Mental Health Nurse (#333050)
$49.51-$60.18 Hourly / $8,581.18-$10,430.47 Monthly / $102,974.10-$125,165.66 Yearly
Apply as a Transfer to Comparable Class applicant


Performs professional nursing duties including assessment, treatment, and dispensing medication; manages, instructs, and refers mentally and emotionally disabled clients; may work with children, teens and/or adults.


This is the journey level classification, characterized by the responsibility to perform nursing duties in the mental health clinical environment.  Uses independent judgement to provide input as a member of a treatment team.  Employees work within a framework of established procedures.

Supervision Received and Exercised

Receives general supervision from the Nursing Supervisor or Program Manager.
May provide technical assistance to lower lever or newly hired employees.

Examples of Duties

  • Conducts intake interviews of new clients; records health information family history and reason for referral; interviews patient and, as necessary, others to obtain information needed in diagnoses, treatment and supervision.
  • Dispenses and administers medications as prescribed; consults with physician regarding client response and case history; counsels clients regarding use and abuse of medications; assists in establishing procedures for obtaining and returning medications; inventories and orders medications; may be involved in the use, troubleshooting, and training medical, nursing and technician staff on the use of a medication dispensing unit.
  • Participates in the assessment of clients needs with doctors, social workers and other members of a mental health treatment team; consults with family members, teachers, probation officers and representatives of other agencies on diagnostics treatment and case disposition matters.
  • Monitors patients general health status; obtains and records vitals; performs various screening and diagnostic tests; obtains, submits and reviews results of laboratory tests.
  • Participates in individual, group and/or family treatment sessions; conducts brief, spontaneous individual counseling of patients and family members; encourages physical health by teaching clients on various health and safety related issues.
  • Plans, develops and implements programs designed for client education and rehabilitation; provides follow-up on medical needs.
  • Prepares reports for representatives of support service agencies to assist clients and their families in obtaining needed services; prepares client progress notes and summaries.
  • Performs various related tasks; documents and reports necessary information to police or probation officers; completes required forms and documents; demonstrates desires behaviors and communications techniques.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Knowledge of:

  • Medicines, narcotics and psychotropic drugs used in the treatment of mentally disabled patients.
  • Laws governing the care and treatment of the mentally disabled.
  • Operation of community mental health programs.
  • General nursing principles, methods and techniques.
  • Medical and psychiatric nursing principles and practices.
  • Principles and techniques of counseling and interviewing.
  • Crisis intervention and individual, group and family therapy techniques.
  • Emotional growth and development.
  • Techniques for managing potentially violent behavior.

Skills to:

  • Utilize basic office equipment.
  • Uses medical supplies and equipment.

Ability to:

  • Independently perform nursing care and supervision of mentally and emotionally disabled.
  • Interview patients to obtain medical histories, treatment, response information and other date needed in patient diagnosis, treatment and supervision.
  • Develop treatment plans.
  • Work with mentally ill individuals.
  • Establish rapport and communicate with mentally disabled individuals.
  • Establish and maintain effective and productive communication with other mental health professionals.
  • Distinguish between physically and emotionally related illnesses.
  • Determine the appropriate course of action in emergency or stressful situations.
  • Research regulations, procedures and/or technical reference materials.
  • Perform triage for the most severe cases, and make referrals to local and regional providers of social, medical and/or other specialized services.
  • Co-lead group counseling sessions.
  • Maintain confidentiality of information.

Education and Experience

  1. Two yeas of psychiatric nursing or community mental health nursing experience. 
  2. Associate’s degree in Nursing or diploma in Nursing from a three year RN program


Possession of or ability to obtain a valid Class C California driver’s license may be required.
Possession of a valid license to practice as a Registered Nurse in the State of California.
Possession of a current CPR certificate.


Selectees for employment must, as a condition of employment, sign a statement agreeing to comply with Section 11166 of the California Penal Code relating to child abuse reporting.

ADA Compliance

Physical Ability:  Tasks require the ability to exert moderate, though not constant physical effort, typically involving some combination of climbing and balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling, and which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of moderate weight (12-20 pounds).
Sensory Requirements:  Some tasks require visual perception and discrimination.  Some tasks require oral communications ability.
Environmental Factors:  Incumbents must be able to work in an environment that may include exposure to communicable disease, violence, or a hostile environment.

CLASS: 333050; EST: 11/1/2002;