Where do mental health nurses work on registration and in their early career? Results from the evaluation of a nursing programme
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Where do mental health nurses work on registration and in their early career? Results from the evaluation of a nursing programme

Laura Lowe Senior lecturer in mental health nursing and assistant associate dean for student experience, School of Health and Social Work, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, England

Why you should read this article:
  • 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.e1611

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

l.lowe@herts.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

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

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
Subscribe
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Or