Careers & Jobs
Army Nurse Corps

Psychiatric/Behavioral Health Nurse (66C)

  • Enlisted
  • Officer
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve
  • Open to Women
  • Entry Level

Overview

As a psychiatric/mental health nurse and officer on the U.S. Army health care team, you’ll work with some of the finest minds in medicine who are employing groundbreaking protocols and treatments in key psychiatric issues to address the unique challenges that our service men and women face. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you will serve in a vital role of providing comprehensive mental health care for Soldiers, their families and military retirees.

Job Duties

  • Scope of practice encompasses prevention through mental health promotion activities, intervention when emotional/mental health problems develop, and stabilization of individuals at their highest level of functioning
  • Provide specialized care to emotionally distressed individuals both as inpatients and outpatients, and provide consultation within the general hospital community
  • Conduct patient counseling, crisis intervention, medication management, milieu therapy, group therapy and critical incident debriefings
  • Serve as an expert educator, advisor and consultant on mental health issues to department chiefs and staff
  • Coordinate outpatient psychiatric care within the behavioral health care service line
  • Conduct medical research on diseases of military importance, and conduct, supervise and participate in graduate medical education and training of other medical personnel needed to sustain a robust medical system

Unique duty positions include: psychiatric clinical staff nurse; psychiatric clinical head nurse; head nurse in an alcohol/drug treatment program; advanced practice positions such as psychiatric nurse practitioner; clinical section chief; instructor; program director; member of medical company, combat stress control or medical detachment

Requirements

Active Duty

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing from a program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or accepted by the U.S. Secretary of Education
  • Between 21 and 42 years of age
  • Current, valid and unrestricted nursing license
  • U.S. citizenship

Army Reserve

  • Minimum of a baccalaureate degree, associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited nursing school
  • At least one year of experience in psychiatric nursing
  • Between 21 and 42 years of age
  • Current, valid and unrestricted nursing license
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency

Training

Active Duty
In the U.S. Army, the case diversity nurses experience in caring for Soldiers and their families far exceeds the medical care environment of the private sector. As an Army Nurse Corps officer, you’ll have access to the most sophisticated technology, the opportunity to consult with experts in both the military and private sector, plus exceptional professional growth opportunities, which may include paid continuing education, clinical specialization and residencies.

Army Reserve
Your introduction to the Army Reserve begins with the Army Medical Department Basic Officer Leaders Course, a three-week program that will expose you to the variety of mental and physical challenges you’ll face as a member of the health care team. You’ll learn about the U.S. Army’s approach to health care firsthand, training with other professionals and attending lectures, conferences and demonstrations that cover everything from U.S. Army customs to crisis management. You may even have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on medical simulation of an in-theater field medical unit.

After completing BOLC, you will serve with a Reserve unit a minimum of two days each month, and participate in annual training for at least two weeks each year. During this time, your duties may include attending professional seminars and military or nursing education courses provided by the U.S. Army. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a wide range of health care environments, whether it be in a modern hospital, working with skilled professionals in a variety of clinical situations or supervising paraprofessionals in a field medical unit.

Helpful Skills

The normal environment of an Army Nurse Corps officer’s work requires time-sensitive problem analysis with an accurate, sound, and immediate decision. Ability to operate under stress, apply critical thinking skills, make decisions and translate these skills to battlefield conditions is critical to medical and mission success.

Effective patient care requires the proper balance between technical skills and the ability to apply the appropriate treatment or procedure at the right moment. Army Nurse Corps officers possess expert knowledge in their area of concentration, patient management, and general support and coordination principles. Nurses gain this knowledge through continuing medical education and experience sustained by mentoring, additional institutional training, continuous self-development and progressive levels of assignments within their specialty.

Compensation

Acitve Benefits
In addition to the many privileges that come with being an officer on the U.S. Army health care team, you’ll be rewarded with:

  • Army Nurse Accession Bonus
  • Health Professions Loan Repayment Program Travel opportunities, including humanitarian missions
  • No-cost or low-cost medical and dental care for you and your family
  • Noncontributory retirement benefits with 20 years of qualifying service
  • 30 days of paid vacation earned annually

Reserve Benefits

  • Special Pay for nurses with their Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program
  • Networking opportunities
  • Noncontributory retirement benefits at age 60 with 20 years of qualifying service
  • Low-cost life and dental insurance
  • Travel opportunities, including humanitarian missions

Both active and Reserve duty officers enjoy commissary and post exchange shopping privileges; a flexible, portable retirement savings and investment plan similar to a 401(k); may receive pay for continuing education; and specialized training to become a leader in their field.

Education Benefits

Active Duty
The Army Nurse Corps encourages its nurses to improve their skills and enhance their professional experience through a variety of educational programs, including postgraduate opportunities and continuing education and specialty courses, all of which they often attend at the U.S. Army’s expense. These programs not only ensure a high degree of motivation, professional opportunities and career satisfaction but also serve to maintain both the U.S. Army’s high nursing standards and your level of expertise. Because there is a growing need for psychiatric nurse practitioners, the U.S. Army has established a two-year scholarship using the Health Professions Scholarship Program.

 
Army Reserve
One of the many advantages of becoming a member of the Army Reserve health care team is that you’ll be able to focus on patient care instead of medical school loans. By continuing to practice in your own community and serving when needed, you may qualify for HPLR to repay your medical school loans.

Future Civilian Careers

As you advance through your medical career, you will be looking for experiences that blend teaching, research and clinical excellence to best prepare you for unique and challenging opportunities in medicine. Our nurses excel in the clinical, research, academic and health administration arenas. Many have worked in more than one career track throughout their time in the U.S. Army and have held leadership positions ahead of their private sector counterparts.

The nurse’s responsibility and authority for professional nursing practice expand with education and experience. Expert psychiatric/mental health nurses are role models for their specialty, providing leadership and clinical guidance for effective nursing practice both during their tenure in the Army Nurse Corps and throughout their careers.

PARTNERSHIP FOR YOUTH SUCCESS (PaYS) Program

Those interested in this job may be eligible for civilian employment, after the Army, by enrolling in the Army PaYS program. The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military friendly employers that are looking for experience and trained Veterans to join their organization. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program at http://www.armypays.com.

  • Johns Hopkins
  • GE Healthcare
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Mercy Medical Center

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