Psychiatric consultation liaison nurse job description

Updated April 17, 2017

Psychiatric consultation liaison nurses, also known as psychiatric intake nurses, perform initial mental health evaluations for crisis assessment teams. They work at acute psychiatric care facilities, hospital emergency rooms and mental health clinics.

Job Requirements

Psychiatric consultation liaison nurses must have a bachelor's degree with a concentration in nursing. A master's degree in nursing is necessary for management roles. Psychiatric consultation liaison nurses must pass a national licensing test called the NCLEX-RN to practice nursing in the United States.


Psychiatric consultation liaison nurses perform initial patient assessments, also known as triage, to determine the appropriate level of psychiatric care. They take patients' medical histories and obtain legal authorisation to provide health services. Psychiatric consultation liaison nurses interact with psychiatric nursing aides, psychiatrists, psychologists and family members.

Expert Insight

Nancy P. Hanrahan, PhD, RN and Linda H. Aiken PhD, RN are psychiatric nurses. They co-authored an article that appeared as an abstract at the National Institutes of Health website. Hanrahan and Aiken noted that psychiatric nurses were older than their peers in other nursing specialities: "Psychiatric nurses were significantly older than non-psychiatric nurses---mean age 45 years versus 40 years. Significantly far fewer psychiatric nurses aged 30 years or younger."


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses earned an average hourly wage of £20.70 and an average annual salary of £43,244, as of May 2009. Yearly salaries ranged from £28,580 to £60,905.

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About the Author

Steve Amoia is a writer, book reviewer and translator from Washington, D.C. He began his writing career as a software technical writer. Amoia focuses on career-related themes, Chinese martial/healing arts and international soccer journalism.