If you are considering a career in mental health nursing, you will gain experience in giving treatment, care and support to clients with moderate to extreme emotional, mental and psychological problems. Mental health nursing jobs offer you the opportunity to work in a diverse environment. Some of the roles you will find yourself performing in include, assisting in identifying client’s problems and doing preliminary assessments, monitoring and reporting on the mental condition of the client and helping clients to manage their mental illness and give counsel and support. You will also give prescribed medication to clients and facilitate and organise therapy groups. Helping clients with personal-care and day to day activities will also be part of your job description along with visiting clients in the community and networking with community organisations, employers, government agencies, the police and lawyers.
Mental health nursing jobs will provide you with the opportunity to specialise working with a range of different groups of people such as the elderly, families, women, children and adolescents, Maori and Pasifika people and offenders with mental health illnesses. You will also be able to specialise in areas such as crisis assessment or telephone triage where you will gauge mental health needs and risks based on symptoms reported to you via the telephone.
As a nurse in this specialisation you will be skilled in many areas such as knowledge of different nursing methods and theories, psychiatric disorders, different diseases and illnesses and how the body works. You will also be knowledgeable in areas of medicines and treatments, and the effects these medicines have on patients and you will be skilled in counselling and therapy techniques. You will also know the ins and outs of relevant legislation and your oral and written communication skills and listening skills will be excellent. Things such as organising and decision-making will become second nature to you. You may work for hospitals, nursing homes and community care services and you will spend time in the community making calls on clients. Mental health nursing jobs involve a lot of contact with a diverse group of people that include other health professionals, clients and their families, community agencies and police and ambulance officers. The salaries for nurses in this profession are around $44,000 to $66,000 and you will potentially be able to advance your career by moving into clinical specialist roles within the health industry or into research or management and education roles.