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Psychiatry

The Psychiatric nurse views individuals from a holistic perspective, taking into account both physical and mental health needs. This focus assists patients to affect change in self understanding and behavior. 

Psychiatry Nursing Opportunities at UCSD

Psychiatry Nurses
Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit (NBMU) adult Service is an 18-bed locked inpatient unit for patients age 18 years and older with a variety of psychiatric conditions. Patients are voluntary or involuntary — either on a 72-hour hold or 14-day certification for danger to self, danger to others, or grave disability, or on a conservatorship for grave disability. The average length of stay is 9 days, with a significant portion of patients admitted and discharged within 3 days or less. Treatment takes place within a multidisciplinary team format with shared responsibility and includes the following: pharmacotherapy; psychotherapeutic and behavioral interventions; electroconvulsive therapy; family therapy; neuropsychological assessments; group therapy;
recreational therapy; and health education.


SBH Nurses
The Senior Behavioral Health Unit (SBH) is a 14-bed voluntary inpatient unit for patients 65 years and older with psychiatric disorders, or for younger patients with confirmed or probable cognitive disorders. The Unit specializes in caring for older patients with acute psychiatric illnesses which may be complicated by co-morbid medical conditions. Older patients may present with medical problems, complicating their psychiatric problems. Staff is proficient in providing both psychiatric and medical care. All patient are followed by both a Board-certified Geriatric Psychiatrist and a Geriatric Internist. Treatment is multidisciplinary in approach, and may include pharmacotherapy, psychotherapeutic and behavioral interventions, group therapy, family/caregiver and patient education, including family meetings, occupational and physical therapy, and neuropsychological evaluations. The Unit philosophy is to integrate family members into treatment and discharge planning as much as possible.

Learn more about the UCSD Senior Behavioral Health Program

When you work in psychiatry, windows open for self improvement and advancement

  • Nurses in psychiatry are encouraged to improve, advance and excel in their practice.
  • Psychiatric nurses enrich their knowledge and skills through participation in hospital-wide and unit based competencies, in services, conferences, multidisciplinary staff meetings and clinical rounds.
  • Everyone is encouraged to be part of hospital wide and unit nursing councils and many psychiatric nurses are active members.
  • Each Psychiatric unit has nurses involved in Performance Improvement Projects such as Patient Satisfaction, Seclusion and Restraint, Scale of Functioning, and Falls.
  • Nurses in psychiatry are encouraged to advance their education from AA to BSN or BSN to MSN and through ANCC board certification as a Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse.
  • Psychiatric nurses are well informed about their educational benefits and hospital resources.
  • To meet these needs, the Psychiatry Department has provided a resource nurse to assist staff with their education and development plans.