A day as a mental health nurse

You work in the community, and spend the morning visiting people’s homes, helping them have a good quality of life and manage their mental health problems. You always involve families and other healthcare workers to make the best plans to care for someone, because you know it can involve talking treatments, medicines or lots of other different kinds of therapies, and everyone needs to work together and know what each other is doing.

You always encourage people to talk about how they feel, because you’re always aware that people need to feel comfortable talking about their mental health, and not feel guilty or ashamed if they have a mental health problem.

In the afternoon, you visit someone who needed to be admitted to hospital for a short time because they were very poorly. You talk to your fellow nurses who work on the wards looking after this person, discussing how you can all work together to enable them to continue their recovery at home with their family as soon as possible.

Does this sound like you?

You love working with people, and can remain calm as you try and help those who are upset or distressed. You're a great communicator and easily make people feel comfortable. You're mature and practical, and enjoy working as part of a team. You work well under pressure and can carry out many tasks at once without getting stressed.

What's next after GCSE?

You need a degree to be a nurse and will usually need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above (typically including English language or literature and a science subject), plus two A levels or equivalent. Some universities may ask for three A levels so make sure you check with the uni you're interested in directly.

What's next after A level and beyond?

Alternatively, you can take AS/A levels (or the equivalent) and apply for a three-year nursing degree course. Different universities will have different entry requirements - check prospectuses to see the sorts of A/AS levels you'll need.