Editorial| Volume 20, ISSUE 1, P1-2, February 2006

Best of Times and Worst of Times: The Future of Psychiatric Nursing

      PERHAPS IT IS, as the saying goes, the best of times and the worst of times to be a psychiatric nurse. In a world of terrorism, we face an almost universal increase in general anxiety over basic issues of safety and the shape of the future our children will inherit. In a country mired in war, we face societal fractions, differing opinions, and strong emotions. Economic challenges, exponential petroleum prices, and real estate bubbles all promote nervousness, angst, and general depressive views of the future. Our country struggles to address ravages of substance abuse, domestic violence, and growing suicide and homicide rates. It would seem a time when issues of mental health would take to the forefront as never before. It would seem a time when professionals, such as psychiatric nurses, who specialize in mental health would be highly visible and sought after. Beyond mental health, it is a time when we know more than ever before about the risk factors and etiological pathways for the development of psychiatric disorders. Neuroscience and genetic research have opened doors to potentially life-changing treatments. It would seem a good time to be a psychiatric nurse.
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