SebJH
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'Ello!

I'm looking to do a degree in mental health nursing, most likely in 2019 and I was wondering if people could give me any advice and experiences?

A couple of facts to put things in to perspective...

1. I'm a 34 year old guy
2. Three years of work as a learning disability support worker and currently six months as a mental health support worker (including writing up support plans, administering medication etc)
3. I already have a degree and post grad diploma in an unrelated field to nursing
4. I don't have a well off family, I live away from my parents and I don't live with my partner. I also don't have savings.

I know I want to work as a mental health nurse, I was just wondering if it's worth it, or if my age will be a barrier once I graduate? Also, are there a lot of mental health nursing jobs about and flexibility around where I can work and work life balance?

It seems like along with placements, it will be difficult to fit part time work in (I know I could easily get shifts with my employer and I used to be out the house 60 hours a week with work, so am used to hard graft). I was wondering how people who live away from home manage such a low income? Do you work a lot during weeks off? Is there much more funding than the student loan?

Thanks so much,

Seb
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by SebJH)
'Ello!

I'm looking to do a degree in mental health nursing, most likely in 2019 and I was wondering if people could give me any advice and experiences?

A couple of facts to put things in to perspective...

1. I'm a 34 year old guy
2. Three years of work as a learning disability support worker and currently six months as a mental health support worker (including writing up support plans, administering medication etc)
3. I already have a degree and post grad diploma in an unrelated field to nursing
4. I don't have a well off family, I live away from my parents and I don't live with my partner. I also don't have savings.

I know I want to work as a mental health nurse, I was just wondering if it's worth it, or if my age will be a barrier once I graduate? Also, are there a lot of mental health nursing jobs about and flexibility around where I can work and work life balance?

It seems like along with placements, it will be difficult to fit part time work in (I know I could easily get shifts with my employer and I used to be out the house 60 hours a week with work, so am used to hard graft). I was wondering how people who live away from home manage such a low income? Do you work a lot during weeks off? Is there much more funding than the student loan?

Thanks so much,

Seb
Age definitely won't be a problem. The average age on nursing courses is 29, as opposed to 19/20 on most other university courses. Mature students make up around 50% of the cohort and it's very common to find students in their 40s and 50s.

There are definitely fewer mental health jobs around than adult nursing jobs, but it really depends what sort of area you want to work in and how far you are willing to travel. There is absolutely nothing stopping you having a look now on the NHS jobs and also private healthcare provider websites to see the sort of roles available and decide whether they are the sort of thing you would be interested in. Often your job preferences will change and develop as you move through the degree. In terms of work life balance, the vast majority of roles will require shifts, however there is generally some negotiation around the number of hours you want to work. There are Monday - Friday, 9 - 5 roles out there, but it just depends whether these are jobs you actually want to do.

Income is a major issue for most students, mature or not. There are very few universities which offer scholarships or grants for nursing students so generally students will rely solely on their loan/grant. Personally I have found that students either work (generally on a zero hours contract) or get help from parents. The issue with the zero hours contract is that you aren't guaranteed any work at all, so this can become an issue if you don't have a good employer who has plenty of shifts to offer. You won't be doing anywhere near 60 hours a week at placement however you will be expected to do revision, assignments and self-directed study on top of placement too.

Ultimately, if you want to do this then you will find a way to make it work. There are very few people I've seen who have found the nursing course impossible financially, though most find it difficult.
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Filipa85
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Hi, I'm 32. I also have a degree I have applied for the Pg Dip in mental health nursing, and I hope to start this coming September.If you want it, go for itbest of luck, but you do need some savings for living. if you don't have any MSc you can apply to the postgraduate loan which will cover tutiton fees, but you do need money for living costs
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Filipa85
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Hi, I'm 32.
I also have a degree I have applied for the Pg Dip in mental health nursing, and I hope to start this coming September.
If you want it, go for it best of luck, but you do need some savings for the living.
if you don't have any MSc you can apply to the postgraduate loan which will cover tuition fees, but you do need money for living costs

best of luck
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