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Health Education England’s new framework provides clear guidance for current and future mental health nurses on the skills and competences needed to progress
Health Education England’s new Mental Health Nursing: Competence and Career Framework sets out the skills, knowledge and abilities needed for mental health nurses to carry out their roles and advance their careers.
The framweork is designed so current and future mental health nurses can get clear information on the additional competencies needed to progress.
A clear pathway from beginner to expert nurse and clinical leader
For example, a registered mental health nurse, is expected to be able to use clinical skills, such as signs of deterioration of mental health; continue their learning through continuing professional development; and provide leadership by overseeing the clinical work of nursing associates.
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In contrast an executive director of mental health nursing is expected to steer the development of the mental health nursing profession and uphold the highest standards for the profession.
NHS England’s head of mental health nursing Emma Wadey welcomed the framework.
‘This is the culmination of a lot of hard work from mental health nurses and, for the first time, sets a clear pathway from beginner to expert nurse and clinical leader,’ she said.
‘It highlights the breadth and depth of skill and knowledge required from mental health nurses so that they provide the best patient care, while influencing and leading across the NHS.’
Mental health nursing has highest vacancy rate of all nursing sectors in England
Another stated aim of the framework is to inspire new applicants in to the mental health nursing.
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The latest NHS data indicates there were 9,541 mental health nursing vacancies in England by the end of September 2020.
The same data shows that, except for the north east and Yorkshire region, mental health nursing has the highest nursing vacancy rate of all sectors of nursing in all of England’s regions.
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