Apply as a Transfer/Demotion applicant

$50.06-$63.25 hourly / $8,677.00-$10,963.00 monthly / $104,124.80-$131,560.00 yearly


Under direction, to provide highly skilled, specialized and intensive psychiatric treatment, counseling, therapy and case management services to individuals with mental and emotional illness, and their families and support networks; to provide professional nursing evaluation, care and advice to clients; and to serve as a liaison/resource person between Santa Cruz County Mental Health and other community agencies/organizations in a training, educational, advisory and/or consulting capacity; and to do other work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is the advanced journey level classification of professional nursing and client support/treatment. This job class is distinguished from other professional mental health classes by the Registered Nurse licensing requirement. This class requires specialized knowledge of physical and psychiatric conditions and reactions to psychotropic and other drugs and medication. Incumbents may serve as a team leader or lead person to subordinate personnel in the diagnosis and treatment of assigned clients. Incumbents in this job class may supervise student interns through an accredited program.

Typical Tasks

Interview clients and makes a psycho-social assessment and evaluation of problems; observe clients' reactions, conditions and symptoms and initiate appropriate actions as necessary; prepare case histories and diagnostic treatment plans; consult with physicians and/or psychiatrists regarding drug treatment plans or any change in clients' condition or behavior; participate in case conferences and team meetings to review individual needs and service plans; provide ongoing liaison with human service providers around issues of treatment and care; offer technical assistance and support to other human service providers and works with these agencies to identify and develop needed health care services; serve as an internal consultant in psychiatric nursing, geriatrics, organic impairments and the effects of psychotropic and other drugs; participate in and/or lead staff conferences/workshops; serve as a liaison and consultant to a variety of community agencies educating them to the various aspects of emotional crisis or disturbances based on organic impairments; initiate and maintain a variety of records, reports, case notes, correspondence and forms for assigned client case load; provide and/or oversee the provision of short term case management services to emotionally disturbed clients, assisting clients to function at the most independent level in the least restrictive setting possible; participate in and coordinates with representatives from other agencies/organizations in the collaborative treatment of shared clients; may supervise, oversee and instruct student interns participating in an approved program; assign, coordinate and review their work; may act as a case management or assessment team leader, developing and implementing appropriate treatment plans for assigned clients; perform physical assessments of patients; administer medication orally and/or by injection under a physician's direction; plan, coordinate and participate in special programs/ projects as assigned; may provide vacation or temporary relief for other classes.

Employment Standards

Knowledge of:

Thorough knowledge of:

  • Psychiatric nursing principles and practices, including proper administration of medications, treatments and therapies.

Working knowledge of:

  • Uses effects and possible adverse reactions to medicines and narcotics.
  • Physiological, psychological and social aspects and characteristics of emotional disturbances and mental illness.
  • Principles and methods of counseling and the accepted techniques for assessing psycho-social behavior.
  • Human behavior and development.
  • Problems and needs of the emotionally ill and socially disturbed.
  • Pharmacology of medications and psychotropic drug treatment.

Some knowledge of:

  • Appropriate and available community resources.
  • Pertinent laws and regulations regarding health and social service pro grams.
  • Laws and regulations as they pertain to clients' legal rights.

Ability to:

  • Assess and diagnose all types of client behavioral and emotional actions/problems and develop and implement effective and appropriate treatment plans.
  • Evaluate, diagnose and differentiate psychiatric and organic conditions and impairments and recommend effective and appropriate treatment plans.
  • Train others at various levels of expertise in the concepts, theories, symptoms and diagnosis of emotional illness and organic impairments.
  • Conduct effective and appropriate individual and group psychotherapy on an on-going basis.
  • Prepare a variety of administrative and professional reports.
  • Coordinate and direct the work of others effectively and positively lead and participate in a treatment team.
  • Establish and maintain a variety of case notes, client records, health histories and other required documentation.
  • Communicate effectively in both oral and written form; expressing complex and technical terminology and concepts.
  • Learn Health Services Agency policies and procedures as they relate to client support and treatment programs.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships.
  • Distinguish speech and non-speech sounds in noisy environments.
  • Lift objects such as boxes of belongings and move furniture weighing up to fifty pounds.
  • Restrain combative clients who may require physical strength and stamina.
  • Stand and walk for extended periods of time may be required for some positions.

Training and Experience: Any combination of training and experience, which would provide the required knowledge and abilities, is qualifying. A typical way to obtain these knowledge and abilities would be:

Possession of a Master's Degree with a major in Psychiatric Nursing or closely related behavioral science field which has included completion of a university approved internship, preferably a clinical internship, in a mental health agency and two years of experience providing psychiatric nursing, treatment, counseling*, or case management services to clients in a mental health setting. Psychiatric nursing in a mental health facility or hospital may be substituted for the advance degree on a year for year basis.

*Substance abuse counseling may be considered for up to 50% of qualifying experience.  Educational counseling is not considered qualifying experience.

Special Requirements, Conditions:

License Requirements: Possession of a valid California class C driver license or the ability to provide suitable transportation which is approved by the appointing authority; possession of a Registered Nurse's license issued by the State of California.

Background Investigation: Fingerprinting is required.

Special Working Conditions: All assignments: Exposure to offensive odors such as unwashed people and clothes, human and animal feces; the possibility of infections which may cause chronic disease or death may occur in the course of physical interventions to control client behavior; hostile or violent individuals; and may be exposed to cigarette smoke. Juvenile Hall and Acute/Emergency Services assignments: Exposure to noise, such as people yelling. Children's Service assignment: Exposure to disturbing material, such as photos of abused children; allergens such as poison oak, insect stings or bites, and pollens. Note: Per sons in this classification may be assigned to positions with any of the above working conditions on an emergency, as needed basis.

Other Special Requirements: Availability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings, weekends, holidays and on an emergency, as needed basis, which may include 24 hour "on-call" availability.


Bargaining Unit: 41
EEOC Job Category: 02
Occupational Grouping: 50
Worker's Comp Code: 0290
Analyst:  KT/JS 

CLASS: SK6; EST: 10/1/1990; REV: 10/1/1996;