Mental Health Nurse


    Mental health nurses are responsible for planning and providing support and medical and nursing care to people in hospital, at home or in other settings who are suffering from mental illness.


    Employers of mental health nurses

    • General, psychiatric and secure hospitals
    • Residential and nursing homes
    • Community and rehabilitation units
    • Special units within prisons



    • assessing and planning nursing care requirements
    • organizing workloads
    • visiting patients at home
    • building relationships with, reassuring, listening and talking to patients
    • combating stigma and helping patients and their families deal with it
    • administering medication
    • agreeing and 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 and meetings
    • writing and updating patient records



    To qualify as a mental health nurse, you must successfully complete a three to four-year degree course. Graduates with a degree in a relevant subject such as life, health, biological or social sciences stand a good chance.



    • excellent observational skills to assess patients and look out for signs of tension or anxiety;
    • strength, stamina and physical fitness particularly if working in a hospital or secure residential unit;
    • excellent communication skills for dealing with the patients and their families;
    • the ability to stay calm and think quickly in challenging circumstances;
    • emotional resilience and a non-judgemental approach;
    • skill in decision making and time and stress management;
    • empathy with patients and the situation they’re in;
    • the ability to help others overcome the social stigma related to mental health.