||Abstract: The Essential Psychiatric, Mental Health and Substance Use Competencies for the Registered Nurse provides the framework for educational preparation of generalist professional nurses to provide appropriate and effective care for persons with mental illness, substance use disorders, and persons at risk for these conditions and who can promote the mental health of all persons in their care. The format of these Competencies draws from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (2008) document, The Essentials of Baccalaureate Nursing Education and from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Recommended Baccalaureate Competencies and Curricular Guidelines for Geriatric Nursing Care (2010). However, the competencies presented here apply to the preparation of professional nurses in all types of nurse education programs that prepare students to practice within the licensed parameters of the Registered Nurse. Throughout this document, the term “Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing” includes nursing care of persons with substance use disorders as well as those who have medical or surgical conditions that are accompanied by psychosocial stressors. Curricula should be designed to prepare students to demonstrate these competencies. Diploma, Associate Degree and Baccalaureate programs should seek to assure the inclusion of the described content areas and skill sets.