INTRODUCTION: This study was carried out to determine the professional experiences of the nurses working in community mental health centers (CMHCs). A phenomenological design was used in this qualitative study, which was carried out with 13 nurses working in 8 CMHCs located in the Central Anatolia Region of Türkiye.
METHODS: Data were collected through in-depth individual interviews. Semi-structured interview questions developed by the researchers based on expert opinions were used during the interviews. Colaizzis seven-step phenomenological analysis method was used to analyze the data.
RESULTS: Five main themes were identified as a result of the data analysis. These themes were (i) the meaning of being a CMHC nurse, (ii) nursing practices, (iii) advantages of being a CMHC nurse, (iv) disadvantages of being a CMHC nurse, and (v) recommendations for CMHCs.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: CMHC nurses have various roles, authorities, and responsibilities. Working with a multidisciplinary team and having comfortable working conditions are considered advantages of CMHC nursing, while the possibility of being exposed to violence or the difference of CMHCs from other clinics are considered disadvantages. Recommendations include increasing the number of CMHCs and nurses, providing an orientation program to the nurses before starting to work in CMHCs, and improving the physical conditions of CMHCs.