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Psychiatric Nurse jobs: frequently asked questions
Welcome to our Psychiatric Nurse jobs page, featuring the very latest psychiatric nursing roles across the UK, as well as frequently asked questions below.
What is a Psychiatric Nurse?
Psychiatric Nurses, also known as Mental Health Nurses, build relationships with people who use mental health services, helping them to live independent and fulfilling lives.
You can work in a variety of care settings, including specialist hospital wards, community health centres or people’s own homes. In residential settings, it’s common to work in a shift pattern that facilitates 24-hr care.
Day-to-day you could work with GPs, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, arts therapists and healthcare assistants.
Psychiatric Nurses work within the NHS and the private sector.
What are the daily duties of a Psychiatric Nurse?
As a Psychiatric Nurse, your role will vary greatly depending on the nature of the people you work with and the care setting in which you work.
However, your responsibilities might include:
• Assessing patients and their psychiatric needs
• Building relationships to establish trust
• Administering tests and medicine
• Helping patients manage their emotions through de-escalation techniques
• Organising events aimed at developing certain social skills
• Communicating with and supporting the families and friends of patients
• Supporting specific therapy plans, including cognitive behavioural therapy
• Running individual or group therapy sessions
How do you become a Psychiatric Nurse?
To become a Psychiatric Nurse you need to be registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council. And to be eligible to register you need to complete a nursing degree – ideally in Mental Health Nursing, although you can simply study as an Adult Nurse and then specialise as your course develops.
Courses typically last three years and are available at universities and institutions throughout the country. Half of your course will involve clinical practice, where you will gain a good understanding of what being a Nurse is really like.
It is also possible to become a Psychiatric Nurse through a degree apprenticeship, which is offered by some employers.
In terms of skills and personality traits, becoming a Psychiatric Nurse can be particularly emotional and challenging, so requires enormous amounts of resilience, patience and compassion. You will also need to be physically fit, and extremely open-minded.
How much do Psychiatric Nurses get paid?
Psychiatric Nurses within the NHS are paid according to the same banding system as any other Nurse.
A newly qualified Psychiatric Nurse starts on a Band 5 salary, which is currently £24,907 a year. This can rise to £30,615 a year with enough experience.
As you progress, you'll work up through the bands. Most experienced Psychiatric Nurses work at Band 6 or 7 with salaries ranging from £31,365 to £44,503.
Privately, salaries are harder to pinpoint because they are unregulated. According to most industry stats, pay is very similar, with experienced Psychiatric Nurses earning around £30,000 to £35,000 a year on average. Anecdotally, it’s suggested that private salaries for Psychiatric Nurses can actually be a little higher than in the NHS.
Find your next Psychiatric Nurse job today
View our latest roles above, or if you can’t find what you’re looking for, create an account, register your CV here and we’ll send you the latest positions as soon as we get them.