Celebrating Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

I'm Proud to be a Psych Nurse because....

I am grateful to be a psych nurse who offers hope in ‘the possible.’

I invite you to share your stories of gratitude, hope, and pride in being a psychiatric nurses below. Your stories enrich our shared history and sense of humanity.

Susie Adams, PhD, RN, PMHNP, FAANP
APNA President, 2014-2015

Your comments to this page may also be shared in additional APNA outlets such as social media.

Comments (26)
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Christopher James Bonine
Posted May 24, 2020 at 01:22 PM

I have known no greater privilege in my life than to stand by and support my clients through their time of crisis.

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Mandy Oliver
Posted Mar 02, 2020 at 11:48 AM

I have been a psych nurse for 3 years now (2 years as a LVN and 1 year as an RN). I am now specializing in the care of pediatric patients and I love my job. I consider myself lucky that I love going to work each day. I do not know of another career field that allows anyone to feel like you have the opportunity to change one life simply by listening. We treat pediatric patients from some of the worst situations but I could never see myself doing anything else.

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Julianna Willeford
Posted May 29, 2019 at 10:01 AM

I am proud to be a pediatric Mental Health Nurse. I love being able to speak with parents about their child's illness, not linking it to them being bad parents or willful behavior, but as a chemistry issue. I love it when I have a mom tell me her kid made student of the week, not something they ever thought would happen. Yesterday I did a happy dance, 3 kids who aged and graduated out are going to college. Woohoo. Sometimes it can see that the "wins" are few and far between, but they matter and to me are the whipped cream on the sundae. we all make a difference to our patients, even though we don't necessarily see it at the moment. I do find it frustrating that the general public, and yes even other nurses do not understand that there is a biologic basis to the illness, time to stop, preaching to the choir. Thanks to everyone here for caring for our neediest and often forgotten patients

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Ravinder Tung
Posted Feb 19, 2018 at 09:24 PM

I am proud to be mental health nurse, out of 25 years of my carrier,from 14 years working in acute mental health unit. my favorite part is empowerment education and teaching mindfulness meditation and when I see immediate effect on anxiety level and change in understanding illness that makes my day and I always give meditation mantra.... love myself.

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Juan L. Sanchez, RNC. CDDN. CART.
Posted Mar 19, 2016 at 01:04 PM

This is the best specialized field within the Nursing Profession. I have been in practice for about 40 yrs. Currently I am the owner of "The Psych Nurse, Inc.", and we are covring about 2/3 of the state of Texas. We deal with DSM V diagnosed patients. We deal with high risk, high health care cost patients for multiple MCO, Home Health, Assistant Living Centers, etc. You may contact us at The Psych Nurse, Inc. webpage.

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Pamela Brown, RN
Posted Jul 30, 2015 at 02:24 PM

I hear my patients speak of unbearably sad things that have happened to them in their lifetime. I remind myself, as we all should, of this....... but for the grace of God, there go I. I have sat with women who tell me stories, with their heads hung in shame, of sexual abuse at the hands of their own father or brother. I visit with a young man who speaks of being shot up with drugs by a parent since he was a six year old child. Sometimes they just need someone to hold their hand and simply listen for a while. Just listen and not judge them. We all have baggage we carry with us most of our lives, but if we reach out and help others to have a better life....it helps us heal as well. Being a psych nurse can some days drain one emotionally, but it can also remind us that just maybe our lives aren't as hard as we thought.

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Michele Memtsas
Posted Jun 06, 2015 at 09:40 PM

I never new nursing could be more rewarding. I have only been doing psychiatric nursing for 2 years and by for it is the most rewarding. I watch my patients come in and can tell how they are doing. My door is always open to them. They know I am always there for them.

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Dawn Copas
Posted May 14, 2015 at 12:11 PM

I am passionate about recovery and am honored to assist those struggling with mental health issues and addiction and partner with them in the opportunity to grow and transform their lives. The challenges of being an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse are extraordinary but so is the job satisfaction. Few accomplishments are as gratifying as wrestling back a life commandeered by addiction or mental illness. I am in a unique position to contribute to the healing and recovery of individuals, families, and society. My approach is found in the words of Emily Dickinson “hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.” To listen for hope in their stories while applauding their ability to flourish under the most daunting of circumstances is a gift. Compassion is being with the suffering of another with an open heart and often, as healthcare providers, we do not know how to be with our own suffering. As a person in long term recovery, I have learned how to be with my own suffering. Recovery is not dependent on a cure, but fostered by healing, compassion, and facilitating awareness. I value what transpires when treating addiction and mental illness as equally as I value cures found in medicine. I remain a faithful advocate for the practice, education, research, and administrative actions that affect those who seek recovery as well as those of us who live it every day. Dawn Copas, RN, NP, CARN-AP

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Edna Magpantay-Monroe
Posted May 12, 2015 at 12:44 PM

I bring more than physical care to the people we serve. I bring my PRESENCE and empathy. Now, that I am a educator for future nurses, I pride myself in telling students that our sense of observation and genuine desire to empathize are essential to knowing the strengths of our patients to recover.

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Kathryn Brotzge
Posted May 08, 2015 at 12:57 PM

I am proud to be a psychiatric nurse because I feel I make a difference. My patients are grateful for the work we do together . They know I will always listen and be mindful to their needs. There is nothing like a patient telling you they are in recovery now and you were there to help them.

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Doreen Butler
Posted May 07, 2015 at 09:22 PM

I am proud to be a psychiatric/mental health nurse. It is a specialty not readily desired by Bahamian nurses and being able to restore hope within others in situations which seems hopeless brings joy to my heart and solidifies the fact that this is my purpose. I am proud to us my skills daily as i encounter others casually and professionally. Each encounter is truly a caring moment for mental health nurses.

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Helene Vossos DNP, PMHNP-BC, ANP-BC
Posted May 07, 2015 at 08:43 PM

I am proud to be a psychiatric mental health nurse because of the positive influential impact I have on engaging clients to reach for recovery, remission and improve functionality in society. I am an advocate for reducing stigma and improving access to care. Mental health matters!

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kathleen allan
Posted May 07, 2015 at 06:30 PM

The rewards I find in this specialty come from helping clients regain a sense of hope for their future, and become proactive in their recovery process. The support they receive from caring practioners allows them to regain meaningful activities and find contentment in their lives.

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Jane O'Malley
Posted May 07, 2015 at 10:32 AM

In 1960 I got a summer job at a nearby State Hospital. I was 17, intrigued and frightened. Changes to mental healthcare had not arrived yet. What I saw there was indescribable. I could not believe what staff and doctors were doing to people. My plan up until that summer was to go to a conservatory to continue to pursue being a violinist. I changed my mind, thinking that we could provide much better mental healthcare to these forgotten abused and mistreated people. I became an RN and am celebrating my 50th year as a psych nurse. Psychiatric care has made many changes since 1960,but I do not believe we have got it right yet. I decided that I could not retire with more work to be done to improve the quality of care. I now work part-time taking RN students to their MH Clinical's to attempt to instill some of my values around mental health care. It is often a gratifying position.

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Martha Suarez
Posted May 07, 2015 at 12:26 AM

Although my days in uniform are behind me, I am grateful I can continue to support my active duty marines and navy personnel as a PMHNP.

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Posted May 06, 2015 at 11:04 PM

I'm blessed to be able to work with people in all phases of recovery. Mental Illness give me the opertunity to give to those who at times have so little.

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gale sullivan
Posted May 06, 2015 at 10:02 PM

I was so inspired to read Susie Adams message! We forget sometimes how important our work is. I have learned so much from our patients and continue to learn. I am still so moved by their stories and so proud of what we offer in care.

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Frannie Pingitore
Posted May 06, 2015 at 08:24 PM

It has been a privilege to gain the trust of others at a time when they have often been most vulnerable in their lives and positively impact their journey in life, offering new possibilities and hope.

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Jennifer Nolan
Posted May 06, 2015 at 07:12 PM

I am proud to be a psych nurse. I have worked in mental health for 10 years and can truly say out of my 20 years as a nurse, these 10 have presented the greatest challenges, experiences and areas of growth. I have been a witness to people who have struggled with being diagnosed with a mental illness and have seen and participated in their recovery processes. I have advocated for a patient who was misdiagnosed with a mental illness, wrongfully prescribed medications which caused more harm than good and advocated for the discontinuance of these medications and was with her when she was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, was treated, in remission and when it reared its ugly head and took her life. I have been witness to the success stories when those patients who were written off as "hopeless" found hope and managed to regain their self worth and go forth in life. Now, I work with the criminally insane and am helping them. Listening, counseling, guiding, watching as they move forward only to move back. Encouraging them to "get back on track". From all of these people I have learned more about courage and strength than I ever imagined. Because of them I have become a better nurse and a better person. Jennifer Nolan, RN-BC

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Deanna Ludwig-Bos
Posted May 06, 2015 at 05:47 PM

I am proud to serve those who are in need. I know that any one of us can suffer from mental illness at any time in our lives. I have the ability to provide compassionate care while also educating those who do not understand mental illness. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a psychiatric nurse and proud of what my patients have taught me over the years.

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Dr. Renee Bauer
Posted May 06, 2015 at 04:39 PM

I am humbled to spend time with those suffereing with their emotions and I enjoy spending time in a non-judgemental manner. I feel psychiatric nursing is a ministry . There are psychiatric issues in all of nursing.

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Roberta Mowdy
Posted May 06, 2015 at 03:28 PM

The rewards and positive experiences practicing psychiatric nursing have surpassed any of my expectations. This specialty allows the practice of holistic nursing for patients, treating body, mind and spirit. Very fulfilling!

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Rose Blakely
Posted May 06, 2015 at 03:22 PM

The issue of hope has been so important in my practice, permitting me to uses words and images to assist the clients to "grow their hope" while using my hope in the meantime. No matter where we interact, we are using our nursing psych skills. May psych nursing main tai a presence in the nursing field.

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Kenyatta Merriweather
Posted May 06, 2015 at 03:07 PM

i am proud to be a representative for those whose voice can be misinterpreted or ignored. I feel that my job allows me to connect with others from all different ethnic backgrounds and cultures. I hope to make a change in the way people view mental health.

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Posted Jul 14, 2017 at 08:57 AM

Agreed! a very sensitive profession. I am sure it helps you all to change the overview a normal person has for people suffering from such issues. Being a writer, my job is to provide the suitable content and topic to nursing students. You can find them here. research topics in psychiatric nursing and mental health nursing dissertation topics

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Michele Laffin
Posted May 06, 2015 at 02:37 PM

I see one of my major roles as a catalyst to support expression of emotion. During the countless times of listening to one's deepest fear, sadness, grief or vulnerabilty my hope is always that my acceptance and empathy supports healing.

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