Nurse Practitioner (Mental Health)

Veterans Health Administration | Charleston, SC

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Posted Date 9/22/2022
Description This position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), a student loan payment reimbursement program. You must meet specific individual eligibility requirements in accordance with VHA policy and submit your EDRP application within four months of appointment. Approval, award amount (up to $200,000) and eligibility period (one to five years) are determined by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services program office after complete review of the EDRP application.




The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) in the Psychiatry Access Center provides mental health consultation to Emergency Department clinicians for patients presenting with mental health symptoms and conditions. The PMHNP works as a member of a team that provides onsite consultative mental health services from 7 a.m. through 11 p.m. , 365 days per year. In each two-week pay period, the NP would typically work six 12 hour tours ( 7 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. OR 11 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.) plus one 8 hour tour (7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. OR 3 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.). The PMHNP will normally work 2 weekend days each pay period as well as holidays that fall within the tour. The PMHNP provides mental health diagnostic assessments, and assists as needed with medication recommendations for the ED providers. The PMHNP develops a plan of care which may include inpatient mental health admission or discharge from the Emergency Department with a follow-up care plan in place. The PMHNP also reviews requests for transfers to the facility's inpatient mental health unit and provides telephone outreach follow-up for discharged patients having elevated risk for suicide. Other clinical responsibilities may be assigned, depending on overall workload, but the primary responsibility is for patient care in the ED.

Although cases will be staffed with an attending psychiatrist, the PMHNP is expected to function with a high level of independence. They should demonstrate a high level of clinical expertise in management of mental health crises, work collaboratively with other clinicians across different services and disciplines, exercise sound clinical judgement and apply critical thinking skills. This NP is also responsible and accountable for maintaining training requirements and may be assigned additional duties that reflect the educational, experiential and competency requirements outlined in the four (4) dimensions noted in the Clinical Nurse Path.

Work Schedule: Six 12 hour tours and one 8 hour tour per pay period, starting as early as 0700 and ending as late as 11:30 p.m., and including some weekends and holidays.
Compressed/Flexible: Yes
Telework: Not Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
EDRP Authorized: his position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), a student loan payment reimbursement program. You must meet specific individual eligibility requirements in accordance with VHA policy and submit your EDRP application within four months of appointment. Approval, award amount (up to $200,000) and eligibility period (one to five years) are determined by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services program office after complete review of the EDRP application. Please contact Lena Gowder or Tran Brunsberg, the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP) Coordinators at lena.gowder@va.gov or tran.brunsberg@va.gov . Learn more.
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not requiredApplicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.

Basic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • English Language Proficiency. In accordance with 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), no person shall serve in direct patient care positions unless they are proficient in basic written and spoken English.
  • Graduate of a school of professional nursing approved by the appropriate State-accrediting agency and accredited by one of the following accrediting bodies at the time the program was completed by the applicant: The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). In cases of graduates of foreign schools of professional nursing, possession of current, full, active and unrestricted registration will meet the requirement of graduation from an approved school of professional nursing. OR The completion of coursework equivalent to a nursing degree in a MSN Bridge Program that qualifies for professional nursing registration constitutes the completion of an approved course of study of professional nursing. Students should submit the certificate of professional nursing to sit for the NCLEX to the VA along with a copy of the MSN transcript. (Reference VA Handbook 5005, Appendix G6) OR In cases of graduates of foreign schools of professional nursing, possession of a current, full, active and unrestricted registration will meet the requirement for graduation from an approved school of professional nursing.
  • Current, full, active, and unrestricted registration as a graduate professional nurse in a State, Territory or Commonwealth (i.e., Puerto Rico) of the United States, or the District of Columbia.
Preferred Experience:
  • Experience in Assessment and management of patients presenting with emergent and urgent mental health conditions

Grade Determinations: The following criteria must be met in determining the grade assignment of candidates, and if appropriate, the level within a grade:
  • Nurse I Level I - An Associate Degree (ADN) or Diploma in Nursing, with no additional nursing practice/experience required.
  • Nurse I Level II - An ADN or Diploma in Nursing and approximately 1 year of nursing practice/experience; OR an ADN or Diploma in Nursing and a bachelor's degree in a related field with no additional nursing practice/experience; OR a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) with no additional nursing practice/experience.
  • Nurse I Level III - An ADN or Diploma in Nursing and approximately 2-3 years of nursing practice/experience; OR an ADN or Diploma in Nursing and a Bachelor's degree in a related field and approximately 1-2 years of nursing practice/experience; OR a BSN with approximately 1-2 years of nursing practice/experience; OR a Master's degree in nursing (MSN) or related field with a BSN and no additional nursing practice/experience.
  • Nurse II - A BSN with approximately 2-3 years of nursing practice/experience; OR ADN or Diploma in Nursing and a Bachelor's degree in a related field and approximately 2-3 years of nursing practice/experience; OR a Master's degree in nursing or related field with a BSN and approximately 1-2 years of nursing practice/experience; OR a Doctoral degree in nursing or meets basic requirements for appointment and has doctoral degree in a related field with no additional nursing practice/experience required.
  • Nurse III - Master's degree in nursing or related field with BSN and approximately 2-3 years of nursing practice/experience; OR a Doctoral degree and approximately 2-3 years of nursing practice/experience.
Nurse Practitioners. A nurse practitioner must be licensed or otherwise recognized as a nurse practitioner in a State, possess a master's degree from a program accredited by the NLNAC or CCNE, and maintain full and current certification as a nurse practitioner from the American Nurses Association or another nationally recognized certifying body. The certification must be in the specialty to which the individual is being appointed or selected.

Reference: VA Regulations, specifically VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G-6 Nurse Qualification Standard. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.

Physical Requirements: The population of male and female Veterans served ranges from the adult, age 18, to the elderly, age 65 and over. The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is a major interdisciplinary teaching facility, serving medical, surgical and neurological inpatients and outpatients. There is a large outpatient psychiatric population with admission for medical co-morbidities. This position requires visual acuity, keen hearing, clear distinctive speech and manual dexterity. This position requires potentially long periods of continued walking, standing, stooping, sitting, bending, pulling and pushing. Transferring patients and objects may be required. The incumbent may be exposed to infected patients and contaminated material and may be required to don protective clothing in isolation situations or operative/invasive procedures. The incumbent will be exposed to patients who are combative secondary to delirium, dementia or psychiatric disorders. The incumbent must be a mature, flexible, sensible individual capable of working effectively in stressful situation, able to shift priorities based on patient needs.
Opportunity Type
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