Mental health nurse: job description
Nursing students are eligible for NHS funding, some of which may be means-tested.
Mental health nurses work as part of a team of professional and medical staff that includes doctors, social workers, therapists and psychiatrists.
Typical duties of the job include:
- assessing and planning nursing care requirements
- organising workloads
- visiting patients at home
- building relationships with, reassuring, listening and talking to patients
- administering medication
- agreeing/reviewing care plans and monitoring progress
- giving advice and arranging support for patients, relatives and carers
- liaising with doctors, social workers and other professionals
- assessing treatment success at case conferences/ meetings
- writing and updating patient records.
Shift work or on-call rotas can sometimes be part the job.
- the National Health Service (NHS)
- general, psychiatric and secure hospitals
- residential and nursing homes
- community and rehabilitation units
- special units within prisons.
Advertisements appear in newspapers, NHS trusts/local council jobs lists, and publications such as Nursing Times, Nursing Standard, Health Service Journal and British Medical Journal. Previous relevant experience is not essential, but any gained caring for/working with people can be helpful.
Qualification necessitates undertaking a three-year diploma course or a three to four-year degree course. Graduates with a degree in a relevant subject such as life, health, biological or social sciences can qualify via a shortened two-year postgraduate diploma course.
Applications for diplomas and undergraduate degree courses should be made through UCAS; those for shortened postgraduate courses should be made directly to the relevant institutions. You'll need to apply about a year in advance of the course commencing.
- good health and fitness
- excellent teamwork skills
- verbal/written communication skills