Job Specification

Position Title:
Mental Health Nurse
Job Code:
C50040 - Mental Health Nurse (COR)
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

To provide general and psychiatric nursing care to patients in a correctional facility in collaboration with the inter-professional team, the Mental Health Nurse cares for mentally ill patients with diverse backgrounds through assessment, developing and implementing treatment plans and accessing community mental health services as required.

Duties / Responsibilities :

1. Leading case management for patients with a mental illness by developing, implementing and evaluating treatment/discharge/release plans, which includes identification and collaboration with Ministry and community mental health resources. Coordinating services for patients with a mental illness by accessing health care disciplines and professional resources such as psychiatry, social work and psychology. Case management activities for patients with a mental illness may include, but is not limited to, medication regimen management, coordination of care with a variety of mental health care professionals, securing supportive housing, employment, establishing healthy social relationships, and community participation.
2. Providing mental health services to mentally ill patients by completing a comprehensive mental health assessment through observation, engagement, examination, interview and consultation; and obtaining pre-existing mental health history from the community mental health care providers. Triaging of patients' mental health care needs based on assessment and consultation with the inter-professional team.
3. Documenting each patient's mental health assessments, treatment, condition, behaviour, evaluation of health care status according to relevant College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) Professional Standards and Ministry policy. Completing reports/documents (i.e. Occurrence reports, administrative summaries, court letters, Accident and Injury reports, etc.) and updating Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS) alerts as required.
4. Planning for, and provision of, patient mental health care treatment, including co-ordination with operational and court requirements. Facilitation of mental health care services from both institutional and community health care professionals.
5. Identifying health care services and resources for patients advocating on their behalf with treatment professionals and agencies and arranging for implementation of health care intervention.
6. Collaborating with the inter-professional team to develop a facility treatment and management plan for mentally ill patients.
7. Facilitating the court ordered transfer of mentally ill patients as required. This will include those patients deemed unfit, not criminally responsible, or who have assessment/treatment orders. Completion Ontario Review Board (ORB) hearing summaries, and representing the facility at ORB hearings as required.
8. Facilitating small group sessions with patients who have a mental illness, including health teaching, counselling, preventative care, and harm reduction programs.
9. Maintaining confidentiality of personal health information in accordance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). Communicating with the patient's family, lawyer, and legal representative in accordance with the PHIPA.
10. Maintaining competencies to practice as a Registered Nurse in Ontario via participation in continuing education relevant to the practice environment, CNO Quality Assurance Program, using health care resources as required.
11. Assisting in the orientation of new employees, including mentorship, coaching and training of job specific duties.
12. Ensuring health care practices are consistent with the security of the institution, ensuring safety and security of the health care area, health care equipment, and pharmaceuticals.
13. Serving as a mental health resource by providing leadership and guidance to both health care and non health care employees through presenting education programs, role modelling interaction skills, maintaining and sharing up-to-date knowledge of nursing standards and mental health treatment modalities.
14. Participating in the review, development and implementation of institutional mental health care policies and procedures.

Staffing and Licensing :

Registered Nurse with the College of Nurses of Ontario.

Knowledge :

In-depth knowledge of mental illness, mental health nursing theory, community mental health resources, evidence based practice and current treatment modalities acquired through enrolment in/completion of post-diploma/post-degree certificate program in mental health, and supplemented by continuing education in mental health/psychiatry.

Knowledge of institutional and health care policies and procedures to ensure safety of patients, security of health care areas and
equipment/supplies/pharmaceuticals and to report health restrictions that may affect patients' ability to participate in programs and work activities e.g. advising of options on how to best approach a patient.

Knowledge of and can interpret and apply relevant sections of related legislation (e.g. the Mental Health Act, Regulated Health Professions Act, Health Care Consent Act, Personal Health Information Protection Act).

Current BCLS CPR certification.

Knowledge of the CNO scope of practice for Registered Nurses, Registered Practical Nurses and Nurse Practitioners to provide nursing services effectively and to each disciplines full scope of practice.

Skills :

Requires excellent clinical assessment and critical reasoning skills to elicit and interpret information from patients and other sources, evaluate information and draw conclusions a plan of care.

Strong analytical skills to evaluate response to planned interventions and to modify interventions in collaboration with the inter-professional team to achieve established patient goals, considering for example, therapeutic measures and success levels, patient motivation, alternative therapy.

Demonstrated assessment skills to address emergency situations and to implement appropriate therapeutic interventions.

Professional leadership skills are required to provide expertise and guidance to health care and non-health care employees in the area of mental health.

Excellent oral and written communication skills, including terminology pertinent to psychiatric health care to: present ideas and develop rationales (e.g. to collaborate with patient and/or advocate on the patient's behalf), communicate with the inter-professional team, significant others, community agencies regarding patient care and discharge plans; to document patient care and progress; to write care plans and clinical/administrative summaries.

Excellent interpersonal skills to provide expertise and guidance to health care and non-health care employees; negotiate elements of treatment plan with patient; to counsel patients; to advise patient about therapies, explaining possible side effects and expected outcomes to promote education and achievement of patient goals.

Requires tact and discretion to interpret or clarify information about psychological illness and treatment, advocate as required; deal with issues, complaints or concerns, and to encourage patient compliance with recommended care plans.

Freedom of Action :

Must be able to work independently and interdependently within the inter-professional team and within institutional, ministry, legislative and nursing practice parameters. Judgement associated with leading the case management for patients with mental illness, as well as providing guidance to health care and non-health care employees. Ability to identify, record and report incidents to the appropriate supervisor. Communicating issues such as non-compliance with nursing standards/institutional procedures to the appropriate supervisor for discussion and resolution.

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