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Using Your LPN Education in a Psychiatric Clinic

Nurse holding patient’s hand

Nursing is one of the fastest-growing careers in the United States, more than doubling the average career growth rate. The booming field makes nursing jobs high in both demand and job security, with room for advancement and lots of options for specialization. In particular, psychiatry is becoming an increasingly popular avenue for licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Here, Prism Career Institute, which trains LPNs in Philadelphia and New Jersey, explores the role of an LPN in a psychiatric clinic.

What Is a Psychiatric LPN?

In a psychiatric clinic, LPNs support psychologists and psychiatrists in providing mental healthcare. These LPNs are highly knowledgeable in crisis intervention to prevent mental illness-related harm, and they provide aid when it’s most needed. They also work closely with patients to manage mental illnesses by providing assistance, issuing mental health assessments, and administering medication, all of which help patients live productive and fulfilling lives. A psychiatric LPN may work in any of these settings:

  • Psychiatric centers
  • Hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Home healthcare providers
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Schools, especially in those that serve children or adults with mental or emotional ailments

Duties of Psychiatric LPNs

An LPN is often the first person a new patient meets upon entering a psychiatric clinic. The nurse begins each appointment by interviewing and assessing the patient to learn their mental health history, symptoms, and any other ailments and daily habits that might affect their care. LPNs see a variety of mental illnesses and ailments, such as:

  • Anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and phobias
  • Mood disorders, like bipolar disorder and depression
  • Substance abuse, such as drugs and alcohol, and rehabilitation
  • Behavioral and eating disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

The LPN then works with doctors and nurses to develop a treatment plan that’s personalized to the individual’s needs and situation. Treatment may include medication, therapy, and counseling to the families of patients to help them understand the illness. Meanwhile, LPNs working with inpatients may help monitor vitals, make environmental checks, and manage medications, as well as assisting patients with dressing, grooming, and taking medications if needed.

Becoming a Psychiatric LPN

To become a psychiatric LPN, you must first complete approved nursing training, such as Prism Career Institute’s Practical Nursing program, which provides the clinical and administrative knowledge to pass the necessary licensing exam. Upon completing your education, you would then take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) exam, which is required by all states to ensure that graduates have the competency to administer skillful, ethical healthcare.

Once passing the NCLEX-PN exam, you can apply for LPN registration in the state where you intend to work.

Become a Psychiatric LPN

Nursing is one of the fastest-growing careers in the United States, and psychiatric nursing is an increasingly popular option. If you’re interested in an LPN career in a psychiatric clinic, get started now with Prism Career Institute, which offers nursing training at all our campuses throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Find out more about why you should choose Prism Career Institute or call our Admissions Department today at 888-966-8146 to start the enrollment process.