• To explore factors influencing newly registered mental health nurses’ choice of first role
• To recognise the importance of newly registered mental health nurses feeling confident working in a range of areas
• To acknowledge the need to offer mental health nursing students a variety of placement settings
Many mental health nurses used to start their career in an adult inpatient service to develop their confidence and skills. This has changed and newly registered mental health nurses now work in a range of settings, including in the community. This article details the evaluation of a preregistration mental health nursing programme. Between six months and four years after registration, graduates from one university in England were asked where they worked on registration and at the time of the evaluation. A large majority of the 56 respondents worked in an adult inpatient setting on registration, but by the time of the evaluation, many had moved to community and specialist settings.
The evaluation also found that in one cohort of 39 mental health nursing students, most placements had been in inpatient settings. The placement setting, particularly for the final placement, is a recognised factor influencing where nurses choose to work on registration, but further research on this is needed. Universities and healthcare organisations need to offer a balance of placement settings and exposure to different age groups, so that newly registered mental health nurses feel confident in applying for roles in a range of areas.
Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2022.e1611Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Lowe L (2022) Where do mental health nurses work on registration and in their early career? Results from the evaluation of a nursing programme. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2022.e1611
Published online: 19 July 2022
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