Job Description

Overall Job Objective

$114,358.40 - $135,158.41 Annually
San Mateo County, CA
Job Type
San Mateo Medical Center
Job Number
10/16/2018 11:59 PM Pacific

San Mateo County Health's, San Mateo Medical Center remains committed to providing quality medical and psychiatric care to meet the health needs of the community. Our commitment is to provide quality, patient-centered care with a compassionate touch.

San Mateo Medical Center (SMMC) is an integrated delivery system of healthcare focused on the needs of the underserved, within a County system of care. SMMC serves as a key provider within the Health Plan of San Mateo's (HPSM) public/private network. Our integrated delivery system includes a fully-accredited acute care hospital--that includes ED, PES, OR, endoscopy, and short stay unit, 7-bed ICU, general medical/surgical unit (62-bed capacity), acute inpatient psychiatry (30-bed capacity), and on-campus skilled nursing unit (32 beds) and 11 clinics located across the County's diverse and dispersed population.

SMMC is always seeking ways to enhance the already impressive services offered. This dedication to excellence is reflected in the exceptional care we provide and the extraordinary professionals who provide it. Here, you will have the chance to develop your talents with a skilled team of people who actively support and encourage each other's success. If you are ready to open new doors for your career and are compelled to work in a safety net, public health environment, join us today!

SMMC is currently seeking two regular part-time, and extra-help,  skilled Psychiatric Nurses, experience preferred, for a variety of shifts.  Under the direct supervision of the Charge Nurse, the successful hires will implement the nursing process to promote safety and healing in this unique environment.  Psychiatric Nurses are fully competent to independently perform a full range of professional nursing duties and procedures that require the exercise of a high degree of clinical judgment.  Incumbents also provide lead direction to other nursing and paraprofessional personnel.

The Acute Psychiatric Inpatient Unit is a 30-bed locked unit specializing in treatment of seriously mentally ill patients, many who also have chronic medical illnesses. This setting offers many professional rewards for the novice through expert nurse seeking a stimulating and dynamic environment.

The ideal candidate has experience working with diverse, multicultural, underserved populations with a focus on mental health.  Must be able to remain calm in crises, and is skilled in de-escalating patients who are experiencing acute psychiatric illness.  Ideal candidates must also be familiar with the wellness and recovery framework.  Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing is preferred, particularly if a new graduate. This position calls for a strong sense of purpose in providing care for patients with acute psychiatric diagnosis.  Critical thinking skills, the ability to formulate an individual care plan of care and carry it out and evaluate the plan while collaborating with the team and including the patient as a partner in care is essential.

Extra-help positions are at-will assignments, paid on an hourly basis.  Some extra help positions are eligible for benefits under the Affordable Care Act.  Extra-help workers are not guaranteed permanent status at the end of the assignment.

NOTE:  The list established from this recruitment may be used to fill future full-time, part-time, permanent or extra-help vacancies.  Anyone interested in and qualified for employment as a Psychiatric Nurse is encouraged to apply for this recruitment.

Examples Of Duties

Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Complete patient assessments and plan of care, record patient histories, symptoms and observations.
  • Establish and implement nursing care plans for each patient through assessment, development, activation and evaluation.
  • Participate in patient case conferences and rounds. 
  • Organize, assign and supervise duties and responsibilities of other staff members as a team leader; orient and teach new staff members of the nursing team and students. 
  • Perform nursing care following prescribed rules, policies, protocol and procedures. 
  • Communicate well with team members, including staff that are performing delegated duties.
  • Identify problems, assist in data gathering, propose solutions and participate in evaluation of quality assurance issues. 
  • Work with patient and their families to provide in-hospital and after-hospital follow-up through teaching and referral. 
  • Participate in educational programs specific to Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing to maintain level of expertise.
  • Participate in non-clinical assignments, which may include maintaining records, preparing reports and/or serving on special committees.
  • Operate a variety of medical machinery and equipment. 
  • Administer treatment and medications. 
  • Performs safety rounds on patients.
  • Maintain knowledge of outpatient resources. 
  • Develop treatment plans for patients. 
  • Provide medication education to patients and their families.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.
Psychiatric Nurse
Duties for nurses in this series may also include the following:
  • Provide care to psychiatric/mental health patients, including suicidal, potentially violent, confused and dementia patients.
  • Complete patient assessments and plan of care, recording patient histories, symptoms and observations.
  • Room patients, check vital signs, and give injections and Point of Care Testing.
  • Provide intensive care and evaluation on an almost continuous basis.
  • Perform mental status exam and implement plan of care based on assessment findings.
  • Monitor patients in restraint and seclusion and maintain patient safety.
  • Work closely with patients to prevent episodes of seclusion or restraint.
  • Determine medical or psychiatric emergency need and provide intervention.
  • Recognize symptoms of major psychiatric diagnosis.
  • Work with patient and their families to explain post-treatment care needs and provide follow-up referrals to resources.
  • Respond to patients in crisis situation, with unpredictable violence and de-escalate situation using the least restrictive measures.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.



Possession of a California license as a Registered Nurse or equivalent and a valid Basic Life Support (BLS) certification. Must be Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) certified within three months of hire.

Knowledge of:
  • Nurse Practice Act.
  • Current nursing and related medical theory and skills necessary to administer nursing care within assigned clinical setting.
  • Safety and infection control practices.
  • Clinical systems, supplies and equipment.
  • Psychiatric Nursing role and responsibilities.

Skill/Ability to:
  • Nurse Practice Act.
  • Perform nursing procedures required for assigned clinical setting.
  • Comply with clinical procedures and policies.
  • Maintain professional nurse-patient relationships.
  • Communicate with and educate patients, families, and the public who come from a diverse background.
  • Work harmoniously with other personnel.
  • Follow safety practices.
  • Assist in the instruction of other nursing and paraprofessional personnel.
  • Bend, kneel and squat as needed.
  • Occasionally use upper extremities to exert force to push and pull patients/objects weighing up to 50 pounds or more.
  • Work in a busy environment.


Open and Promotional. Anyone may apply. Current San Mateo County and San Mateo County Superior Court employees with at least six months (1040 hours) of continuous service in a classified regular, probationary, SEIU or AFSCME represented extra-help/term position prior to the final filing date will receive five points added to their final passing score on this examination

A supplemental application form must be submitted in addition to our regular employment application form. 

The examination process will consist of an application screening (weight: pass/fail) based on the candidates' application and responses to the supplemental questions. Candidates who pass the application screening will be invited to a panel interview (weight:100%). Depending on the number of applicants, an application appraisal of education and experience may be used in place of other examinations or further evaluation of work experience may be conducted to group applicants by level of qualification. All applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement through any subsequent phase of the examination.  All examinations will be given in San Mateo County, California and applicants must participate at their own expense. 

IMPORTANT: Applications for this position will only be accepted online. If you are currently on the County's website, you may click the "Apply Online" button above or below. If you are not on the County's website, please go to to apply. Online applications must be received by the Human Resources Department before midnight on the final filing date.

Final Filing Deadline:  October 16, 2018
Application Screening: October 18, 2018
Combined Department/Panel Interviews:  October 25 and/or October 29, 2018

At the County of San Mateo, we take pride in the way our employees bring together their diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to serve our community's needs. 

The County is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

HR Contact: Carolyn Burns (092718) (Psychiatric Nurse- F037)

Keywords: behaviorally challenged, developmentally disabled, psychiatric, mental health, mental illness, medically fragile, behavioral health, acute psychiatric unit

Application Instructions

To learn more about the position and/or to apply, please click the link below. If link is not available, please read the information above for detailed instructions on how to apply.

Apply Online