Celebrating Mental Health Nurses’ Day 2024

Image of 2 people shaking hands for Mental health nurses Day 2024

On 21 February 2024, national Mental Health Nurses’ Day is celebrated across the UK. It is a day to raise awareness of the profession, understand more about the role and highlight the unique and rewarding career that mental health nursing brings. 

Marking the 6th national Mental Health Nurses’ Day, Diane Hull, Executive Director of Nursing, AHPs and Quality at Nottinghamshire Healthcare said:

“There is something incredibly special about mental health nursing, how it allows you to work with and care for people during often the most difficult times of their lives in a way which enables and supports their recovery. I don’t think we recognise or celebrate the skills, the expertise and wonderfulness of mental health nurses enough, their ability to establish relationships, listen, understand, hold on to people’s hope and to work so innovatively and creatively is something to behold.”

To mark Mental Health Nurses’ day, colleagues across the organisation share highlights of their career journeys in mental health nursing and why they are proud to be a mental health nurse. 

I feel privileged to have been part of someone’s recovery journey

Kathleen (Kath) Alder is a Clinical Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN) and works as centre manager in Women’s Services at Rampton Hospital. She says she always feels privileged in the fact that she has been such an important part of someone’s recovery journey, with the benefits of the role always outshining the challenges.  

“I began my career at Rampton Hospital 35 years ago working as a Domestic Assistant for 3 years,” explains Kath. “I then applied to become a Healthcare Assistant which was formerly known as a Nursing Assistant. I thoroughly enjoyed this role and decided I wanted to progress my career further. The opportunity arose for me to go to Nottingham University to do my Registered Mental Health training (RMN). I was thrilled and felt very lucky as this was all funded and supported by Rampton Hospital. 

“Since qualifying so many doors and opportunities have opened for me. I currently manage the day care area for the Women Services, which I absolutely love. I also became a child and adult vaccinator and a mental health first aider.    

“Working in a mental health environment can be both mentally and physically stressful; routinely work long shifts paired with the emotional burden of constantly caring for others. Despite this I have always felt privileged in the fact that I have been such an important part of someone’s recovery journey. For me the benefits of the role will always outshine the challenges.  

“I love working with different healthcare professionals, working collaboratively with them will always ensure the best care and safety for patients and their families. 

“I am always proud when my actions have positive outcomes. I have recently been nominated for an OSCARS award, the Trust’s recognition scheme, for my dedication and care towards patients and the team I manage. 

"As a mental health nurse, it’s important to me to be able to build strong relationships with both patients and their families, so that they can get the most out of their treatment. It involves trust, empathy, respect, collaboration, and open communication. It allows patients to feel safe and supported and encourages them to share their thoughts and feelings more openly. I emphasize a more collaborative approach and ensure they are involved in their own treatment plans. 

“I am never too busy to listen because it’s the ultimate form of respect anyone can give to another human being.

“The most enjoyable part of my role is working with patients, that we have in Rampton Hospital, with complex needs and seeing them progress to move on. Working with mental health patients can bring up complex and challenging conversations and can exhibit signs of extreme distress that require tact, patience, and empathy. I have learnt that if you can respond quickly and calmly you are able to provide the support and care they need. Watching patients progress through their care plan and recovery journey, to move on is the most rewarding part of the job. It really highlights the difference you are making to somebody’s life by showing care and support.

“I knew I wanted to further my career to become a qualified nurse. I have witnessed some patient’s greatest triumphs and their greatest defeats, there is nothing better than helping someone achieve a better life through improving their mental health.

“My work is my vocation. I am lucky enough to have the ability to have retired three years ago, yet for me, having a purpose, a role, a challenge, a passion, a drive, and ability to get things done is a powerful motivator.

“If you’re thinking of taking your mental health nursing training, don’t think twice, go for it!”

If you’re interested in mental health nursing, or would like to know more about our nursing vacancies you can find out more here.



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