The Student Room Group

Could I, as a clinical psychologist, step into the role of a mental health nurse?

I don't mean to start a war or stimulate any kind of emotion. Just looking for "Yes" or "No" and a little explanation.

If I were to predict responses:

"Yes, as a clinical psychologist you'd share the insight of a mental health nurse and could, depending on the demands of the particular job, satisfy the role."

"No. Nurses perform particular medical procedures, such as injecting medicine, that clinical psychologists won't have the skill or experience to perform."

"That's a weird question. Why would you want to do that?"

I currently work in an addictions hospital as a therapist, training to be a clinical psychologist on the side.

I gave medications as a care supporter worker in a previous role. I never injected anyone but it's not outside the realms of possibility in care work (e.g. insulin in a care home). So, I don't see why a clinical psychologist couldn't.

There is no position for a clinical psychologist in the organisation right now but the director is a cool guy and I think he'd make a position if I convey my dedication.

That's three years out though. Right now, I'm just wondering if I could fulfill the role of a mental health nurse as a clinical psychologist? What do you think? If in three years I was all, "Hey boss, you need a new nurse? Well, I love it here and I'm a clinical psychologist now. How about I take up that role?"

My plan would be to work there 3 years as a clinical psychologist for the experience. Also, mental health nurses make an absolute boatload in this organization.

Ever heard of such a thing?
Reply 1
Um, no. Your training as a clinical psychologist, while in the same area as MH nursing, isn't the same and doesn't prepare you for the same sort of job (nursing isn't all about tablets and injections). You'd also need a nursing degree and NMC registration to fulfil the role of a nurse.
It's also 3 years before you finish your clinical psychology course - same length as a nursing degree - and things at work might have changed by then.
(Excuse my ignorance as an adult nurse with little MH knowledge/experience) - how much crossover is there between what MH nurses at your current job do and clinical psychology? This may be a way of finding a case for your manager to create you an appropriate job.
Reply 2
From my perspective, there wouldn't be much of a difference between the role of a mental health nurse and clinical psychologist at this particular clinic. I spoke to the director yesterday and mentioned my studies but his enthusiasm for a potential alternative path eclipsed my point. And that's cool. His idea could prove very fulfilling. Ultimately, I love his organisation and the work they do so I'd be happy to climb the ladder another way.
If you want to be a mental health nurse, you have to complete the training to be a mental health nurse, which is not compatible with clinical psychology training.
I do question whether you are actually in training to be a clinical psychologist, as it is a paid full time training programme, not something you do "on the side".
Reply 4
Original post by Turning_A_Corner
If you want to be a mental health nurse, you have to complete the training to be a mental health nurse, which is not compatible with clinical psychology training.
I do question whether you are actually in training to be a clinical psychologist, as it is a paid full time training programme, not something you do "on the side".


I'm a charlatan.

In my optimistic mind, I'm currently "training" (doing a psychology master's with a clinical psychological angle and working in mental health) but not actively enrolled. Yet.

I'm more into the hypothetical of myself as a DClinPsy doing an RMHNs role but it looks unlikely. In fact, I think it has to be nurses at this particular facility for it to function legally.
Reply 5
Original post by Willzyx
I'm a charlatan.

In my optimistic mind, I'm currently "training" (doing a psychology master's with a clinical psychological angle and working in mental health) but not actively enrolled. Yet.

I'm more into the hypothetical of myself as a DClinPsy doing an RMHNs role but it looks unlikely. In fact, I think it has to be nurses at this particular facility for it to function legally.

Dont clinical psychologists get paid more than nurses and have more favourable working conditions?
Original post by Willzyx
I'm a charlatan.

In my optimistic mind, I'm currently "training" (doing a psychology master's with a clinical psychological angle and working in mental health) but not actively enrolled. Yet.

I'm more into the hypothetical of myself as a DClinPsy doing an RMHNs role but it looks unlikely. In fact, I think it has to be nurses at this particular facility for it to function legally.

You’re not training to be anything. You’re studying an academic course. Please don’t misrepresent yourself that way. It makes it more difficult for people to offer help and you’re misusing a protected title.
Reply 7
Original post by Willzyx
I don't mean to start a war or stimulate any kind of emotion. Just looking for "Yes" or "No" and a little explanation.

If I were to predict responses:

"Yes, as a clinical psychologist you'd share the insight of a mental health nurse and could, depending on the demands of the particular job, satisfy the role."

"No. Nurses perform particular medical procedures, such as injecting medicine, that clinical psychologists won't have the skill or experience to perform."

"That's a weird question. Why would you want to do that?"

I currently work in an addictions hospital as a therapist, training to be a clinical psychologist on the side.

I gave medications as a care supporter worker in a previous role. I never injected anyone but it's not outside the realms of possibility in care work (e.g. insulin in a care home). So, I don't see why a clinical psychologist couldn't.

There is no position for a clinical psychologist in the organisation right now but the director is a cool guy and I think he'd make a position if I convey my dedication.

That's three years out though. Right now, I'm just wondering if I could fulfill the role of a mental health nurse as a clinical psychologist? What do you think? If in three years I was all, "Hey boss, you need a new nurse? Well, I love it here and I'm a clinical psychologist now. How about I take up that role?"

My plan would be to work there 3 years as a clinical psychologist for the experience. Also, mental health nurses make an absolute boatload in this organization.

Ever heard of such a thing?


As others have suggested, the short answer is no.

They are two different roles, requiring different training and professional registration.

Also, I cannot see that an MH nurse would make more money than a clinical psychologist, if money is what you're considering. If you are more interested in nursing, I would suggest do your training there rather than going for the ClinPsyD - seems a waste to do such intensive training for 3 years if you do not intend to work in that field. Also, realistically, you are looking at several rounds of applications before you would potentially get a place (no guarantee there!).

It's tough having big dreams in this field! Everything takes so long and costs so much, so I do get why you would ask this! I am stuck between psychotherapy and psychology, so I have done my degrees and am now training as a counsellor and will then apply for doctorates - I too want it all!
No.

Two completely different roles, and to practice as a mental health (or any registered nurse) you have to study the relevant nursing qualification and register with the NMC. You won't meet their competency requirements without doing the training.
Original post by Willzyx
I don't mean to start a war or stimulate any kind of emotion. Just looking for "Yes" or "No" and a little explanation.

If I were to predict responses:

"Yes, as a clinical psychologist you'd share the insight of a mental health nurse and could, depending on the demands of the particular job, satisfy the role."

"No. Nurses perform particular medical procedures, such as injecting medicine, that clinical psychologists won't have the skill or experience to perform."

"That's a weird question. Why would you want to do that?"

I currently work in an addictions hospital as a therapist, training to be a clinical psychologist on the side.

I gave medications as a care supporter worker in a previous role. I never injected anyone but it's not outside the realms of possibility in care work (e.g. insulin in a care home). So, I don't see why a clinical psychologist couldn't.

There is no position for a clinical psychologist in the organisation right now but the director is a cool guy and I think he'd make a position if I convey my dedication.

That's three years out though. Right now, I'm just wondering if I could fulfill the role of a mental health nurse as a clinical psychologist? What do you think? If in three years I was all, "Hey boss, you need a new nurse? Well, I love it here and I'm a clinical psychologist now. How about I take up that role?"

My plan would be to work there 3 years as a clinical psychologist for the experience. Also, mental health nurses make an absolute boatload in this organization.

Ever heard of such a thing?

To practice as a MH nurse, you would have to do a degree in MH nursing and register with the NMC.
Reply 10
I find this thread interesting! Short answer: no you can't. Long answer....

So, I have an undergrad psychology degree (4 years, as typical for Scottish degrees). On completion I obtained a BSc (Hons) Psychology. Of course this is a taught degree and did not convey me any rights to work as a psychologist as further training is needed. I then trained in a shortened programme for undergrads in mental health nursing (28 months), which on completion gave me a BN in Mental Health Nursing and allowed me to register with the NMC as a regulated and registered professional and this, in turn allowed me to work as a Mental health Nurse. I did this for just over 4 years before applying to the DClinPsy, I was accepted and I am now in my first year of training, employed as a Trainee clinical psychologist, paid by the NHS/Health Education England and also enrolled as a full time post grad research student.

You are right that the Professions of psychology and nursing are definitely related and the two professions often work together in the same teams and with the same populations but, the scope of practice/skills/knowledge/interventions vary with some elements overlapping significantly whilst others being outwith the scope of practice of the other. Being a mental health nurse did not automatically allow me to work as a psychologist because it has its own set of competencies and requirements for training and registration via the HCPC, although I worked with a psychological eye and could complete further training to deliver some of the same interventions as psychologists. As others have stated, to work as any type of nurse you must be registered as a nurse with the NMC register for that type of nursing, a prerequisite of that is holding the relavant and appropriate training and education and holding yourself accountable to the Codes of practice and ethics.

So what am I saying? Well at the moment I am an NMC registered MH nurse who is now employed as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist. Therefore, I can currently work as a MH nurse OR a Trainee Clinical Psychologist. I cannot work as a Clinical Psychologist because I do not have the qualifications, meet the prerequisites for registration or indeed have the required HCPC registration to do so. It is also important to note that I cannot work as a General Nurse or a Learning Disabilities Nurse and so on, as I do not meet the requirements to register in those roles. If I wanted to work in another branch of nursing I would have to go back to Uni, do further study and then apply for registration separately for each branch of nursing - ie become dual-trained.

In January I need to renew my nursing NMC registration (pay £120 to the NMC) to continue to be registered. If I don't do this then I can no longer work as a MH nurse despite meeting all the prerequisites of registration.

In 2 years my NMC registration is due for revalidation (done every 3 years, alongside paying the yearly renewal fee I must submit evidence that I meet the minimum requirements to remain on the register, such as, practice hours, additional training etc). If I do not do this - I would no longer be able to work as a MH nurse as I would no longer be registered, despite having all the prerequisite registration requirements.

In 3 years I will (hopefully) have finished my DClinPsy which would confer me the prerequities for registration BUT, I would still need to apply to register with the HCPC in order to practice legally and call myself a Clinical Psychologist/get any jobs. If I have also maintained my nursing registration (I.e pay the yearly fee, meet the minimum requirements for revalidation and actually revalidate with the NMC) I could also choose to work as a Mental health Nurse at that stage too. But, crucially, neither of these registrations will allow me to work within the other profession or even sub-types of the same professions without meeting the academic and practice prerequisites for registration and actually holding that registration with both the NMC and/or the HCPC for the specific fields of practice!

I hope this helps to tease apart some of what you are talking about.
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 11
I find this thread interesting! So, I have an undergrad psychology degree (4 years, as typical for Scottish degrees). On completion I obtained a BSc (Hons) Psychology. Of course this is a taught degree and did not convey me any rights to work as a psychologist as further training is needed. I then trained in a shortened programme for undergrads in mental health nursing (28 months), which on completion gave me a BN in Mental Health Nursing and allowed me to register with the NMC as a regulated and registered professional and this, in turn allowed me to work as a Mental health Nurse. I did this for just over 4 years before applying to the DClinPsy, I was accepted and I am now in my first year of training, employed as a Trainee clinical psychologist, paid by the NHS/Health Education England and also enrolled as a full time post grad research student.The fields of psychology and MH nursing are definitely related and the two professions often work together in the same teams and with the same populations but, the scope of practice/skills/knowledge/interventions vary with some elements overlapping significantly whilst others being outwith the scope of practice of the other. Being a mental health nurse did not automatically allow me to work as a psychologist because it has its own set of competencies and requirements for training and registration via the HCPC, although I worked with a psychological eye and could complete further training to deliver some of the same interventions as psychologists. As others have stated, to work as a nurse you must be registered as a nurse with the NMC, a prerequisite of that is holding the relavant and appropriate training and education and holding yourself accountable to the Codes of practice and ethics.So what am I saying? Well at the moment I am an NMC registered nurse who is now employed as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist. Therefore, I can work as a MH nurse OR a Trainee Clinical Psychologist. I cannot work as a Clinical Psychologist because I do not have the qualifications, meet the prerequisites for registration or indeed have the required HCPC registration to do so. In January I need to renew my nursing NMC registration (pay £120 to the NMC) to continue to be registered. If I don't do this then I can no longer work as a nurse despite meeting all the prerequisites of registration. In 2 years my NMC registration is due for revalidation (every 3 years, alongside paying the yearly renewal fee I must submit evidence that I meet the minimum requirements to remain on the register, such as, practice hours, additional training etc). If I do not do this - I would no longer be able to work as a MH nurse as I would no longer be registered, despite having all the prerequisite registration requirements.In 3 years I will (hopefully) have finished my DClinPsy - I would still need to apply to register with the HCPC in order to practice legally and call myself a Clinical Psychologist/get any jobs. If I have also maintained my nursing registration (I.e pay the yearly fee, meet the minimum requirements for revalidation and actually revalidate with the NMC) I could also choose to work as a Mental health Nurse at that stage too. But neither of the registrations will allow me to work as the other profession and without meeting the academic and practice prerequisites for registration with both the NMC and the HCPC I can't work as either!I hope this helps to tease apart some of what you are talking about.
Reply 12
You can do a masters in mental health nursing (with any healthcare undergrad). Might be a quicker route for you.

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending