Tom's journey to mental health nursing

Guest posts

Faculty: Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing
Category: Nursing and midwifery

1 December 2017

Nursing student in skills labs

I initially went to university elsewhere to study English literature and philosophy. But I decided I wanted to apply myself to something care-orientated, where I could make a difference to people’s lives. With this in mind, I applied to be a student mental health nurse at Anglia Ruskin.

I chose to study at Anglia Ruskin for a number of reasons. Above all, the university’s nursing course has a very good reputation. The lecturers within the faculty are very accomplished and they bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the course. Furthermore, the facilities that the department boasts are world-class and give students the opportunity to simulate hospital environments without leaving the campus.

Being a mental health nursing student is the most rewarding experience I have ever had. I have grown in confidence hugely over the past two years and I put much of that down to this course. One of my favourite aspects of the course is getting to meet patients and learn about their lives – it is particularly humbling when people trust you enough to open up about their experiences.

It would be dishonest to say that this course is all plain sailing as, much like anything else, you have good days and bad – and some when you feel like graduation will never come! But you know what they say: ‘The best things in life are worth working for.’ That certainly holds true for mental health nursing. The rewards that come from your hard work are plentiful. Aside from all the skills you learn while studying the course, there are so many opportunities awaiting you once you graduate. You can work as a clinician or move up through the ranks to more managerial positions. Beyond this, there are opportunities to move into research and the more academic side of the subject. Wherever your strengths and interests lie, there is something for you.

No two days of this course are the same. You are always learning and having your viewpoints challenged, whether in the classroom or out in practice. The course covers everything from therapeutic communication to injection technique, from mental health assessments to wound care, and you have ample opportunity to become highly skilled by the time you graduate. I can honestly say that I am never bored on this course!

All in all, becoming a mental health nurse was the best decision I have ever made. It has opened doors I had never considered possible and I am so excited to qualify next year. Getting to learn so much about the field of mental health and meeting so many incredible people has been a privilege. There is nothing else I would rather be doing as a career.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.