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Mental Health Nurse CV Writing Tip's

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Mental Health Nurse CV Writing Service

Mental Health Nurse CV Writing Service

If you’re a good communicator and want to help people with mental health problems, a job in mental health could be perfect for you.

Mental health nurses work in hospitals and the community to support people with a range of mental health issues. They aim to build good relationships with clients and their families so that everyone is involved in the therapy process.

A mental health nurse has to be sympathetic and non-judgmental. You will need to be able to gain a patient’s trust. You’ll also need to manage emotional situations.

To work as a mental health nurse, you will need to complete a Nursing and Midwifery Council approved degree or a Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing.

The work

As a mental health nurse, you would support people who have conditions such as:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • stress-related illnesses
  • personality disorders
  • eating disorders
  • drug and alcohol addiction.

You could work with a variety of clients, or specialise and work with a particular group, like adolescents or offenders. Your duties could involve:

  • assessing and supporting patients
  • encouraging patients to take part in role play, art, drama and discussion as therapies
  • physical care, if the patient is too old or ill to look after themselves
  • giving medication to patients.

You would work closely with support workers, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and health visitors. You may also help clients if they need to deal with social workers, the police, relevant charities, local government and housing officials.


Hours

You would normally work 37.5 hours a week. This could include evenings, weekends, night shifts and bank holidays, as care could be needed any time. Part-time work or extra hours may also be available.

You could be based at a day hospital, outpatients department, community healthcare centre or specialist unit (for example for drug dependency). If you work with offenders, you could work in a secure unit or special hospital.

In the community, you would mainly work day shifts. However, some NHS trusts operate an on-call rota system for emergencies, which you may need to be part of.


Income

Nurses can earn between £21,176 and £27,534 a year.

Team leaders and managers can earn between £30,460 and £40,157 a year, and nurse consultants can earn up to £55,945 a year.

Extra allowances may be paid to those living in or around London.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.


Entry requirements

To work as a mental health nurse, you will need to complete a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved degree, or a Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing (mental health branch).

Please note: from September 2013, students will only be able to qualify as a nurse by doing a degree. Until this date, you could complete either a diploma or a degree, however the final chance to start the nursing diploma is Spring 2013.

To do an approved course, you will need:

  • proof of your English and maths skills, good health and good character
  • evidence of recent successful study experience (especially if you have been out of education for some time).

You will probably need to have previous experience (paid or voluntary) of working with people. This could include those who use mental health services.

Course providers can set their own academic entry requirements, which can include:

  • for a nursing diploma – five GCSEs (A-C) preferably in English, maths and/or a science-based subject
  • for an Advanced Diploma in Mental Health Nursing – this qualification and the entry requirements for it are between diploma and degree level
  • for a nursing degree – usually the same GCSEs as the diploma, plus two or three A levels, possibly including a biological science.

Check with universities for exact entry details as other qualifications, such as an Access to Higher Education diploma, may be accepted. For a list of degree and diploma course providers and application advice.

If you are interested in social work as well, you could take a degree in, for example Mental Health Studies (Nursing and Social Work) accredited by the NMC and the General Social Care Council. After gaining your degree, you could do a variety of jobs including mental health nurse, and social worker specialising in an area such as child and adolescent mental health or substance misuse.

Funding

Nursing students starting to study in 2011 on the nursing diploma and degree courses may get non-repayable bursaries to cover living expenses. Those starting their studies on an approved nursing course from September 2012 will receive a non means-tested grant of £1,000, an additional means tested bursary of £4,395 per year (£5,460 for students in London) and a reduced rate non-means tested loan.

Other entry routes

You could prepare for a nursing course by doing a two-year Cadet Scheme or Apprenticeship. Schemes vary between NHS Trusts, but will usually include clinical placements and working towards a QCF/ NVQ Level 3 in Health. To find out more about Apprenticeships, visit the Apprenticeships website.

If you are a healthcare assistant with an NVQ or QCF qualification at Level 3 in Health and you have financial support from your employer, you may be able to complete part-time nurse training by applying for a secondment. You would receive a salary while you study. Once you qualify, you may need to commit to working with the NHS Trust that funded you for a minimum period.

If you have a first or second class honours degree in a subject related to health or nursing, you could qualify as a nurse by taking an accelerated programme for graduates.

If you are a nurse who trained outside the UK and European Economic Area (EEA), you may need to complete the Overseas Nurses Programme before you begin work. Occasionally, EEA trained nurses may be required to take an aptitude test (or similar) in order to prove professional competence.


Training and development

Once you are on a nurse training programme, you would divide your time between university or college and supervised placements in local hospitals and the community. Courses usually take three years full-time to complete.

During the first year you would follow the Common Foundation Programme, which includes:

  • an introduction to the four branches of nursing and maternity care
  • developing observation, communication and caring skills
  • studying anatomy, physiology, psychology, sociology, social policy
  • learning core practical skills.

In the remaining two years, you would specialise in the mental health branch and work in relevant clinical and community placements.

As a qualified nurse, you will need to renew your professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) every three years. To renew, you will need to have worked a minimum of 450 hours and have completed at least five professional development study days during the previous three years.

To work in the community, you will usually need to take a Specialist Practitioner Community Mental Health Nursing course. See the NMC website for a list of course providers.

Return to practice

If you are a former registered nurse who wants to return to the profession, you can take a return-to-practice course.


Skills and knowledge

To become a mental health nurse, you will need to have:

  • an understanding, sympathetic and non-judgmental manner
  • excellent communication and listening skills
  • the ability to gain a patient’s trust
  • an understanding of body language and other non-verbal communication
  • the ability to empathise and relate to people of all ages and backgrounds
  • the ability to stay calm and in control in difficult situations
  • an ability to manage emotional situations
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • a persuasive manner, with the ability to encourage patients to follow treatment plans
  • assertiveness and the ability to represent patients’ interests.

You may need a driving licence to work in the community.

Opportunities

You will find most jobs in the NHS. You can also work in the private or independent sectors, for the prison service, or for local authority social services.

With experience you could progress to sister, ward manager or team leader, responsible for running a ward or team of nurses in the community. You could go on to become matron or director of nursing.

With further study (for example to Masters degree level) you may be able to apply for advanced nurse practitioner (ANP) and clinical nurse specialist (CNS) posts. Experience in these roles can lead to a nurse consultant position. Consultants work directly and independently with patients, carry out research and develop and deliver training. To do this, you may need to be working towards a PhD in a relevant subject.

As a qualified nurse, you could train in another branch by completing a ‘second registration’ course. This will take around one year and you will usually need evidence of recent study plus financial support from your employer. You could also train in health visiting, become self-employed or work overseas.

Related industry information

Industry summary

The health sector is represented by Skills for Health Sector Skills Council, which comprises three sub‐sectors:

  • National Health Service (NHS)
  • Independent Healthcare Sector (such as private and charitable healthcare providers)
  • Third Sector (healthcare) (such as small local community and voluntary groups, registered charities, foundations, trusts, social enterprises and co‐operatives)

The health sector is made up of hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, dental practices, the ambulance service, nursing homes, residential care homes, complementary medicine and a huge range of other health related activities, from sight tests in opticians to research in medical laboratories. Most people in the health sector work in the publicly funded National Health Service (NHS), which includes:

  • primary care (organisations which the public goes to first) – Doctors/General Practitioners (GPs), NHS Walk in Centres, NHS Direct, Out of Hours Emergency Care
  • secondary care (organisations which the public are referred onto) – Ambulance Trusts, NHS Trusts/hospitals, NHS Foundation Trusts/hospitals, Mental Health Trusts, Care Trusts (provide joint health and social care activities)

NHS policy in England is directed from the centre by the Department of Health. Local organisations, known as Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), are in charge of providing and commissioning services, controlling the majority of the budget. PCTs are overseen by 10 regional organisations called Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs).

The independent sector includes companies and charities that offer hospital and specialist services usually after referral from a doctor. Operations and other work are carried out in private hospitals, independent treatment centres, mental health units and hospices.

Key facts:

  • The health sector is the largest employer in the UK, representing 5.5% of the working age population of the UK and 7.3% of the working age population that are currently in employment.
  • It is estimated that the sector employs over 2 million people, including:
    • over 1.5 million people in the NHS (72%)
    • over 0.5 million people in the Independent Healthcare sector (26%)
    • almost 40,000 in the voluntary sector (2%)
  • 56% of the workforce has a higher education qualification (or equivalent).
  • The age profile for the sector shows an older than average workforce, which is due in part to the fact that it takes some professions a long time to train and can mean that people enter the sector later.

There is a varied list of jobs in the sector ranging from a diverse number of clinical roles, to support and infrastructure staff, for instance: Allied Health Professionals (AHPs); Ambulance Staff; Dental Staff; Doctors/Medical staff; Nursing staff; Midwifery Staff; Healthcare Scientists; Health Informatics Staff; Management; Wider Healthcare Team; Complementary Therapists.


National and regional data

High proportions of the health sector workforce are located in:

  • London
  • South East
  • North West

East Midlands

  • The health sector employs 131,515 people, which accounts for 7% of all employment in the region.
  • The East Midlands employs 8% of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 29% of all employment across the sector or 41,200 employees.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 133,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

East of England

  • The health sector employs 164,720 people, which accounts for 7% of all employment in the region.
  • The East of England employs 9.8 % of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 30% of all employment across the sector or 52,300 employees.
  • Vacancies in the health and social work sector account for 14% of all industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 103,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

London

  • The health sector employs over 249,524 people, which accounts for 6% of all the employment in the region.
  • London employs 15% of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 33% of all employment across the sector or 78,500 employees.
  • Vacancies in health and social work account for 12% of all industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 146,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

North East

  • The health sector employs 89,201 people, which accounts for 8.7% of all employment in the region.
  • The North East employs 5.3 % of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 25% of all employment across the sector or 23,800 employees.
  • Vacancies in the health and social work sector account for 12% of all industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be almost 46,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

North West

  • The health sector employs 251,960 people, which accounts for 8% of all employment in the region.
  • The North West employs 15% of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 23.5% of all employment across the sector or 59,200 employees.
  • Vacancies in the health and social work account for 11% of all industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 133,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

South East

  • The health sector employs 264,071 people, which accounts for 7.1% of all employment in the region.
  • The South East employs 15.7% of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 23.5% of all employment across the sector or 59,200 employees.
  • Vacancies in the health and social work sector account for 12% of all Industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 164,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

South West

  • The health sector employs 182,187 people, which accounts for 8.2% of all employment in the region.
  • The South West employs 10.8 % of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 30% of all employment across the sector or 60,700 employees.
  • Vacancies in the health and social work sector account for 12% of all Industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 105,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

West Midlands

  • The health sector employs 168,746 people, which accounts for 7.2% of all employment in the region.
  • The West Midlands employs 10% of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 25% of all employment across the sector or 43,000 employees.
  • Vacancies in the health and social work sector account for 9% of all industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 108,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

Yorkshire and the Humber

  • The health sector employs 182,848 people, which accounts for 8.2% of all employment in the region.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber employ 10.9 % of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 24% of the total health care workforce or 42,000 employees.
  • Vacancies in health and social work account for 11% of all industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 97,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

Northern Ireland

  • The health sector employs 61,300 people.
  • Northern Ireland employs 3% of the total health sector workforce.
  • 81% of the workforce is female.
  • 26% of the workforce is aged 35‐44 years.
  • 96% of the workforce is white.
  • 10% of the workforce reports a disability.
  • 48% of the workforce is in Associate Professional and Technical occupations.
  • 23% of organisations in the health and social work sector report vacancies.

Scotland

  • The health sector employs 201,500 people.
  • Scotland employs 10% of the total health sector workforce.
  • 78% of the workforce is female.
  • 30% of the workforce is aged 45‐54 years.
  • 95% of the workforce is white.
  • 14% of the workforce reports a disability.
  • 39% of the workforce is in Associate Professional and Technical occupations.
  • 23% of organisations in the health and social work sector report vacancies.

Wales

  • The health sector employs 114,900 people.
  • Wales employs 6% of the total health sector workforce.
  • 74% of the workforce is female.
  • 34% of the workforce is aged 45‐54 years.
  • 94% of the workforce is white.
  • 18% of the workforce reports a disability.
  • 40% of the workforce is in Associate Professional and Technical occupations.
  • 27% of organisations in the health and social work sector report vacancies.

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