CAREER CHANGE: BECOMING A MENTAL HEALTH NURSE

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We are all expected to know what and who we want to be while we’re in school. Ha! For a lot of people, this simply does not work out. I changed my major several times before landing on one I was comfortable with.

If you are debating a career change, and you’ve decided you want to work in healthcare, you may be considering training as a mental health nurse. It’s never too late to pursue the job you really want. However, remember it is important to make sure this career is right for you before you make such a big commitment.

Day-To-Day Responsibilities

If you are calm and caring, no matter the situation, and you have a way with people from all walks of life, becoming a mental health nurse may be ideal for you. The day-to-day responsibilities of this role differ, but in most cases, the job involves the following:

  • Planning treatment for patients and monitoring their process
  • Liaising with health visitors, GPs, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists
  • Building trust with patients
  • Involving the patient’s family and friends and making sure they get the required support
  • Noticing any changes in the individual’s condition and reacting to them
  • Providing counseling
  • Helping with medication
  • Using psychological therapies
  • Helping people to express their feelings
  • Liaising with social workers, the police, housing officers, and charities

The specific job duties you carry out do depend on the health care center or hospital you are based at, as well as the clients you deal with, but this should give you a general understanding.

Is It Right For You?


Becoming a mental health nurse is not for everyone. It’s suitable for people that are emotionally resilient enough not to take every case home. 

You also need to be good at communicating and observant enough to spot problems in a timely manner. The ability to stay calm in a crisis wouldn’t hurt either. Personally, I would be horrible at staying calm in a crisis. I tend to freak out especially if vomiting is involved. 

You will also make a great mental health nurse if you are empathetic with all types of people from all walks of life. Being warm and engaging and knowledgeable about mental illness can only help you in this field.

Getting Qualified

If you feel that mental health nursing is right for you, you will need to get the right training and qualifications. This means training as a nurse first. This means you should get a degree in pre-registration nursing. Once you have done this, you will then be able to specialize in nursing for mental health patients by taking relevant courses. This is something you can do at home by taking a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online. These degrees ensure you get all of the knowledge and practice you need to become a successful mental health nurse.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what a career as a mental health nurse entails, and whether or not this is the right job for you. There is no denying that this can be a very stressful and trying career, but it can also be an exceptionally rewarding one too.

mental health nurse, mental health, career change, types of nurses

Have a great night! I’ve trying to get more organized for the New Year. It may take me all month but I will get there 🙂

Krystle Cook - the creator of Home Jobs by MOM - put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.

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