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Three reasons to become a mental health nurse

15 January 2018

Mental health nurses are one of the most valuable members of a contemporary caregiving team, and there are three very good reasons why.

1. Greater contact hours

The role of a mental health nurse includes numerous roles, ranging from holistic assessment, through to developing and delivering a range of complex interventions that are based around developing a respectful therapeutic relationship with consumers. Given their wide remit of skills and the many opportunities a mental health nurse may have to interact with a single consumer, it’s easy to see why Dr Theresa Shaw, CEO of the UK’s Foundation of Nursing Studies, says they “arguably have the most contact time” with consumers.

2. Relationship-based communication

In her post to the Mental Health Nurses blog, Dr Shaw discussed the great ability and capacity for listening that makes mental health nurses an asset to any modern healthcare team. Prince Harry sharing with the world his struggle with mental health issues following the death of his mother, was both an opportunity for normalising mental health issues, and for highlighting the special role mental health nurses play in listening, said Dr Shaw.

3. You’re a generalist and a specialist

Mental health nurses – with their generalist nursing training and specialist mental health training – play within a rare sweet spot of being able to provide general health services (like physical health care assessments or emergency medical attention) while being attentive for cues that may provide insight into the mental state of the person they are treating. In her 2017 report, Playing our Part: The work of graduate and registered mental health nurses, Shaw says as a true multi-tasker, a mental health nurse can provide a 360-degree snapshot of the physical and psychological state of a patient. Undertaking CPD in both nursing and mental health treatment makes them a valuable part of any health team, and invaluable in speedy diagnosis and treatment.

Become a credentialed mental health nurse

Mental health nursing is a specific and specialised branch of nursing that is growing and increasingly in demand. Southern Cross University’s online Master of Mental Health (Nursing) degree has been developed to empower nurses to gain the skills they need to meet this demand. Designed to complement the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) new National Framework, the curricula includes:

  • Holistic focus: Mindfulness of the whole person
  • Safety and wellbeing of recipients and providers
  • 'Evidence-informed practice’
  • Diversity in approaches
  • Collaboration to meet diverse, individualised needs.

Add mental health nursing credentials to the long list of skills and qualifications that make you a valuable part of an interdisciplinary health team, and prepare yourself for various roles on the hospital ward or in private practice.

Speak to one of our expert Student Enrolment Advisors today on 1300 589 882 to learn more about the online Master of Mental Health (Nursing) degree.