Career focuses on psychiatric nursing


A career development plan is a tool used for people to plan and focus on where they see themselves working. It helps by allowing them to self reflect on what they want, and what their progress has looked like. They then can assess and plan accordingly to follow their career of choice in the direction they desire.

In this paper, one will read about two career focuses on psychiatric nursing, the strength and challenges of each focus and the role of the British Columbia College of Nursing Professional (BCCNP). In addition, the aspiration as a psychiatric nurse including their most interesting specialty and how they will adapt to the role using their personal strengths and skills will be discussed. Career focuses on Psychiatric Nursing.

Long-Term Care

In this career focus, a nurse will be providing care to mostly elderly residents who need long term care due to chronic illnesses. One will see the nurse working efficiently with the team as well as on their own (Vancouver Coastal Health. n.d.). The roles and responsibilities of the nurse in this setting would be creating a care plan, implementing nursing interventions and evaluating the client’s outcomes based on the goals of the care plan (Vancouver Coastal Health. n.d.). They will act as a resource and work collaboratively with the team, family and residents to ensure quality care and comfort.

In addition, they are expected to communicate effectively and respectively to the care staff, family and other health care providers and work towards mediating any conflict. They should use “sound judgement” (Vancouver Coastal Health. (n.d.) when providing care and always utilize their critical thinking skills (Vancouver Coastal Health. (n.d.). The BCCNP ensures that they will follow their set guideline and practices.

In a long-term care facility, one would adhere to the standards of acting within client-specific orders (BCCNP. n.d.a). An example of this would be changing the fluid consistency following the dietitian’s orders. One of the strengths of this career focus is the ability to utilize the care team to gain appropriate information on the client such changes and or improvements on the condition. As one spends an increased amount of time with a resident who lives in long-term care, it becomes a challenge to not be emotional if a resident passes due to various causes.

Community Mental Health Nurse

One working in this career can be expected to provide care management and treatment to individuals who have mental illnesses and

or concurrent disorders (Fraser Health. (n.d.). They have the responsibility to educate and help the client access and refer them to appropriate resources within the community. They are able and expected to provide crisis interventions and individual counselling (Fraser Health. (n.d.). One will also see them communicating and collaborating with the interdisciplinary team, family and social worker to ensure the progress of the client.

It is important to take note that when administering medications to the clients, one is expected to adhere to the BCCNP standards of medication administration are “clear complete and current” as many changes can happen abruptly in the community (BCCNP. (2018).  A strength within this career is being able to utilize and connect the client with various sources in the community. This help broadens the support system and promotes empowerment. A challenge can be motivating the client and determining when to include and connect with other community support systems.

Aspirations as A Psychiatric Nurse

With one having experience of being part of the interdisciplinary team in community care, the most interesting career focus one can pick is the community mental health nurse. They would pick this because the environment of providing care becomes more relaxed. Not only it becomes relaxed for the client, one can determine the personality and approach to the client a lot quicker. When facing the challenges of this role, one can utilize their personality by being able to establish a rapport with the client and engaging them in small activities first, then using techniques such as motivational interviewing to further motivate them.


Reflecting and analyzing different career focuses help determine ones preferred path in the field of psychiatric nursing. Key factors remain the same throughout each career focus such as collaboration, communication and following the standards of the BCCNP guidelines. After analyzing the three potential career subspecialties, clinical security liaison nurse, long-term care and community mental health nurse, it came to the determination that the preferred career choice would be the community mental health nurse. Although has it has its own unique set of challenges, using one’s personality can aid in overcoming them.