nurse Specialty Certification as a Nurse Practitioner
  • National Certification in Advanced Practice Nursing Specialty
  • Registered with the State of practice and DEA for prescription writing privileges
  • Master’s of Science in Nursing from an accredited nurse practitioner training program
  • Past experience (two years) as a nurse practitioner in an outpatient practice setting
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Possess Medicare/Medicaid provider number
  • Specialization in Psychiatry/Mental Health
  • Fluency in bilingual English/Spanish.


To hire for the role of advanced psychiatric nurse in their organizations, it is important for employers to publish the position’s job description to guide interested persons to determine if they qualify for the job and how to apply to it.

The sample job description and general information about the duties and responsibilities of an advanced psychiatric nurse provided in this post will help recruiters to quickly and conveniently make a detailed description of the position for their organization.

Individuals looking to become an advanced psychiatric nurse will also find this article useful; they will be able to improve their knowledge of what the job entails and the requirements to be hired and succeed in the career.

Did this post help you learn about the advanced psychiatric nurse duties and responsibilities? Please, leave a comment in the box below. You may also discuss your job description if you work as a psychiatric nurse in an advanced position.