Converting from Mental health Nursing

The place to ask about degree courses, conversion courses, masters, PhD or other qualifications. Discuss specific courses, their pros and cons, the content, the application process, different institutions, how to fund them, etc. Includes advice if you have a 2:2 and questions on transcripts
Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:09 pm

Converting from Mental health Nursing

Post by Livia » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:36 pm

Hi everyone,

I am currently undertaking my BSc in Mental health nursing, and while I love what I'm doing I am starting to think about applying to a conversion MS after I graduate, in the hopes of eventually becoming a CP.

I have been looking around at conversion courses and have found some require 60 credits in psychology, and was wondering if it would be best completing these credits alongside my degree or if anyone knows an alternative way to achieve them?

Also, if I was to complete the conversion, would my experience working as a nurse be considered as relevant if I was to apply for an assistant psychologist position and in terms of applying for the Doctorate? During my training I've met quite a few HCA's / NA's who are gaining experience in mental health in the hopes of becoming CP, however I've got it in my head that nursing wouldn't be acceptable experience. I'm not sure why I've started to think this, maybe because of the focus on the medical model or maybe they would see me as 'uncommitted' for leaving nursing?

I just wondered if anyone had any advice on either of these points or words of wisdom?
Thanks :)

Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:17 pm

Re: Converting from Mental health Nursing

Post by Psyfer » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:44 pm

I have often thought that the best route into psychology would be via an undergraduate in mental health nursing or occupational therapy.

I imagine your nursing experience will put you at the top of the pile!

I felt as a psychology graduate that I spent a lot of time doing HCA work in my early 20s which didn't provide anything like the level of responsibility of nursing (e.g. shift and risk management) and left me languishing without developing my skills when I had so much energy and drive to learn.

In terms of the 60 credits I would consider carefully if it's a good idea doing them alongside your degree as you need to get a 2.1 (minimum) and ideally should get over 65%.

There are lots of places that offer the 60 credits e.g. open university, possibly Derby (online) and most places with a conversion course will offer the 60 credits.

I am not sure if you would need to do an assistant position. They are extremely competitive (c150 applicants per job) and poorly paid.

You could consider a nursing role with CP supervision (e.g. primary care mental health worker in Scotland) and/or if necessary gaining some nursing experience then training as a CBT therapist.

Nursing is is such a varied profession and some of the experience will he hugely relevant and easier to access as a qualified member of staff than as a psychology grad. (You could complete an audit, get CP supervision, be involved in research etc all as a nurse).

This is just my opinion, I am not a CP.

Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:09 pm

Re: Converting from Mental health Nursing

Post by Livia » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:21 pm

Thank you so much for your reply!!

I feel a lot better now, I think I've been overthinking it and I do love nursing so I'm glad you think the experience will be helpful!
Thank you again :D

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:08 pm

Re: Converting from Mental health Nursing

Post by Nilasha » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:37 pm

Really happy to see this post here! This is my first post, am putting out feelers for my shift to CP.
I have 20 years exp in community mental health work with periods of working as an N/A or HCA in an inpatient unit locally. Ive an MA in Poverty and Mental health studies and am a final year BSc MH nursing student.

Ideally im hoping to go straight into the MSc Conversion with a view to CP training in 2 years if all goes well. Additionally, i have attached myself to R&D with the dept of psychology conducting assessments for the hearing voices clinic and also work at day service for PD clients.

It would be good to hear from anyone who understands more about requirements to see what my chances are being accepted on the DclinPsy.

Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:56 am
Location: UK

Re: Converting from Mental health Nursing

Post by Leems » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:10 am

Hello Livia and Nilasha,

I am a mental health nurse looking into doing counselling psychology; you might find my thread here useful as it progresses. I appreciate you posting, too, not least for the sense of camaraderie!

I would suggest that it is better to work for at least two years as an RMN before considering a change of direction. There are loads of reasons for this, including: earning at Band 5, transferable skills and experience not available at pre-reg, financed postreg training, enjoying the experience of nursing, experiencing accountability as a registered practitioner, and more time to gather information about your preferences and options.

I have highly specific reasons for wanting to move on into counselling psychology, having held multiple qualified nursing posts, and knowing what I want to do next based on that. I also really don't feel that frantic rush that I used to; I try to enjoy the scenery and get the most out of my current situation in order to not burn out, though that might be an idiosyncratic need of mine.

I'm in no position to comment on others' applications, but my personal and informed view matches Psyfer's above that my experience of mental health work as a qualified nurse is highly applicable to counselling, clinical and health psychology.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests