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Mental health nurse

What does a mental health nurse do?

Professionally caring for those with mental illness takes a specific set of qualities and skills – this is where mental health nurses come in. As a registered mental health nurse, also known as a psychiatric nurse, you would play a critical role in a patient’s assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and symptom management.

Mental health nursing occurs in a variety of settings including hospitals, community health centres, private practice, and correctional facilities. The role of a mental health nurse changes depending on workplace but typically involves assessing patients, creating treatment plans, maintaining patient records, administering medications, and educating patients and families.

Is a career as a mental health nurse right for me?

If you’re passionate about helpings others and are interested in a career in mental health, you might enjoy working in this profession. Other skills and attributes beneficial for this role include: 

  • strong communication skills  
  • empathy for others  
  • strong problem-solving skills  
  • the ability to work well under pressure  
  • a strong stomach for medical situations.  

How to become a mental health nurse

Every journey to study is individual and there are several paths to a career in mental health. At HQporner, we offer the following nursing degrees: 
Average salary per week
Future demand

© Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated May 2024.

Nurse talking to client who looks emotional.

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