Psychiatric Nurse I/ii

County of Santa Barbara
Full Time 24 per week $98,660 - $118,755 Per year CA 401 E Ocean Ave, Lompoc, CA 93436, United States


SALARY:Psychiatric Nurse I:

 $98,660.25 - $118,755.04 Annually

 Psychiatric Nurse II:

 $103,312.44 - $124,429.92 Annually

Bilingual allowance when applicable

 Special Duty Assignment allowance when regularly assigned to the Psychiatric Health Facility.


The Behavioral Wellness Department is currently accepting applications for two (2) full-time, one (1) part-time, and extra help Psychiatric Nurse I/II positions with the Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) in Santa Barbara. Additionally, we are accepting applications for one (1) full-time Psychiatric Nurse I/II position with the Adults Outpatient Clinic in Santa Barbara. 
The Behavioral Wellness Department is also accepting applications to establish an employment list for future Full-Time, Part-Time, and Extra Help (temporary) and *1414 vacancies for Psychiatric Nurse I/II positions in multiple locations including but not limited to Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc. Therefore, you must check the Individual Location(s) on the application where you would be willing to accept an assignment.
The selected candidate may need to travel between different sites within Santa Barbara County. The operational area may include: Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Goleta, Lompoc, Los Olivos, Santa Maria, and Santa Ynez.

*1414 vacancies may occur as a result of a leave of absence (Civil Service Rule 1414) and the duration of the appointment shall be subject to the return of the individual who is on leave. A person who is appointed to a position under Civil Service Rule 1414 may be able to transition into a regular position in the classification without re-application or re-testing, depending on the performance of the appointee and the needs of the department.

Founded in 1962, it is the mission of the to promote the prevention of and recovery from mental illness and addiction among individuals, families and communities, by providing effective leadership and delivering state-of-the-art, culturally competent services. The Department provides treatment, rehabilitation, and support services to 10,000 clients with mental illness and substance use disorders annually through its professional staff of over 400, in addition to its many contracted Community-Based Organization (CBO) providers. The Department’s decisions and service delivery are guided by the following values:
  • Quality services for persons of all ages with mental illness and/or substance abuse
  • Integrity in individual and organizational actions
  • Dignity, respect, and compassion for all persons
  • Active involvement of clients and families in treatment, recovery, and policy development
  • Diversity throughout our organization and cultural competency in service delivery
  • A system of care and recovery that is clearly defined and promotes recovery and resiliency
  • Emphasis on prevention and treatment
  • Teamwork among department employees in an atmosphere that is respectful and creative
  • Continuous quality improvement in service delivery and administration
  • Wellness modeled for our clients at all levels; i.e., staff who regularly arrive at the workplace healthy, energetic and resilient
  • Safety for everyone 
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The Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) is an Acute Psychiatric Inpatient Hospital that accepts Medi-Cal. PHF is a 16-bed, locked facility that provides 24-hour inpatient care to individuals requiring psychiatric hospitalization. Incumbents in this class work within a system of interdisciplinary departmental teams and/or contract service agencies providing assessment, prevention, intervention, treatment, and related ancillary support services via an integrated service delivery system to people with alcohol and other drug-related problems, mental illness, and/or co-occurring conditions. This program operates on 24/7.
The PHF is seeking a Psychiatric Nurse I/II to fill the Infection Prevention role. This position is perfect for the Preventionist who is highly self-motivated, works well independently, but does just as well as part of a team. The ideal candidate will be remaining current in Infection Prevention practices, Healthcare Associated Infection surveillance, managing the hand hygiene monitoring process, gathering and reporting Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement indicator data, reporting to National Healthcare Safety Network on one healthcare personnel module, reporting monthly to the Medical Practice Committee, education and policy review and creation for new processes. The outgoing Infection Preventionist is Certified in Infection Control, able to orient new Infection Preventionists, and all duties are currently up to date.

The Adults Outpatient Clinic provides services to adults and older adults living with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI); adults/older adults with severe, complex Co-Occurring disorders (SPMI and Alcohol/substance abuse). Services include: Case management linkage and advocacy for clients- specifically for housing, benefits, medical service needs, and vocational/educational support; Rehab/skill building assistance for clients – specifically in areas of social skills, daily living (ADL), money management, and use of community services; Screening, evaluation, and treatment planning; Providing individual and group rehab and skill building service; Crisis intervention services; Recovery Model; Work with Consumer/Peer employee/co-workers; Field based or outreach services; Services for individuals experiencing homelessness.

THE POSITION:  Under general supervision, provides professional psychiatric nursing care to acutely and chronically ill patients; performs related duties as required. Candidates may be assigned to in-patient health facilities or out-patient clinics.
Candidates may select and/or be assigned to one of the departmental programs per the needs of the department. For program details, please refer to the supplemental questionnaire.
NOTE: Candidates may be appointed at the Psychiatric Nurse I or II level, depending on the candidate's qualifications and the needs of the department. Information regarding both levels is contained in this bulletin.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Psychiatric Nurse I/II is a flexibly staffed series. Psychiatric Nurse I is the entry-level class in this series. Incumbents learn to perform the range of psychiatric nursing duties required to care for primarily high risk, mentally ill patients in a locked institutional setting. Incumbents are expected to progress to the Psychiatric Nurse II level within a reasonable period of time.
Psychiatric Nurse II is the journey-level class in this series. Incumbents perform the full range of psychiatric nursing duties. Work assignments require a thorough knowledge of mental health practices and procedures, laws and regulations, the ability to work independently, and involve team leader responsibility over other nursing and mental health workers.
Classes in this series are distinguished from Staff Nurse by the specialization in psychiatric nursing.

The Ideal Candidate will: 
  • Have excellent oral and written communication. 
  • Have some work experience with clients diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness. 
  • Work as part of a multi-disciplinary team. 
  • Have proficient computer skills in Microsoft Office. 
  • Have the ability to read, write, converse fluently in English and Spanish (preferred for some positions). 
  • Experience working with electronic health records.
Experience working in forensics, detox, acute health, or emergency settings or with dementia or developmentally disabled patients (highly desirable).

Examples of Duties

  1. Observes assigned patients on a daily basis to identify, interpret, and document physical and emotional status and/or patterns, such as assaultive or suicidal behavior, and response to treatment or medication; as part of a multi-disciplinary team, assists in formulating a diagnosis and developing and implementing individualized patient treatment plans based on observations; provides crisis intervention to those individuals experiencing acute episodes.
  2. Participates in or leads individual or group counseling sessions, family conferences, and recreational and social therapy sessions to assist patients in understanding the nature of emotional and physical problems, to accept the need for treatment, and to address issues such as communicable disease and family planning; participates in departmental and team meetings to discuss patient care and progress, shift activity, and program policies and procedures.
  3. Administers psychotropic medications to patients, monitors use, and documents reactions; instructs patients on the purpose, dosage, and side effects of medication, and explains the legal process related to the patient's refusal to take prescribed medication.
  4. Obtains medical, psychiatric, social, and family histories of new admissions; takes and records vital signs; obtains lab specimens; assists physicians with exams; schedules and arranges for special tests; develops discharge plans; maintains charts and logs; monitors supplies; performs catheterizations and enemas; and draws blood.
  5. Aids patients in obtaining proper medical care, after release or during hospitalization, by identifying community agencies and resources to assist patients with stabilization while living in the community; interacts with private medical facilities, courts, and county and State agencies to express concerns of the patient and to discuss treatment; testifies in court as to the patient's mental and physical condition.

Employment Standards

In order to be considered for this position, applicants must provide detailed information on their application to demonstrate how they meet the employment standards (minimum qualifications) listed below: 
Possession of a valid Registered Nurse license issued by the California State Board of Registered Nursing and; 
Knowledge of: the principles, practices, and laws of professional nursing; health education, interviewing, and counseling techniques; common illnesses, diseases, disabilities, injuries, and nutrition; use and effects of general medications and immunizations; community health and social services.
Ability to: understand and explain mental health laws and regulations; learn the various methods, techniques, and procedures used in psychiatric nursing; learn the uses and effects of psychotropic drugs and narcotics; learn patient safety practices and facility security; observe and learn to recognize the behavior patterns of emotionally disturbed and mentally ill patients; learn the theories, principles, and techniques of group and individual psychotherapy; evaluate and assess the need for mental health services; analyze a situation and adopt a course of action; prepare and maintain medical records and reports; recognize and respect limits of confidential information; communicate with people of diverse socioeconomic and ethnic origins; speak before groups; exercise independent judgment in medical emergencies; demonstrate tact, diplomacy, patience, and compassion; establish and maintain working relationships with co-workers, other agencies, and organizations; comply with nursing policies, protocols, and program regulations; understand and follow instructions; work independently.
Working Conditions

  • Candidates will either work at inpatient acute health facility or outpatient clinics. 
  • The Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) is a 24/7 inpatient unit which requires shift work including holidays, evening and overnight shifts (including weekend evening & overnight shifts). 
  • Outpatient clinics will work M-F. 
  • The PHF serves clients with behavioral and/or psychiatric treatment needs. 
  • Incumbents work in a locked facility with patients who can be a danger to themselves and others.