Mental Health Nurse Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

By | October 5, 2023
Mental Health Nurse Job Description
Mental Health Nurses need to have strong social and communication skills to be effective in assisting patients.

This post presents detailed information on the mental health nurse job description, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.

It also highlights the major requirements that you may be expected to meet to be hired for the mental health nurse role.

What Does a Mental Health Nurse Do?

Mental health nurses take care of patients who are suffering from mental issues such as mental disorders or mental illnesses.

Their job description entails striving to improve the conditions of their patients every day.

A mental health nurse may help a patient tackle depression or combat drug and alcohol abuses through counseling or treatment.

They take care of other mental health issues such as neuroses, personality disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, psychoses, etc.

Their role also involves helping patients to overcome the stigmas associated with mental disorders alongside the patients’ family.

Mental health nurses usually work with a professional team that may include psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and occupational therapists.

They work to understand the needs of their patients; conduct risk assessments, and develop a comprehensive care plan.

It should be noted that not all persons that come in contact with mental health nurses need treatment.

Some may be stress related. A mixed form of treatment is involved, which includes medication, occupational therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT); it also involves using de-escalation techniques.

Mental health nurses work in different settings – patients’ homes, health care centers, hospital outpatients units, and specialist units.

Mental Health Nurses Job Description Example/Sample/Template

Mental health nurses perform various functions in caring for people with mental illness. The major duties, obligations, tasks, and responsibilities that commonly define their job description are presented below:

  • Assess patients by discussing with them regarding their mental health issues and draw up the best possible ways to care for them
  • Build a robust and excellent relationship with patients and their families by building trust
  • Listen to patients needs and interpret them accurately
  • Provide treatment to patients and ensure medications are correctly administered
  • Work to understand the source(s) of patients’ disorders
  • Assist patients to overcome their mental health problems
  • Assist patients to cope or manage their emotions effectively
  • Conduct one-on-one therapy sessions or group sessions with patients
  • Prepare patients’ records and also maintain the records efficiently
  • Monitor patients progress with their families
  • Ensure the coordination of all related mental health services
  • Conduct risk assessment on patients
  • Ensure that all legal requirements are complied with to the letter
  • Recommend patients to psychiatrists and psychologists for further examination
  • Assist patients to develop social skills.

Mental Health Nurse Requirements –Abilities, Skills, and Knowledge to be Successful on the Job

Employers of prospective mental health nurses expect them to possess certain skills, abilities, and knowledge to be effective in performing the objectives, purpose, and responsibilities defined in the work description:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Nursing or Mental Health
  • Possess a 3-year cognate experience
  • A Master’s degree in Mental Health will be an added advantage
  • Ability to show empathy with patients and the condition they find themselves
  • Excellent communication skills to effectively and accurately interact with patients
  • Accurate decision-making skills
  • Excellent time and stress management skills
  • Interpersonal skills in order to work harmoniously with other professionals
  • Excellent relationship skills to build trust with patients and their families
  • Ability to help patients overcome mental disorder stigmas
  • Must possess great mental and emotional stability in order to be able to stabilize patients’ emotions and mental states
  • Attend conferences, workshops, and seminars to improve skills or knowledge
  • Ability to pay attention to detail will be crucial
  • Must possess problem-solving abilities
  • Must be physically fit and have the stamina to work long hours
  • Strong ability to work in a tense and challenging environment
  • Possess excellent psychological skills
  • Should be able to demonstrate excellent social skills
  • Excellent observational skills to pick out changes in patients’ behaviors
  • Ability to be calm and patient during challenging moments
  • Must be able to use a non-judgmental approach to patients’ mental issues


The job description sample and information presented in this post will be useful to employers looking to recruit for the role of mental health nurse.

They will be able to create the perfect description for the position that can increase their chances of attracting the best nurses for the job.

This article is equally useful to individuals interested in a nursing career in the field of mental health.

They will learn about the mental health nurse duties and responsibilities to decide if it is the right career for them to go into, and to prepare themselves for the role in the future.

Also, the mental health nurse requirements provided in this post shows what you need to have to gain employment with most employers and to succeed on the job.