MENTAL HEALTH NURSE I/II San Luis Skip to Content

San Luis Obispo County, California


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Recruitment #0704KS-08573-01

DATE OPENED:     6/25/2004
JOB TYPE:      Open
FILING DEADLINE:     6/28/2013 7:00:00 AM
SALARY:     I $4,896-$5,952; II $5,508-$6,695
City of San Luis Obispo
Morro Bay/Los Osos/Cayucos
Northern Coast (e.g. Cambria)
North County (e.g. Atascadero/Paso Robles)
South County (e.g. Pismo Beach/Nipomo)
DEPARTMENT:     Public Health

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Conditional employment offers are based on successful completion of any preappointment background investigation, drug testing, and medical/psychological evaluation.

ABOUT THE POSITION: Classes in this series provide psychiatric and other professional nursing care to mentally ill and emotionally disturbed patients; and do other related work as required. Mental Health Nurse I:  Under general supervision, assists in the performance or performs professional nursing care duties.  Mental Health Nurse II:  Under general direction, provides a program of professional psychiatric nursing care, including psychotherapy treatment.  Work assignments may involve the direction and supervision of other community mental health workers.  May act as a consultant and resource person for staff and community agencies.  Responsible for completion of admission and discharge procedures including financial information.

TYPICAL TASKS: Gives professional nursing care to patients in a Community Mental Health Center; conducts preliminary evaluations of emotionally disturbed patients; formulates and carries out nursing treatment plans; observes patients and reports and records their condition and behavior; gives all types of oral, intramuscular and other medications and treatments and records such actions; explains and participates in treatment procedures; may provide individual, family, or group psychotherapy; participates in crisis intervention activities; works in conjunction with other members of the treatment team; may direct or oversee the performance of other workers; maintains a safe and secure environment by observing and removing physical hazards, drugs, or medications; may conduct quality assurance review of patient records.

THE REQUIREMENTS: Knowledge of:  Modern methods, techniques and procedures used in general and psychiatric professional nursing; medical and psychiatric terminology, hospital routines, procedures, equipment and facilities; the uses and effects of medicines and narcotics; principles and techniques of psychotherapy and a variety of treatment modalities. Ability to:  Apply psychiatric nursing care to mentally ill and emotionally disturbed patients; observe and record psychiatric and physical behavior; follow oral and written directions of a technical and professional nature; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with patients, staff and the public; maintain and interpret charts, records, and reports.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Valid California State License as a Registered Nurse. AND: Mental Health Nurse I: Either A:  Two years of experience in a mental health setting; or B:  Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited institution in Nursing and one year experience in a mental health setting; or C:  Master's degree from an accredited institution in Psychiatric Nursing or Community Mental Health Nursing and no experience.  Mental Health Nurse II: AND: Two years of experience as a Mental Health Nurse I, or a Mental Health Therapist II, or an equivalent position.
IN ADDITION: Incumbent will need to possess the ability to assist in the containment of physically out-of-control patients.

NOTE: This is only a partial job description. For a complete job description of this classification or career series, please refer to or contact the Personnel Department at 805-781-5959.

IN ADDITION: This class specification generally describes duties and responsibilities characteristic of the position(s) within this class. Duties of a particular position within a multi-position class may vary from the duties of other positions within the class. Accordingly, the essential functions of a particular position (whether it be a multi-position class or a single-position class) will be identified and used by medical examiners and hiring authorities in the selection process. If you have questions about the duties or working conditions of the position, please contact the Personnel Department at 805-781-5959.

AGENCY SHOP: Employees hired into classes represented by SLOCEA labor contracts are covered by Agency Shop provisions which require that new employees become SLOCEA dues paying members or pay an agency shop service fee in lieu of dues.

NOTIFICATION: Applicants will be notified 6-8 weeks after the final filing date.  However, some recruitments may take less or more time depending on the type of exam and number of applicants.  Notifications will be posted on the Applicant Status Board for each phase of the recruitment process and will be sent by US mail and/or email.  Therefore, notify the Personnel Department of any mailing address or email address changes for all applications submitted.

PENSION BENEFIT INFORMATION: Effective January 1, 2013 the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA or AB340), makes substantial changes to public employee pension plans. PEPRA impacts the pension benefits of current employees (employees hired on or before 12/31/12) and all future hires (those hired on or after 1/1/13). Please refer to our website for additional information including summary of impacts and FAQs at:

Should you have additional questions, please contact Human Resources staff at 805.781.5959 or email Note: Those employees with reciprocity who are returning or entering into SLO County employment within a 6 month break in service, may be eligible to enter into the SLO County pension plan that was in existence for new hires as of December 31, 2012 for that bargaining unit. Contact Pension Trust for specific questions related to reciprocity (805.781.5465 or email All other questions should be directed to HR.

SELECTION PROCESS: Non-Competitive Exam. Candidates who meet license or certification requirements will be referred to the department for hiring interviews.  New employees are required to complete an INS Employment Eligibility Verification form to certify citizenship or legal residency and authorization to work.  Essential functions of a job for purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act will be determined prior to the filling of each vacant position. A reasonable effort will be made to accommodate the needs of the disabled and the religious needs of an applicant.  If you require special arrangements to participate in the recruitment process, you must inform the County Personnel Department in writing of the type and extent of accommodation no later than the final filing deadline.  Information relating to the essential duties of a position are identified and used by medical examiners and hiring authorities in the selection process and is available upon request for review during a recruitment.