RN, Emergency Mental Health & Addictions Service

Department/Program: EMHAS, Mental Health & Addictions Program 
Type of Employment: Permanent Hourly FT (100% FTE) x 1 position(s)
Req ID: 85785 
Union Status: NSNU Nursing, Nursing Bargaining Unit
Compensation: $35.0356 $42.723/hour
Posting Date: September 01, 2020
Closing Date: Open Until Filled
Start Date: ASAP

IWK Health is an internationally recognized and respected academic health sciences centre located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, providing tertiary and primary care for two million women, children, youth and families across the Atlantic region. The IWK is committed to a workplace where our staff, physicians, learners and volunteers reflect the patients, families and communities that we serve.  We seek and encourage applicants who reflect our broad diversity, and we are committed to reducing barriers to employment and career growth.


Position Summary


Reporting to the Clinical Manager of the Emergency Mental Health & Addictions Service (EMHAS), the staff nurse is responsible and accountable for conducting emergency mental health assessments including but not limited to assessment of mental status indicators, multiple risk factors, symptom history, and presenting problems. This role requires independent skills at assessment and formulation of complex presenting problems and the ability to work collaboratively as a member of an interdisciplinary team within the EMHAS as well as the IWK Emergency Department. The mental health nurse will work closely with psychiatry and social work within the EMHAS. They may also work with the nurses on the Garron Centre on the night shift from 0000-0700 hours when there are no EMHAS patients in the ED. The role on the Inpatient Unit during these hours is to assist the nurses with assigned duties but should a patient present to the ED the EMHAS nurse would return to conduct the necessary assessment(s). The nurse will also support triage nurses in the emergency room in the identification and appropriate streaming of patients presenting with mental health emergencies, and will be responsible for referrals to appropriate services for patients who are discharged. The nurse collaborates with the patient, the family and team members to identify priorities for intervention and develop a plan for problem resolution. Key to success in this position is the nurse’s application of specialized knowledge gained through education and experience in mental health/psychiatric populations in order to work to full scope of practice as a Mental Health Nurse. The nurse is also expected to participate in team activities as required i.e., team meetings, program planning, quality improvement initiatives etc.


Hours of Work

11.25 hour shifts, full rotational schedule (Days, Evenings, Nights, Weekends).



  • Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing required (candidates with commensurate experience and education will be considered).
  • Licensed or eligible for licensure by the Nova Scotia College of Nursing (NSCN)
  • Current successful completion of a Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Basic Life Support (BLS) Program within the last 12 months or successful completion of a BLS Renewal Challenge Certificate required.
  • Minimum two (2) years previous psychiatric nursing experience required; Three (3) years preferred.
  • Experience working with children and adolescents preferred; Acute Care or Crisis Work/Stabilization experience preferred.
  • CNA Certification in Mental Health Nursing and/or RNPDC Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Program an asset
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act.
  • Non-violent Crisis Intervention certification preferred.
  • Demonstrated organizational, time management and coordination skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple competing workload demands and to manage stressful situations effectively.
  • Demonstrated excellent critical thinking, communication (verbal & written) and interpersonal skills required.
  • Ability to work collaboratively on an interdisciplinary mental health/health team providing emergency based care.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of child/youth development, cultural competence, trauma informed care.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to Family Centred Care required.
  • Excellent problem-solving and conflict resolution skills with an ability to work with clients to resolve or stabilize crisis.
  • Demonstrated awareness of IWK Health Centre and community resources.
  • An understanding of the Choice and Partnership approach (CAPA) will be considered an asset.
  • Demonstrated capacity for coping with challenging clinical situations.
  • Demonstrated commitment to professional development and skills.
  • Competency in other languages considered an asset; French preferred.

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Please Note: If you are an employee of the IWK Health Centre, please apply through the internal careers page to ensure you are flagged as an internal applicant. Applications are accepted until 11:59 PM on the Closing Date.