Behavioral Health Nurse

County of Orange
Full Time 400 service per week $100,006 - $120,910 Per year CA 405 W 5th St, Santa Ana, CA 92701, United States



In addition to performance-based merit increases, this position is scheduled to receive salary range increases on the following dates:

Effective June 28, 2024 – 4.25% increase

Effective June 27, 2025 – 4.00% increase

Salary may be negotiable within the range listed above, based on position requirements and successful candidate's qualifications, subject to appropriate authorization.

Premium Pay

In addition to the hourly salary, eligible applicants may receive premium pay for the items listed below.

  • Bilingual pay: Qualified employees who meet the criteria found ( shall receive an additional seventy $0.70 cents per hour for all hours paid.
  • Night Shift Differential pay: Employees assigned to a night shift shall be paid a night shift differential for each hour actually worked on the assigned night shift. Pay rate is determined by assigned shift hours found   (page 15).
  • Nurse Hiring Incentive: Upon completion of new employee probation, eligible employees shall receive a one-time lump sum incentive of $1,000, within 2 pay periods.
  • Nurse Retention: Upon completion of 10,400 service hours (approximately 5 years of service) in a Nurse classification, you will receive 3% of your annual base salary as a one-time lump sum payment.

This recruitment is open to the public, will remain open for a minimum of five (5) business days, and will remain open on a continuous basis until the needs of the County are met.  Candidates who are placed on the eligible list will remain on the eligible list for six (6) months and may be considered/referred for selection/hiring interviews. After six (6) months, candidates must reapply to receive further consideration.

This recruitment is being held to establish an open eligible list that will be used to fill current and future Behavioral Health Nurse positions within the County of Orange. This recruitment may also be used to fill positions in similar and/or lower classifications.


is a dynamic organization dedicated to creating and supporting an environment that promotes the achievement of optimal individual, family and community health. Under the leadership of the Agency Director, a dynamic executive team with an organizational structure comprised of five (5) service areas - Strategy and Special Projects, Behavioral Health Services, Correctional Health Services, Medical Health Services and Public Health Services - is committed to meeting the health needs of the diverse Orange County community.  




Division consists of three (3) service areas, which provide a culturally competent and client-centered system of behavioral health services for all eligible county residents in need of treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse and mental health care. The service areas include:
  • Children, Youth, and Prevention Services
  • Adult and Older Adult Services
  • Authority and Quality Improvement Services


HCA is recruiting for Behavioral Health Nurses to maintain program compliance with State regulations, primary care physician linkage, metabolic monitoring, medication services, crisis intervention, and medical consultation for all consumers in the programs.
 Current openings are in the following programs:


The ideal candidate will possess at least four (4) years or more of experience as a Registered Nurse working and evaluating individuals in a behavioral health setting, including working with high risk populations that are a danger to themselves and/or the community, being gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder, having a co-occurring substance abuse disorder, or having healthcare issues. In addition, the ideal candidate will possess extensive knowledge and/or experience in the following core competencies:

  • Technical Knowledge | Professional Experience
    • Providing interventions and supportive services to individuals for recovery purposes
    • Identifying risk factors contributing to the mental health problems within client population
  • Oral | Written Communication Skills
    • Communicating effectively with law enforcement, schools, families, social services, hospitals, and private citizens
  • Maintaining and Building Relationships | Interpersonal Skills
    • Handling high profile and sensitive request from the community with professional diplomacy and skill
  • Judgement | Decision Making
    • Exercising good judgment, thinking quickly, and making sound decisions to prevent injury/loss of life, public relations issues, and agency liability
  • Safety Focus
    • Developing and implementing safety plans to ensure safety of individuals within the facility, clinic, and community
    • Being alert and mindful of personal safety and security while giving care to mentally ill clients
Clickto learn more about the minimum qualifications, environmental conditions, and physical characteristics for the Behavioral Health Nurse Classification.

Human Resource Services (HRS) will screen all application materials to identify qualified candidates. After screening, qualified candidates will be referred to the next step and notified of all further procedures applicable to their status in the competition.

Veterans Employment Preference
The County is committed to providing a mechanism to give preferential consideration in the employment process to veterans and their eligible spouses and will provide eligible participants the opportunity to receive interviews in the selection process for employment and paid internship openings. Please click to review the policy.

Online Examinations(Weighted 100%)
Candidates whose experience and education appear to best meet the needs of the department will be invited to participate in an examination(s) covering job-related items. Only the candidates who receive the highest score on the assessment(s) will be referred to the eligible list.

Based on the Department's needs, the selection procedure listed above may be modified. All candidates will be notified of any changes in the selection procedure.

Eligible List
Once the assessment has been completed, HRS will establish an eligible list of candidates. Candidates placed on the eligible list may be referred to a selection interview to be considered for present and future vacancies.