What is a Crisis Nurse?

When someone asks you what you do for a living, you may only reply with your job title. But for healthcare professionals, it isn’t always that simple. Many of them work in specialties that require a deeper explanation. Take this example. Some people ask occupational therapists for career advice. This stems from the fact that a lot of people only associate the term “occupation” with jobs. However, in the medical field, this term is actually associated with a patient’s daily activities. So, instead of career coaching, occupational therapists help patients of all ages complete everyday tasks with which they struggle. Another example is a crisis nurse. People may attribute different meanings to the word “crisis” and don’t understand what these nurses really do. In order to eliminate some of the confusion, we’ll explore what a crisis nurse is and why their work is so important! crisis nurse

So, What is a Crisis Nurse?

The term “crisis” is recognized by most as being a time of extreme difficulty or trouble. So, how does this term apply to nursing? A crisis nurse cares for patients with mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders. These nurses complete an initial assessment of a patient experiencing a crisis and try to stabilize their situation. They do so by interpreting medical data and administering appropriate treatments and care. Now that we’ve covered what a crisis nurse is, we’ll discuss some of the necessary qualifications for the job.

Minimum Qualifications of a Crisis Nurse

Most crisis nursing positions have similar qualifications, but some employers may require a more in-depth background. For starters, all crisis nurses must graduate from an accredited RN program and have an active nursing license in the state they wish to practice in. At least one year of related work experience in psychiatric or addiction nursing is also required.

The ability to cope with aggressive, chemically dependent patients is another necessary qualification for a crisis nurse. It’s very important to know how to handle this type of patient in a safe and effective manner. Below we’ll go over a few more skills that are specifically relevant for crisis nurses. 

Essential Skills of a Crisis Nurse

There are many skills that a person needs to have in order to become a nurse. But, some specialties require candidates to have very particular skills. Continue reading for a list of three essential abilities needed to become a successful crisis nurse. 


Crisis nurses can face several problems when treating a patient in crisis. So, it’s important to identify and solve problems quickly. Their patient’s mental state and destructive behaviors can be life-threatening, so coming up with solutions promptly is crucial in order to ensure their safety. Every patient handles these issues differently, so their nurses need to carefully assess their needs and implement individualized nursing plans. This specialized care is very important when it comes to neutralizing a patient’s mental and physical turmoil.

Interpersonal Skills

Nurses make a career out of helping other people. But, they cannot help their patients without being great communicators. Interpersonal skills are especially important for crisis nurses. They need to work well with their colleagues as well as their patients in order to provide the best care. Treating a patient with a drug addiction can be very challenging, so having excellent people skills definitely comes in handy.


A crisis nurse needs to be able to make tough decisions. A patient dealing with a crisis needs the assistance of someone who knows how to take the best course of action, even if it’s a difficult choice. Though it’s not always easy, these nurses must use their knowledge and experience to determine what is best for the people they are treating. These decisions must often be made quickly, so that’s why it’s important for these nurses to have a background in psychiatric or addiction treatment. With this expertise, they use their best judgment while determining how to treat their patients.

Significance of Crisis Nursing

Mental health and substance abuse are incredibly relevant to the field of healthcare today. Competent and compassionate crisis nurses are committed to helping these people tackle their disorders. Without these healthcare professionals, many people would not be able to overcome their crises. It’s important to realize all of the hard work that these do to make a difference in their patients’ lives!

Author: Travel Nurse Source

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