How to become a mental health nurse
What does a mental health nurse do?
A mental health nurse is a nurse who specialises in working with people suffering from mental illnesses or psychological distress. They usually work in mental health units within general health settings such as hospitals (both public and private), mental health settings such as mental hospitals, and in community health settings. A small number of them work as private practitioners, usually calling themselves counsellors.
Which program to study?
The Master of Mental Health Nursing prepares registered nurses to practise as mental health nurses and enables them to work as clinically skilled members of the mental health teams. This program incorporates the ideals of the Australian and New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses.
Students will undertake a minimum of 80 hours in each of the broad mental health areas of community, rehabilitation, acute inpatient and a specialist area (eg forensic, child/adolescent, psychogeriatric).
Applicants must meet certain admission requirements. Entry to this program is via a direct application to USQ.
Support while studying
There are a number of scholarships available for students from government and professional bodies, as well as USQ. Academic and personal support services are also available.
Information on career opportunities in mental health nursing are available from Queensland Health.