Barcelona City Council | Capital humàBarcelona City Council website

Home  > Job profiles

Get to know this occupation

Other denominations

Nurse specialised in psychiatric nursing care; psychiatric and mental health nurse


The psychiatric nurse lends assistance to the person, family and community to help promote and boost mental health, prevent illness and deal with bouts of stress and mental illness, as well as assisting the above in readjusting and finding meaning in said experiences. The differentiating features of a psychiatric nurse is his/her career orientation, which basically revolves around interpersonal relations between nurse and patient or patient groups. Makes use of this relationship as the main therapeutic work tool, initiating, promoting and maintaining a relationship based on mutual help between the nurse and the person, family or group receiving cares, for a specific period of time. During this period, the psychiatric nurse focuses his/her activities around the needs and problems of the person, family or group through the use of therapeutic knowledge, attitudes and skills typical of this occupation. A psychiatric nurse operates in the inpatient department (psychiatric hospitalisation centres, psychiatric wards in general hospitals and other units within the general hospital in which his/her advice helps other professionals to handle the patients' emotional disturbances) and in the community (outpatient care, day hospital, night-time hospital, daycare centres and in the home). This is the person in charge of psychiatric nursing care and of the nursing team which is made up of the psychiatric nurse, psychiatric nursing assistants, nursing care and postgraduate students in training, and nurses with an occasional involvement in the care process.


  • In terms of assistance, he/she is the person in charge of mental health care, given that he/she directs the nursing care process across its different stages (assessment of needs, nursing diagnoses, patient care planning, execution and assessment of the care process).
    Promote, prevent, maintain and rehabilitate the mental health of the community and see to its care.
    Evaluate individual, family and group situations in hospitals and in outpatient situations.
    Identify and evaluate mental health disorders.
    Assess available resources in the area in which patients are cared for and manage and distribute these resources.
    Seek to ensure a healthy and safe environment, taking into account the situation of the patient and available resources.
    Develop a health care plan suited to treatment goals, activities and criteria in each situation.
    Provide nursing care to individuals, family and the community with mental health problems.
    Identify bioethical problems and apply reasoning and critical thinking in subsequent analysis and resolution.
    Channel toward other professionals the situations that require such channelling.
    Assesses the development of the different stages of the care-taking process, introducing necessary corrective elements to ensure the effectiveness of nursing care.
  • Perform tasks related to education.
    Teach patients and their families to develop self-care abilities and techniques aimed at obtaining an optimal state of health.
    Provide advice and support to general nurses and other specialist nurses to help complete the relevant care plan and improve interpersonal relationships.
    Organise training for basic and specialised nursing students under his or her responsibility.
    Help teach mental health care to other workers and people in the community.
    Participate in teaching at nursing schools and other schools related to this speciality.
    Direct the speciality of mental health nursing, lecturing in the education of relevant topics.
    Direct and participate in teaching at schools for psychiatric nursing aids.
    Promote, participate in and direct continuing education in mental health nursing in the various areas in which nurses work.
  • Perform management duties with the following tasks:
    Help develop mental health policies, both nationally and locally, and participate in the development of mental health services with duties specific to the profession.
    Help develop mental health systems in accordance with the mental health nursing team's criteria.
    Assume professional leadership and propose the planning, development and implementation of mental health programmes.
  • Conduct research projects that help optimise the quality of care and professional development.
    Contribute to advances in the profession through exchanging and discussing research carried out in the mental health field.

Quick access and copyright:

Centre per al desenvolupament professional Porta22

Barcelona Treball (Porta22)
Llacuna, 156-162, 08018 Barcelona

Monday to Friday from 9 to 18 h

Generalitat de Catalunya
Unió Europea FEDER
Unió Europea FSE