Mental health nurse | Selby College
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Mental health nurse

Mental health nurses work in hospitals and the community, to support people with mental health issues.

Potential salary

£24,907 to £44,503

Employment by 2024


Working hours

37 to 38 a week

  • knowledge of psychology
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As part of your daily duties, you may:

  • assess and supporting patients
  • encourage patients to take part in role play, art, drama and discussion as therapies
  • provide physical care, if the patient is too old or ill to look after themselves
  • give medication

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work at a health centre, at an adult care home, in an NHS or private hospital, at a client's home, at a GP practice or in a prison.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

With experience you could become a sister or ward manager and be responsible for running a ward or team of nurses in the community. You could go on to become matron or director of nursing.

With further study and experience, you could become an advanced nurse practitioner (ANP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or nurse consultant. Consultants work directly and independently with patients, carry out research and develop and give training.

You could also train in health visiting, become self-employed or work overseas.

You'll find more advice about working and training in nursing from the Royal College of Nursing and Health Careers.

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