Is Mental Health Nursing the Right Choice?

mental health nursing advice and tips for aspiring psychiatric nurses





A lot of the time I find myself asking: am I in the right course? Did I pick what really was for me? To be honest, I love the idea of being a mental health nurse. But the more I thought about it in-depth and when I entered and begun my course and realised that its way harder than it seems, is when I started questioning myself.

mental health nursing


A mental health nurse?

I found myself really doubting my decisions even more when I was introduced to the coursework. The harder and harder it got. Subjects that I thought I would never ever need to know came up like anatomy, physics and chemistry. As if that wasn’t hard enough, I couldn’t even not attend any of my lectures. To proceed onto clinical placement, a student must attend at least if not all the lectures. I’m presuming it’s because no student could go onto clinical placement with having absolutely no idea what to do. Which makes sense.

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What is Mental Health (Psychiatric) Nursing?

Mental health nursing used to be called psychiatric nursing. The reason why they changed it around, I have no idea. I like the sound of mental health nursing though. Psychiatric nursing sounds so stern and uninviting.


Psychiatric nursing or mental health nursing is the appointed position of a nursing that has specialized in mental health and cares for people of all ages with mental illness or mental distress, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychosis, depression, dementia and many more. ~ Wikipedia.

Salary of a MH Nurse

I have to admit this is one of the upsides of nursing for the mentally ill. Mental health nurses get paid more than general nurses because psychiatric nursing is more.. harder, shall we say.

Newly qualified nurses work for up to 30k. As time goes on, so does your salary and mental health nurses get paid up to 60k annually.

Pros & Cons of Mental Health Nursing

There are many pros and cons of mental health nursing. I’ll be sharing some of my personal thoughts on what are the upsides and downsides of psychiatric nursing.


It is such a noble career. I’ve always wanted to work in the medical field. Mainly because I think I would love the hospital surroundings. I’ve always seen myself as doing something that just helps people. It is such a rewarding career in that sense.

The salary is quite good. To be honest, I am more than satisfied with that salary. I believe mental health nurses actually get paid quite well for having such a hard job. So if the intrinsic factors are not doing it for a mental health nurse, there are certainly extrinsic factors that are little jabs of encouragement!

Only 4 years of college, and you’re qualified. I find that to be incredibly handy. For those that can’t afford 7 or 8 years of college getting a Masters or a PhD, this is perfect. Getting a Bachelor’s degree is more than enough for me and if I find I can move onto do a Masters in something, then why not!

Becoming a mental health nurse is highlighting the problem that is mental illness. Because mental illness is not physical and people cannot see it, it is treated as if it’s not even there. A lot of the time people forget that people are struggling within themselves but can mask it outwardly. People forget this and a lot of disorders go untreated. A lot of sufferers don’t even realise they have a mental illness. I think becoming a mental health nurse highlights these issues to show that this is truly something society struggles with.

It is so interesting. I know a lot of people say that their course is ‘interesting’ or ‘fascinating’. But I would not lie to you. Most of the course is Psychology, which I have always been interested in. Seeing how the human mind works in terms of behaviours and stuff like that really strikes a chord. I was engrossed at my first Psychology lecture.

Β Nowlet


It can be a dangerous job. Many people often go on about how brave I am to be doing mental health nursing because of all the ‘perils’ that come with it. Funnily enough, general nursing can be more dangerous than mental health with statistics showing that more general nurses incur injuries from patients each year. Even though it can be unpredictable, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to handle myself.

I suppose, you must have a ton of patience dealing with patients that cannot control what comes out of their mouth or dealing with patients that hit you and so on. Understanding and being compassionate would play a big role in being a good mental health nurse I’d say.

The course is quite hard and intense. It’s only November now and this college course has dried me out and sucked all life out of me. Not only do you wanna avoid repeats, it’s just that if I can’t do the course, how in the hell am I gonna do the actual career?

If you can’t stomach what you’re about to see – don’t do it. I’m going on placement on Monday the 6th of November and I’m pretty sure I will have lots and lots of stories for this blog about patients and how sorry I felt for them. I suppose, if you plan to do mental health nursing you have to realise how hard a job it is. You don’t want to traumatize yourself at all.

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Is Mental Health Nursing Right for Me?

To be honest, I don’t know yet. I hope so. Anyways, we’ll see in a few weeks more. Because you guys will definitely be getting a blog post about it!

xo caro


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