Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital

Welcome to Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital!

Within the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, there are three adult units and a Child and Adolescent Unit. Patients are admitted to an adult unit based on diagnosis. The Adult I unit treats patients with thought disorders. These patients are typically chronically and persistently mentally ill — for example patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder with psychotic features. We also treat some patients who are developmentally delayed or elderly patients with autism who have exacerbations in behavior. Our Adult II unit functions as a detox and treats patients with a comorbid psychiatric illness, so, on this unit, we see a lot of opiate-addicted pregnant women and patients with chronic addiction issues. We also may see young people with new addiction issues and who have become suicidal. Adult III is a mood-disorder unit with a small geriatric component. These patients are higher functioning, but may be depressed or have other mood disorders. The Child and Adolescent Unit is one unit, but functions as two based on age — children ages 4-12 and adolescents ages 13-14. We treat patients with a variety a diagnoses, from Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and autism to oppositional defiance disorder, depression and first-break psychosis. Many of our child and adolescent patients have experienced a trauma prior to coming to us.

We look for nurses who not only have a desire to work with this population, but who also have compassion for these patients and their families and who can show empathy towards them. Psychiatry by definition is challenging emotionally. Our nurses must be able to pull strength from within. Our nurses also must treat patients with dignity and compassion, no matter what those patients say or do. It helps to be self-aware and to know your strengths and weaknesses. We look for nurses with a calm, gentle nature. Our nurses and mental health specialists provide total care for patients, so we look for people who are extraordinary team players. Nurses should have excellent communication because they not only communicate often with our physicians and support team, but they also lead patient psychoeducational group sessions. Our nurses also need keen observation skills and the ability to observe subtle behaviors in order to identify problems quickly. 
Our management staff is relatively small, but that allows us to have an interactive relationship with our nurses. Our six clinical staff leaders round throughout the entire hospital and are available to every nurse, regardless of unit. We’re all very involved in shared governance. We look for input from nurses to find solutions. We also strive to make sure our nurses feel safe — safe to share their opinions and safe to know that if they make a mistake, they’ll be taught and not judged. If you have a passion for helping patients with psychiatric disorders, apply now and join us!

Laura Lawson Web, MSN, RN-BC
Manager, Child/Adolescent Program and Float Pool
Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital 

Lori Harris, BSN, RN-BC
Manager, Adult Programs
Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital


Location Location
1601 23rd Ave. S, Nashville, TN
Nurse to Patient Ration Nurse to Patient Ratio
1:5 or 1:6
Beds Number of Beds
Adult = 62
Child and adolescent = 26
Focus of Care Patient Profile
Adult, child and adolescent patients with psychiatric disorders, mood disorders or addiction issues.    
Unit Team Staff Mix
•    Registered Nurses
•    Mental Health Specialists
•    Providers
•    Social Workers
•    Case Managers
Certifications Required Certification
•    RN Licensure
Shift Rotations Rotation/Shifts
•    12 hour shifts, 36 hour week
•    Modified self-scheduling 
Nurse Residency Program Our unit is part of VUMC's Nurse Residency Program
www Visit the Vanderbilt Behavioural Health
or Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital Nursing for more information.
Nursing Careers at Vanderbilt


BackOur Patient Care Areas

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“We are a unit that implements a team approach to care, and each person works hard to give the patient the best psychiatric care in the world. I’ve learned that each patient is unique in his or her own way and a different approach of care is needed to ensure each patient has the best outcome possible while at our facility.”

Zach N., RN
Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital

“Hospitalization at VPH is a very difficult time for patients and their families. Talking to patients, hearing their stories and knowing they want to move forward with their lives inspires me on a daily basis. I have witnessed the strength and sheer determination it takes for some of these young people to plan their future and overcome more obstacles than I could ever imagine.”

Bonnie L., RN-2, VPNPP
Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital

“I enjoy serving patients who struggle with the disease of addiction and being with them during one of the most challenging times of their lives. I enjoy leading psychoeducational groups on the unit and providing tools for their recovery journey. I value the positive impact I’m able to have on individuals and their families; it is a rare opportunity as a nurse to have the time to listen to patients and be fully present with them.” 

Vanderbilt Behavioral Health - Clinical Staff Leader