Registered Nurse Mental Health - Mental Health Services - Per Diem/Nights in Lancaster, CA at Antelope Valley Hospital

Date Posted: 7/27/2020

Job Snapshot

  • Employee Type:
    Per Diem
  • Location:
    Lancaster, CA
  • Job Type:
  • Experience:
    Not Specified
  • Date Posted:

Job Description

Job Objective:

Professional Registered Nurse working in the Mental Health Department will be oriented to the Standards of Professional Practice during the initial orientation phase.

Under the direction of the Director of Mental Health Services, is accountable and responsible for the psychiatric nursing care of patients within the department, guided by policies and procedures of the hospital.

 Duties and Responsibilities:

The Mental Health Registered Nurse is expected to provide a safe environment and will protect the patient from untoward events and works as part of Nursing Services: 


  • The nurse will ensure that each patient is wearing the correct hospital name band so a patient can be positively identified according to hospital policy prior to initiating treatment, medications and procedures.
  • Provides nursing interventions to meet the physical and emotional needs of the patient while acting as a role model through active participation in direct patient care to different patient populations, including adults in an open unit and/or locked unit setting.
  • Observes patient for any symptoms or signs of intolerance to medications administered.  Reports any Adverse Drug Reactions to the Pharmacy as developed through policy and procedure.
  • If seclusion or restraint is necessary for patient safety the Registered Nurse will be able to apply restraints and or place the patient in seclusion as per hospital policy.
  • Face- to- face assessment and documentation of patients in restraints and seclusion within one hour. 

Quality OF Care

  • Completes Firearm assessment and advisement on patients during admission. 
  • Assesses patients from the Emergency Department for possible admission to the MH Department. Completes required paperwork when documenting such assessment.
  • Provides assessments and evaluation throughout the hospital as needed.
  • Able to lead different group sessions.
  • Participates actively in Performance Improvement Teams/Committees in the department.
  • Provides patient education on a routine basis, documenting any and all patient teaching on established hospital form(s).
  • Reviews and updates plan of care on patients in the department.  Documents this review and any revisions in the patient's medical record.
  • Appropriate documentation in HED 
  • All part-time and full time Mental Health Nurses must become LPS certified as soon as eligible to take the LA County examination. Per Diem Mental Health Nurses are encouraged to take the examination.
  • The nurse takes action to achieve performance goals.
  • Hand off shift –to-shift report
  • 24 hour chart check
  • Suicide Risk Assessment 
  1. Each nurse participates in the management of the patient by ensuring the following is completed each shift;
  • Evidence based practice
  • Discharge planning
  • Performance Improvement
  1. The nurses use the results of quality of care activities to initiate changes in nursing practice and the healthcare delivery systems as appropriate. 
  2. The nurse ensures that quality of care activities incorporate the patient and family’s perspective as appropriate. 

Individual Practice Evaluation

     The nurse practice reflects knowledge of current professional standards, laws, and regulations. 

  1. The nurse evaluates his or her own nursing practice in relation to the professional practice standards and relevant statutes and regulations. 
  2. The nurse engages in a self-assessment and/or a formal performance appraisal on a regular basis, identifying areas of strength as well as areas where professional development would be beneficial. 
  3. The nurse seeks and reflects on constructive feedback from the team consisting of patient, family and other healthcare providers regarding his or her own practice. 
  4. The nurse takes action to achieve performance goals. 


The nurse caring for mental health patients interacts with and contributes to the professional development of peers and other healthcare provider as colleagues. 

  1. The nurse shares knowledge, skills, and experiences with colleagues. 
  2. The nurse provides peers and other healthcare providers with constructive feedback regarding their practice, as appropriate to their level of expertise.  This feedback must be provided in a respectful manner to enhance learning. 
  3. The nurse interacts with colleagues to enhance his or her own professional nursing practice. 
  4. The nurse contributes to learning environment that is conducive to healthcare education. 

The nurse contributes to an effective team environment by working with others in a way that promotes and encourages each person’s contribution. 


The nurse’s decisions and actions on behalf of mental health patients are conducted in an ethical manner. 

  1. The nurses’ practice is guided by the ANA’s Code of Ethics for Nurses, ASMSN’s Ethics of Care, and ethical principles. 
  2. The nurse maintains patient confidentiality within legal and regulatory parameters. 
  3. The nurse acts as a patient advocate and assists others in developing skills to advocate for themselves. 
  4. The nurse delivers care in a nonjudgmental and nondiscriminatory manner that is sensitive to patient diversity. 
  5. The nurse delivers care in a manner that meets the diverse needs and strengths of the patient and preserves patient autonomy, dignity, and rights. 
  6. The nurse uses available resources in formulating ethical decisions. 


The nurse caring for mental health patients collaborates with the team, consisting of patient, family, and healthcare providers, in providing patient care in a healing, humane, and caring environment. 

  1. The nurse communicates with the team (including the patient and/or family) regarding patient care and the nurse’s role in providing care. 
  2. The nurse collaborates with the team to formulate the plan of care and to make decisions related to the care and delivery of services. 
  3. The nurse consults with other healthcare providers and initiates referrals as appropriate to promote continuity of care. 


  1. The nurse continually questions and evaluates practice and utilizes best available evidence or research findings to develop appropriate plans of care. 
  2. The nurse participates in activities to support clinical inquiry appropriate to the nurse’s level of expertise. 

 Resource Utilization

  1. The nurse evaluates factors related to safety, effectiveness, availability, and expense when choosing between two or more practice options that would result in the same expected outcome. 
  2. The nurse assists the patient and family in identifying and securing appropriate and available services to address health-related needs 
  3. The nurse assigns or delegates aspects of care as defined by the California Nurse Practice Act.  

a. The nurse assigns or delegates aspects of care, the decision is based upon an assessment of the needs and condition of the patient, the potential for harm, the stability of the patient’s condition, the predictability of the outcome, and the competencies of the healthcare provider. 

  1. The nurse assists the patient and family in becoming informed consumers about costs, risks, and benefits of treatment and care. 


Has a thorough knowledge of mental disorders and demonstrates the ability to care for the psychosocial, cultural, spiritual and learning needs of the patients and their families.  Serves as a role model for the staff.  Demonstrates effective interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.  Works closely with, and keeps, the Director of Mental Health Services, or designee, aware of pertinent information regarding the department.  Actively supports AVH mission, vision and values. 

  • Knows about all admissions, transfers and discharges that are occurring, or will be, during the shift.  Completes necessary transfer paperwork and duties when necessary.
  • Assesses patients from the Emergency Department for possible admission to the department.  Completes required paperwork when documenting such assessment.
  • Assures that the staff is following the program schedules for the unit.  Assures that the unit is functioning well and in an efficient manner.
  • Provides leadership, planning and supervision of the care given by other staff members.
  • Responsible for adequate staffing of the department, following the Staffing Plan of the department.
  • Makes appropriate staff assignments for shift by utilizing pre-printed assignment sheet.
  • Maintains adequate staffing for own shift as well as oncoming shift.  Follows department Staffing Plan.
  • Interacts with medical staff on a professional level and troubleshoots for staff, acting as a resource.
  • Assists with reassessments of patients. 
  • Speaks with patients and family/visitors about their satisfaction with their care.
  • Refers all compliments and/or complaints in writing to the Director of Mental Health Services, or designee, in a timely manner.
  • Obtains a Family Questionnaire from patients' families/visitors on an as needed basis.
  • Maintains and completes the patient acuity/staffing variance report for shift.
  • Submits a written report via the e-mail system to the Director of Mental Health Services at the end of one’s shift. 

Non-Essential Duties:

  • Supervises proper use of supplies, time and equipment.
  • Assists in orienting new employees.
  • Other duties as assigned 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

  • Meets all the skills and abilities of a Registered Nurse for Nursing Services 


  • Knowledge of the legal aspects of psychiatric/mental health nursing. 


  • Ability to write 5150 applications for involuntary detention (full-time and part-time RNs as required by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health).
  • Ability to countersign 14 day and 30 day holds. (part-time/full time RN) 

Core Competencies: All AVH employees will effectively demonstrate these behaviors:


Action Oriented

Customer Focused


Effective Communication

Critical thinking Skills 


Ethics & Values

Integrity & Trust 

Education and Experience:


  • Meets all required education and experience necessary for Registered Nurse.
  • ADN, BSN preferred 

Required Experience for part-time and full time nurses:

  • Minimum of three (3) years recent experience in an inpatient mental health work setting preferred.
  • Designation to write involuntary detentions (5150s) after initiation period; re-designation every three (3) years according to County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health rules/standards. 

Required Licensure and/or Certifications:

  • Meets all required licensure and certification(s) of a Registered Nurse.
  • Restraint Certification within 6 months of hire date; recertification annually.
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Certification within 6 months of hire date; recertification annually.
  • Biannual CPR Certification in Basic Cardiopulmonary Life Support 

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions:

Work is performed in the sometimes hectic and changeable atmosphere of the MHS Department.  On occasion, the RN will be called upon to assist in the physical management of assaultive behavior. 

A detailed description of the physical requirements of this job is maintained in the Employee Health Department.

Looking for an opportunity to work in healthcare the way you always dreamed you could? At Antelope Valley Hospital, our employees are at the heart of what we do best – delivering high quality, patient-centered healthcare.

Antelope Valley Hospital, a 420 bed acute care facility, located just 60 miles north of Los Angeles, the Antelope Valley is one of Southern California’s fastest growing communities. We are a Level II Trauma Center and Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center Accredited. Serving the community for over 50 years, our non-profit hospital has grown to be the preeminent healthcare facility for our district’s nearly 1.2 million residents. 

An Equal Opportunity Employer.


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