Registered mental health nurses help people with mental health problems. Their patients may have issues ranging from drug dependency and eating disorders to anxiety and depression.
To work in registered mental health nurse roles, a degree in mental health nursing is required. The degree course taken must be recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) so that nurses can register with the NMC before they enter into employment. Once in employment, mental health nurses may be required to embark on further staff training to allow them to specialise in their chosen field of work.
Besides possessing general nursing skills, mental health nurses must have excellent communication skills and an ability to inspire trust in their patients. They should be able to work in teams and on their own initiative, and should be compassionate, sensitive and motivational in nature.
The majority of registered mental health nurses work for the NHS, although employment opportunities are available in the private healthcare sector. Most mental health nurse job vacancies involve working in the community. Recruitment agencies are a rich source of both full-time and part-time mental health nursing jobs.
Starting salaries for registered mental health nurses may be around £20,000 a year. Mental health nurses who wish to progress in their field of work may be able to apply for leadership roles, such as charge nurse or nurse consultant.