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Mental Health Nurse

Mental Health Nurse

Work with patients to focus on their psychological and emotional health and wellbeing.

What's it like to be a Mental Health Nurse?

A Mental Health Nurse is a specialist nurse who predominantly focuses on patients and clients’ psychological wellbeing and emotional health.

Tasks and duties

  • Provide medical and some psychological support to clients who have mental health issues or who are in distress to help them learn to manage their symptoms and understand their condition.
  • Observe and assess clients in order to provide information, education and care to individuals, their families and other health professionals.
  • Advocate for clients in order to promote their rights, responsibilities and psychological wellbeing.
Mental Health Nurses work across various clinical, service and forensic settings, including hospitals, community health centres, inpatient care facilities and crisis intervention.
Mental Health Nurses commonly provide support to clients who have conditions such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

What can I earn as a Mental Health Nurse?

The most common salary  for a Mental Health Nurse is between $80k and $90k
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How to become a Mental Health Nurse

SEEK Learning
Those with an undergraduate degree in nursing can work in most mental health settings, however to practise as a specialist Mental Health Nurse, postgraduate qualifications are required.
  1. Ensure you are eligible to practice as a Registered Nurse or Enrolled Nurse in Australia. Complete a further qualification such as an Advanced Diploma of Nursing (HLT64115) specialising in mental health or a Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing. Alternatively, complete a Master of Mental Health in nursing.
  2. Mental Health Nurses who want to progress their career can apply for advanced clinical positions (such as Clinical Nurse Consultant or Nurse Practitioner). There is also the option of working in education, research or management.

Explore nursing qualifications

Get started on your career as a Mental Health Nurse with a nursing qualification.

Duration 1 yr
2 institutions offering this qualification
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Duration 1.5 yrs - 7 yrs
30 institutions offering this qualification
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Duration 3 yrs - 7 yrs
2 institutions offering this qualification
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

What skills are employers looking for?

Employers want:

  • Australian health practitioner regulation agency (ahpra)
  • Communication skills
  • Working with children check
  • Computer skills
  • Judgement & decision making

Shortlisted applicants:

  • Team work
  • Integrity
  • People management
  • Time management
  • Accountability
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Mental Health Nurses rate their role?

Latest reviews from 8 Mental Health Nurses surveyed on SEEK

Latest reviews

5 out of 5Feb 2019
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Nursing
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Detention Health
The good things
On a practical level, you'll never have to be afraid of being out of work. At times all you can do is just listen to someone or be just 'be' with them and that might not seem much. If it makes your pa...
The challenges
It very much depends on the area you work in. In my area supporting peopleI in an often seemingly hopeless situation can be very difficult.
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Master of Gestalt Therapy
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Credentialed Mental Health Nurse
The good things
The position is incredibly rewarding. I work quite independently and have the opportunity to work with the individual and family utilising the vast skills that I have collated over the years. I work w...
The challenges
The biggest challenge is that the Government only funds our service on a 12 monthly basis (from end to beginning of financial year) and this year we did not receive confirmation of further funding unt...
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Master of Mental Health Nursing (Nurse Practitioner)
Experience
1 – 4 years
Specialisation
Mental Health
The good things
Being a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse is being recognised for your mental health expertise. There are many opportunities to be self-employed, under Medicare and under various government contracts....
The challenges
The challenges of this role include aspects of self-employment: being isolated from collegiality, running administrative processes alone and unpaid sick/annual/parental leave.
3 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Science
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Mental health
The good things
I adored being a mental health nurse in the UK, I loved knowing that we were an asset to the teams we worked in and helping patients to achieve optimum health outcomes was my main driver.
The challenges
Since emigrating to Australia I have felt frustrated with the profession. In the UK you have to complete a bachelors degree in mental health to work as a mental health nurse. You are a well researched...
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Psychiatric Nursing Diploma
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Adult Addictions and community mental health
The good things
This is a specialized form of nursing so there is a high demand for mental health nurses. The pay is good as well.
The challenges
In Australia, they removed diploma and degree psychiatric nursing programs in 1993 due to the Nurses Act and the implementation of the Australian Quality Framework in 1995. A downside from these chan...
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Graduate Diploma of Mental Healt
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Counselling
The good things
The greatest part of my role is seeing people make changes in their own lives for their mental health and well being
The challenges
Every day is a challlenge. My role is very autonomous and it is sometimes very challenging . It is always important to remember it is the clients goals that is the most important. Not my own goals for...
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
BA (Hons)
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Inpatient acute
The good things
I chose Mental health nursing due my passion in supporting individuals to recover from their illness by utilizing a range of psychological approaches beside pharmacology. It requires the ability to en...
The challenges
Working with fluctuating mood state and having the capacity to risk assess and prevent serious harm to the individual and others.
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Mental Health Nursing for Older Persons
The good things
Mental Health is an area of Nursing that may or may not be for every person. It has its own challenges and rewards. The good thing I can say about it is that if you have the interest in Psychology and...
The challenges
As a mental health nurse, you are the first point of absorber in any of the challenges and state that we receive our patients in. You are also their monitoring their progress as they slowly go towards...
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

What are the job opportunities for Mental Health Nurses?

Find out how the job market is trending

Job opportunities

Mental Health Nurse jobs on SEEK
Source: SEEK

Projected job growth

National increase over next 5 years
18.4%
2018
2023
Source: LMIP. Registered Nurses
Latest Mental Health Nurse jobs on SEEK
Fortis Recruitment Pty Ltd
Perth
Subsidised accommodation and travel, shift penalty rates, 13 week contract, high paying salary, Western Australia. Coastal location.
Correct Care Australasia
South West Coast VIC
Seeking passionate Mental Health Nurse to work in a multidiscipline team within a correctional setting
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Correct Care Australasia
Yarra Valley & High Country
This is an exciting opportunity for Mental Health Nurses to join Australia's largest outsourced correctional health provider.
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Fortis Recruitment Pty Ltd
Brisbane
Subsidised accommodation and travel, shift penalty rates, 13 week contract, high paying salary, Western Australia. Coastal location.
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

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