Community psychiatric nurses (CPNs)

Community psychiatric nurses (CPNs)-source=netdoctor


  • A CPN sees people who are living in the community. This is most often in the person’s own home but it can also be in clinics based, for example, in a GP’s surgery.
  • CPNs provide support to people through difficult periods of their illness. They may also see patients who are currently well to check everything is going okay and be the first point of contact if the patient starts becoming unwell again.
  • A CPN will help patients with their medication and make sure that the patient understands what they should be taking and when.
  • Because CPNs see patients in their own homes, they also play a valuable role in helping the patient’s family and carers understand and cope with the illness.
  • Patients may be referred to CPNs from a number of sources including GPs, psychiatrists and inpatient wards so that the CPN can help the patient’s transition from hospital back into the community.
  • CPNs are often a patient’s keyworker.


  • A community psychiatric nurse (CPN) is a fully trained staff or charge nurse who has had several years of experience working on psychiatric wards in hospitals.

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