As a society, we generally find it much easier to talk about being physically unwell than about mental ill health. Mental illness requires just as much care as physical illness – sometimes even more so. Being a mental health nurse means you’ll be crucial in helping people get their lives back on track.
Whether you have a personal experience with people with mental illness or simply want to help those who struggle day-to-day, you can apply to be a mental health nurse. You will help people get through their illness, whether it is anxiety, depression, psychotic disturbances, paranoia, dementia or other disorders affecting older people.
More than just a degree
Once you graduate, you’ll be able to register as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)and be able to practice in the UK. Opportunities for mental health nursing are continually expanding. You may be working in a busy hospital ward or department, as a nurse specialist running your own clinic, working in a prison or in one of the expanding community areas such as a large health centre or an integrated community team.
What makes mental health nursing such a challenge is the sheer diversity of situations you will have to respond to, no two days ever being the same. And you know that every day, you can make a difference.
Understanding the science of care
Nursing involves more than practice. You’ll grasp the theory and facts behind diagnosis that can help you make crucial decisions when looking after a patient. You will be able to design strategies for the collection and analysis of scholarly material relating to nursing care, as well as being able to identify nursing issues from a wide perspective. You will be able to lead changes in practice, improving the quality of delivery of care.
You can choose to study in September or February.
BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) scored 95% overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2018.
More placements, more choices
Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
UCAS CODE: B761
We believe in giving you the best chance for employment when you graduate. During your time on the course, you’ll be working alongside experienced mental health care professionals, helping to make a positive difference to people affected by mental health issues.
Gain experience with our practice partner including NHS trusts, independent and non-statutory health care providers
Our nursing courses are split 50/50, one half is spent at the University studying and the other half is spent on practice placement with our practice partner including NHS trusts, independent and non-statutory health care providers.
Our NHS partners include Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and West London NHS Trust.
Clinical practice opportunities include:
- adult acute mental health inpatients
- adult mental health recovery inpatients
- older persons mental health inpatients
- children and adolescent mental health services
- forensic mental health community teams
- prison healthcare
- a range of community services supporting people to remain in their home whilst receiving support and treatment e.g. crisis resolution and home treatment teams, primary care plus, recovery teams, older persons community mental health team, memory teams, cognitive impairment and dementia teams, etc.
- private healthcare settings.
We’re renowned for the support we offer you while you are on placement. Members of the teaching staff from Bucks are assigned to each clinical area and our academic staff will spend, on average, 20 per cent of their time in clinical practice supporting our students.
Learn from the professionals
We make sure that you’ll have the knowledge and the confidence to work as a nurse before sending you out into clinical practice.
Our team of experienced lecturers have a collective wealth of knowledge from working in a number of areas, from child mental health to dementia and cognitive behavioural therapy to community mental health care and acute mental health inpatient care. You will also benefit from our annual one day inter-professional conference, focused on safeguarding and dementia.
When you go out into practice, a clinical staff member in the workplace will provide mentorship, supervise your experience, and assess that you are meeting the requirements of the course. All other health professionals and staff members will also contribute to your learning experience, so you have the opportunity to engage with the multi-disciplinary team.
Our enthusiastic and dedicated nursing team have a passion for what they do and will support you throughout the programme.
What are my career prospects
We’ve been running nursing courses for many years and have a high rate of employability. 94 per cent of our students are in employment or in further study six months after graduating*. Many of our students are employed by the Trust that they worked with during their time at the University.
Nursing itself is a broad area and you’ll have the chance to go into many careers, such as:
- General practice surgeries as a mental health nurse
- Community settings, for example Home Treatment team, Recovery Service
- Nursing homes
- Mental health services
- Forensic mental health services including High Secure Services
- Private health care providers
- Prison nursing
- The armed forces
- Teaching and assessing roles
- Working abroad
- Researcher- promoting advances in health care and health promotion practice.
How will you help me prepare for my future career?Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders.
We work with our partners to provide placements for our students, giving you the opportunity to develop your skills in practice. Our modules and teaching expertise will help you become more independent as a learner and more certain of your discipline expertise.
We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employment pages to find out more.
The Big Deal
At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.
We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK. It’s a big deal!