How to Become a Mental Health Nurse in Australia

Admin January 6, 2023
How to Become a Mental Health Nurse in Australia

Mental health nursing is a big career opportunity and is a diverse and rewarding profession. 

Almost one in two will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime and one in five Australians experience a mental health condition each year.   

One significant but frequently disregarded aspect is the rising demand for skilled Mental Health Nurses (MHNs). According to Department of Health estimates, Australia will not have more than 40% of the MHNs it needs met by 2030 if current trends continue. The healthcare system would be experiencing its “biggest (staff) undersupply of all sectors” at this time. 

However, this does mean more openings for those interested in pursuing a career in mental health. With options to focus on areas like holistic assessment, education, counseling, psychotherapy, medication management, or direct nursing care, it can be an incredibly diverse and rewarding branch of specialized nursing.  

In its review of mental health programs and services, the National Mental Health Commission acknowledged the need for systemic long-term change and identified a number of variables that may make the system more effective and accessible. They are proposing a “”Stepped care model” that, in theory, will stray from a one-size-fits-all strategy and concentrate on addressing individual requirements, resulting in better service targeting. 

How can I become a mental health nurse

The most popular entry point into the area is to pursue a Bachelor of Nursing degree at the undergraduate level, after which you can choose to work as a nurse, primarily in mental health settings. You must complete additional postgraduate coursework at the graduate or master’s level in order to become a specialized Mental Health Nurse. MHNs get both conventional nursing training and training in mental health, making them prepared to assess a patient’s physical condition while also being aware of signs of mental disease. People suffering from a variety of mental diseases, including 

  • Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Drug dependence 
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Bipolar disorders 
  • Delusion and/or psychosis-associated illness 
  • Alcohol dependence 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder 

To give patients the best care possible, Mental Health Nurses collaborate with a range of medical specialists, including doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and health administrators. They assist people in a number of situations, working with communities, families, and individuals to provide emergency psychiatric care, from early intervention through rehabilitation. 

Do I fit the bill

In order to achieve the best results for a patient, a Mental Health Nurse makes complicated interventions and assessments as well as direct, ongoing, practical, and psychological care to clients with mental health concerns. 

Although there are hurdles in this career, as in most roles. Being a practicing Mental Health Nurse can be taxing and emotionally draining and calls for a lot of resiliency and fortitude of character. However, the specialized healthcare training and support that nurses get offers strict, evidence-based frameworks for personal support and self-care. Mental health nurses are frequently presented with confronting and worrisome behaviors. 

The skills and abilities needed for mental health nursing are different from those of generalist nursing, just as physical and mental health are not the same. Practitioners may spend more time directly interacting with clients; therefore, they need to be sensitive to the subtleties of diagnosis. Mental health nurses must be exceptionally nimble and subtle in their work and customize their care and interpersonal style to each unique patient because no two cases of psychological disease are the same. 

What qualifications are required to become a mental health nurse

If you have empathy for the mentally ill and have a strong will to make a difference in their lives, then the Graduate Certificate in Advanced Nursing (Mental Health Nursing) and Master of Nursing is for you. 

Graduate Certificate in Advanced Nursing (Mental Health Nursing) 

This course will train you to evaluate the nursing needs of patients in a range of clinical settings and assist you in developing a greater understanding of mental health theory and clinical practice. Mental Health Nursing requires knowledge, confidence, and skills to care for patients. 

The Graduate Certificate in Advanced Nursing – Mental Health Nursing will augment your existing nursing knowledge and skills by developing mental health nursing methods and specialized skills. You will gain confidence in your ability in providing care to the patients. 

You can take up this course online and this is inclusive of a requirement to work in a mental health setting under supervision while pursuing the course. The duration of this course is 26 Weeks 

Graduate Certificate in Advanced Nursing also provides a gateway for students intending to pursue a Master of Nursing degree in Australia, either on-campus or online. 

Master of Nursing 

Master of Nursing course merges theoretical and practical knowledge and in this way, it allows you to remain working while completing your education. Master of Nursing degree advances your nursing profession and helps you in taking up leadership positions within the healthcare sector. The duration of this course is 104 Weeks on campus or online.   

If you are aspiring to become a Mental Health Nurse and need further information, feel free to contact our experts at MWT Global Academy who will assist you will all the information that you require.