A MSc mental health nursing degree is a two-year full-time specialist degree that is one of four pre-registration nursing degrees. The other three are adult, child and learning disabilities. It is also among a handful of options for studying nursing at Masters level, and allows you to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council upon graduation.
Studying Mental Health Nursing
The course arms you with the key skills that will help you provide support for those who are suffering from mental health problems. The degree also teaches you how to provide support for the families of sufferers, and take care of the patients' mental, social, psychological and even spiritual care needs.
Interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are critical to a successful career as a mental health nurse, and this degree shows you how to harness them both. There will be placement opportunities in a diverse range of settings.
The exact topics covered will be dependent on the university. There are, however, some common modules and topics that you can expect to study. These include:
- Foundations In Nursing Practice
- Research In Health Care
- Care of the Person Who Lacks Capacity
- Leadership and Preparation
- Nursing Skills Modules
It’s worth bearing in mind that the master's degree in mental health nursing tends to be reactive, which means modules change from year to year in order to stay relevant with new developments in the field.
During the course, you will be expected to complete coursework and essays, build up a portfolio, give both individual and group presentations, and complete examinations. You will also be assigned a mentor, and may be offered a placement.
At the end of the second year, there will be a final research dissertation.
To be successful with your application, you need to possess at least a lower second class undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, such as a social science or a life science.
You will also be asked to provide two strong references, and a Work Health Assessment/Occupational health check. Academic achievement will further strengthen your application, as will appropriate voluntary experience.
Some postgraduate degrees in Mental Health Nursing may require students to attend an entrance interview. To help you understand postgraduate interviews we have put together an article for the top 10 questions that are likely to pop up and the best ways that you can answer them: Top 10 Postgraduate Interview Questions.
Generally, students fill clinical and management positions in both independent hospitals and NHS trusts, as well as local organisations upon graduation. It is also common for graduates to work in the nurse education and health research sectors.
Exact roles open to you with this degree include:
- Creative art therapist
- Mental health nurse
- Occupational therapist
- Play Therapist
- Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner
- Social worker