Mental Health Nursing Career

Mental health nursing is a demanding but enriching career, occupying a unique space in holistic patient care at the forefront of healthcare service delivery. Yet, as reported by the New Roles in Mental Health Nursing Implementation Group in 2019, there is a clear case that more mental health nurses are required both in our NHS and in private and voluntary organisations and agencies.

One of the group’s key recommendations to enabling a fully trained mental health nursing workforce to grow, and to encourage more people to work in this vital profession, as well as provide a clear career pathway for those already working in mental health, was to develop a comprehensive career and competency framework. Critical to this, is ensuring each individual, at every stage of their career, feels valued, supported, developed and safe in their practice, from before they consider pre-registration training, right through to retirement.

Commissioned by Health Education England (HEE), Skills for Health have worked collaboratively with key stakeholders from across the mental health sector, to lead the development and delivery of a framework describing the core skills, knowledge and behaviours needed by mental health nurses, and those which highlight it as an inspiring career. This included vital input from the Mental Health Nursing Directors Forum, the Royal College of Nursing, NHS England and NHS Improvement, staff organisations, educators, and most importantly current mental health nurses from across the country.

Dawn Probert, Senior Workforce Consultant, Skills for Health said:

‘’Skills for Health is very pleased to have been able to work closely with both HEE and the mental health sector to develop this new framework. There was key input from all stakeholders to provide a comprehensive set of capabilities required for each clinical level of role, from newly qualified, through senior, advanced, consultant and director levels of the profession.”

The Mental Health Nursing Competence and Career Framework clearly sets out the skills required for a variety of nursing roles that are needed to deliver exceptional and supportive care to users of mental health services. It offers a useful guide for employers to encourage a diversity of applications by including case studies of various roles, from a newly qualified mental health nurse, right through to a mental health nurse director, describing in detail what these nurses do, and providing the skills, knowledge and abilities they need to carry out these important positions.

Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, HEE said:

“Mental health nursing is a demanding but rewarding career choice and so it is fantastic to see this resource available for employers that forms part of HEE’s programme of work to introduce new roles into mental health and expand the skills of the current workforce. It is so important that we have a well-supported mental health workforce and in turn ensure those with mental health difficulties are treated with dignity, respect and receive the care and support they need.”

This framework is a key development to the transformation of services needed to meet the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan. Ensuring mental health nurses have the right knowledge, skills, and education required to deliver safe and effective patient care, will help enable a fully trained, supported, and sustainable mental health nursing workforce fit for the future.

Emma Wadey, Head of NHS mental health nursing said:

“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work from mental health nurses and for the first time, sets a clear pathway from beginner to expert nurse and clinical leader. It highlights the breadth and depth of skill and knowledge required from mental health nurses so that they provide the best patient care, while influencing and leading across the NHS.”

Dawn adds: “It was an honour working with such dedicated mental health professionals, passionate about their profession, who were all keen to articulate why mental health nursing is so unique and such a rewarding life-long career. The framework highlights the opportunities it can offer to attract potential trainees and demonstrates that progression is not just via a management route, yet still clearly focuses on the equally vital clinical aspects.’’

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Jo Moriani added a new event 1 hour

Mental Health and developing Resilience

Overview This is a dynamic, high quality session which will provide professionals a space to explore their awareness of what mental health is. It...

  • Wednesday, 17 February 2021 10:00 AM
  • Online
FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 2 hours 2 minutes ago

LBC Natasha Devon talks to David Gallagher CEO...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 2 hours 3 minutes ago

The Future of EdTech: The aim of this online conference is to help attendees reflect on the positives of the last t…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page