Mental Health Nursing: Connect with People
What is mental health nursing?
Mental health nursing is a specialised field of nursing whose main focus is on a person's subjective experiences. Mental health nursing's primary tool to understand a patient's inner world is the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship. Mental health nursing focuses on the mind of the patient with mental illness and problems, and how they relate about themselves and the world. Mental health nurses work in collaborative arrangement with patients including promotion of:
- Psychological well-being and emotional health
- Relationships with others and their peace of mind.
What do mental health nurses do?
Mental health nurses monitor the biological dimensions of mental illness through medication administration and behavioural observations and interpretation in general. In line with current trends and reforms, mental health nurses protect patients' rights and support their families, carers and significant others.
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How do I become a mental health nurse?
With an undergraduate degree in nursing you can register to practice as a nurse and work in most mental health settings. However, to become a specialist, most nurses go on to study mental health at Graduate Diploma or Masters Level. Find out more about postgraduate mental health nursing study.
Specialist mental health nurses may also undertake additional training in specific therapies, such as couple and family therapy.
Mental Health Nurses are in demand across Australia. Scholarships to study mental health nursing are available through the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and through each State and Territory Department of Health.