County of HumboldtEureka 95501
Full Time
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Behavioral Health Nurse I/ii

County of Humboldt
Full Time Humboldt County Department of Human & Health Services, 507 F St, Eureka, CA 95501, United States


Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)
Are you interested in making a difference? If so, please consider joining our dedicated team at the Department of Health & Human services! We are seeking a talented Behavioral Health Nurse to assist our community through compassion and care. If you are a recent graduate, you may quality for our New-Graduate Registered Nurse Residency Program! 
New-Graduate Registered Nurse Residency Program
As your career begins there is so much to do and so much to learn - but truly great opportunities are rare.  The New Graduate Nurse Residency Program here at Humboldt County Behavioral Health will expand your opportunities for hands-on clinical practice while allowing you to gain valuable experience and enhancing your decision-making and critical thinking skills. Strong peer support, educational opportunities, and one-to-one collaboration with an experienced preceptor will help you build a foundation of nursing excellence. Here you will be surrounded by and working with committed professionals who can help you master the challenges of behavioral health nursing, healthcare delivery systems, new technologies, and patient acuity. 

What You'll Do:
This position is responsible for a variety of duties, including;
  • Provides supportive services including individual, group or family counseling, and various group activities such as exercise and art.
  • Participates in case conferences and provides input regarding mental health cases and problems.
  • May accept report of previous shift and update new admissions and medications; makes appropriate nursing notes on patients charts and writes medication orders; assures that patient charts contain accurate and complete documentation; performs and documents end-of-shift narcotics court.
  • May organize, assign, review and evaluate the work of staff on assigned shift.
  • Maintains prescribed standards of mental health treatment and ensures services are rendered in conformance with policy and procedural guidelines.  
Where You'll Do It:
This position is located in Eureka, California.

A typical schedule for this position includes 12 hour shifts, either days or nights.

Under general supervision (I) or direction (II), performs and provides professional nursing and behavioral health care for clients of the County’s in-patient behavioral health facility, correctional facilities, and out-patient behavioral health programs; collaborates with other medical staff and interdisciplinary health treatment teams to evaluate and prepare treatment plans; may provide direction and oversight of nursing activities as assigned; at the II level, may be assigned as a nurse preceptor and/or nurse educator to promote professional development and growth along the continuum from nursing novice to expert; when assigned to Quality Improvement, evaluates current policies and procedures and makes recommendations for improvement and necessary changes; and performs related duties as assigned.

Receives general supervision (Behavioral Health Nurse I) or direction (Behavioral Health Nurse II) from a Supervising Behavioral Health Nurse or other assigned supervisory or management personnel. Provides training and may exercise technical and functional direction over lower-level staff. Exercises no direct supervision over staff.  

Behavioral Health Nurse I: This is the entry-level classification in the Behavioral Health Nurse series. Initially under close supervision, incumbents learn and perform routine behavioral health nursing duties. As experience is gained, assignments become more varied, complex, and difficult; close supervision and frequent review of work lessen as an incumbent demonstrates skill to perform the work independently. Positions at this level usually perform most of the duties of the positions at the II level but are not expected to function at the same skill level and usually exercise less independent discretion and judgment in matters related to work procedures and methods. Work is usually supervised while in progress and fits an established structure or pattern. Exceptions or changes in procedures are explained in detail as they arise.

 Behavioral Health Nurse II: This is the journey-level classification in the Behavioral Health Nurse series. Positions at this level are distinguished from the I level by the performance of the full range of duties as assigned, working independently, and exercising judgment and initiative. Positions at this level receive only occasional instruction or assistance as new or unusual situations arise and are fully aware of the operating procedures and policies of the work unit. Positions at the II level may be assigned as a nurse preceptor and/or nurse educator. 

This class is distinguished from the Supervising Behavioral Health Nurse in that the latter is the full supervisory classification with responsibilities for the supervision and evaluation of assigned staff. 

Positions in the Behavioral Health Nurse class series are flexibly staffed and positions at the II level are typically filled by advancement from the I level after gaining the knowledge, skill, and experience which meet the qualifications for, and after demonstrating the ability to perform the work of, the higher-level classification.  


Management reserves the right to add, modify, change, or rescind the work assignment of different positions.

  • Assesses patients upon admission to unit and makes presentation of physical and behavioral condition findings to attending physicians.

  • Provides professional nursing care to patients; observes and charts vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration.

  • Provides equipment and supplies required for patient examination or treatment; observes and records patient reactions and behaviors and explains procedures.

  • Administers oral and hypodermic medications and observes and records their effects; obtains and records all orders from physician to facilitate patient treatment.

  • Participates in the preparation of the nursing component of patient treatment plans, including physical assessments on new patients, as a member of an interdisciplinary treatment team; oversees and participates in evaluation and therapeutic activities.

  • Performs crisis intervention, in person and on the phone, management of assaultive behavior, and general counseling; coordinates or arranges for the provision of needed services, including emergency detention when patient is in danger to self or others.

  • Provides supportive services, including individual, group, or family counseling, and various group activities such as exercise and art.

  • Confers with medical, behavioral health, and inter-agency staff regarding client needs and ways of improving staff's ability to positively impact clients; serves as case coordinator for assigned patients or clients, as needed.

  • Participates in case conferences and provides input regarding behavioral health cases and problems.

  • Provides medication refills per physician’s orders and policies and procedures; provides needed information to pharmacies and insurance companies.

  • Coordinates care with primary providers, pharmacies, laboratories, schools, medical facilities and personnel, probation, Child Welfare Services, and other government agencies.

  • Accepts report of previous shift and updates new admissions and medications; makes appropriate nursing notes on patients charts and writes medication orders; ensures that patient charts contain accurate and complete documentation; performs and documents end-of-shift narcotics count.

  • May coordinate and implement the Infection Control Program. Participates on the Infection Control Committee; conducts in-service training for staff; evaluates new products; reviews methods and practices for program compliance; maintains and reviews relevant records; prepares required reports.

  • May organize, assign, and review the work of staff on scheduled shift, as assigned.

  • At the Behavioral Health Nurse II level, may be assigned as a nurse preceptor and/or nurse educator; assesses learning needs and develops and implements learning plans; assists nursing staff in developing and maintaining their competencies, advancing their professional nursing practice, and facilitating their achievement of academic and career goals.

  • Maintains prescribed standards of behavioral health treatment and ensures services are rendered in conformance with policy and procedural guidelines.

    When Assigned to Quality Improvement 
  • Audits treatment plans and medical charts to ensure all documentation meets clinical standards and policies; reviews and processes Treatment Authorization Requests to ensure that all documentation meets medical necessity for authorization of payment for treatment.

  • Performs site certifications and recertifications by auditing policies, procedures, physical location, required patient postings and brochures; follows up with any necessary corrections.

  • Coordinates the Utilization Review program; reviews admission and continued patient stays for medical necessity and appropriateness as outlined by Short Doyle/Medi-Cal procedures; organizes and participates on the Utilization Review Committee.

  • Monitors reviews and sends updates for concurrent reviews for out of County patients using Registered Nurse clinical judgement and expertise; maintains communications with out of county hospitals and explains standards and procedures.

  • Audits Sempervirens Master Treatment Plans for accuracy and documentation standards.

  • Receives, processes, and tracks consumer concerns, including assigning to appropriate manager; tracks for timeliness per policy, while explaining procedures to consumers.

  • Performs monthly chart reviews for both child/adult outpatient programs and organizational providers ensuring chart meets documentation standards, both clinically and per policy, and initiates corrective action as necessary.

  • Reviews clinical documents and compiles pertinent information into a report for Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) Reviews, tracks data, and processes reports.

  • Processes Treatment Authorization Requests received from out of County hospitals; reviews clinical documentation to ensure it meets medical necessity to authorize payment; confers with the Medical Director as needed for review.

  • Attends outpatient and inpatient Continuous Quality Improvement meetings to communicate and discuss issues with other administrative staff from other behavioral health programs.

  • Reviews and assigns Continuing Education Units to training courses offered through the County for Registered Nurses.

  • Performs related duties as assigned.

    Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
QUALIFICATIONSThe requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge and ability required. 
Knowledge of


  • Principles and practices of general behavioral health nursing care, as defined by the State of California licensing requirements.

  • Principles of providing functional direction and training.

  • Techniques for working with individuals, and their families, struggling with behavioral health issues.

  • Medical and behavioral health terminology and first aid methods and procedures.

  • Psychotropic medications, including narcotics and their effects on patients.

  • Standard medical recordkeeping, including patient charting and the processing and maintenance of required documentation.

  • Principles, practices, and methods of community behavioral health treatment, including interviewing, assessment, and family and group counseling.

  • Requirements for utilization review and infection control.

    -Trauma Informed Care model of care and ability to communicate the model to others.

  • Principles and techniques for working with groups and fostering effective team interaction to ensure teamwork is conducted smoothly.

  • Medical documentation standards.

  • Principles and practices of utilization review.

  • Principles and practices of Continuous Quality Improvement.

  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service by effectively interacting with the public, vendors, contractors, and County staff.

  • The structure and content of the English language, including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • Modern equipment and communication tools used for business functions and program, project, and task coordination, including computers and software programs relevant to work performed.

    Ability to


  • Conduct behavioral health assessments and evaluations and report physical and behavioral condition findings to medical staff.

  • Assign, direct, review and evaluate the work of assigned staff and train on work procedures.

  • Assess behavioral and/or emotional health status and develop effective patient treatment plans.

  • Perform crisis intervention, manage assaultive behavior, respond promptly to patient emergency situations, and take effective action to control potentially violent incidents.

  • Perform utilization review and infection control functions for compliance with standards.

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of behavioral health disorders in children, adults, and families.

  • Use clinical judgment to determine if an action needs to be taken. ? Prepare clear and concise reports, patient documents and written correspondence. ? Understand client rights as they relate to treatment options.

  • Understand, interpret, and apply all pertinent laws, codes, regulations, policies and procedures, and standards relevant to work performed.

  • Effectively represent the department and the County in meetings with governmental agencies; community groups; various business, professional, and regulatory organizations; and in meetings with individuals.

  • Independently organize work, set priorities, meet critical deadlines, and follow-up on assignments.

  • Use tact, initiative, prudence, and independent judgment within general policy, and procedural, guidelines.

  • Effectively use computer systems, software applications relevant to work performed, and modern business equipment to perform a variety of work tasks.

  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing, using appropriate English grammar and syntax.

  • Establish, maintain, and foster positive and effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

    Education and Experience


    Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required qualifications would be


    Equivalent to a level of education and course of study, as determined by the State of California Board of Registered Nursing, which would qualify as an accredited program for incumbents to obtain licensure as a Registered Nurse. Typical ways of qualifying would be completion of an associate degree from an accredited educational institution with major coursework in nursing, psychology, or a related field.


    Behavioral Health Nurse I:

    No prior experience in behavioral health nursing is required.

    Behavioral Health Nurse II

    : Two (2) years of experience at a level equivalent to the County’s class of Behavioral Health Nurse I.

    Licenses and Certifications


  • Must possess a valid US driver’s license upon date of application. Must obtain California driver’s license following hire date per California DMV regulations.

  • Possession of a valid Registered Nursing license issued by the State of California Board of Registered Nursing.

  • Possession of a valid CPR/AED certification