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Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN)

Clinical Practice
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice
  • Quality Improvement

Area of Practice

  • Mental Health Nursing


  • Community/Primary Care

Job/Role Summary

My role as a Band 5 CPN is to monitor clients' mental health and medication and provide support for both clients and their families. I work as part of a multidisciplinary team and liaise closely with other professionals involved in the clients' care.


Specific qualifications and experience required

I had a diploma of higher education in mental health nursing when I took up this role. I had no experience of practising as a mental helath nurse but had worked in this field as a Health Care Support Worker for around 24 years and believe that this experience helped me in taking up my role as a CPN.


Career Milestones

During my first year as a CPN I completed a lot of training not just mandatorya few examples are: mentorship; KUF personality disorder; WRAP; Understanding Dementia. I believe that all of this training has helped me in my role as a CPN. 


What attracted you to this job?

I have always wanted to be a nurse and was given the oppurtunity by the Trust to complete my training in 2006. I was offered the role of CPN on a temporary basis and within weeks had settled in very well to the role. I enjoy talking to people and developing therapeutic relationships with them. Knowing that I can help by listening to them and offering them my support gives me great job satisfaction. 


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

What I most enjoy about my role is developing therapeutic relationships with my clients as well as their families. I get great job satisfaction knowing that by listening to people and offering them my support can improve their quality of life.


Challenging aspects of the job/role

My job role can be stressful at times depending on the case load that I carry and how well/unwell clients are at any one time. There are some clients who require intensive support when things are not going well at home and families are struggling to manage. My manager however is always there to seek advice and guidance from and provides me with reassurance that I am doing my job to the best of my ability and that family members and other professionals are involved in supporting clients. 


Important success factors

I did not shadow anyone when I first came into this role. I started with a small caseload and built it up gradually and developed therapeutic relationships with all of my clients myself. However my manager at that time and other staff were very supportive and helpful and gave me guidance and offered me reassurance when I required it. I had not practised as a nurse before this and I am very proud of the way I threw myself into the role of CPN and managed some complex cases along the way. 


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

It is a very rewarding and enjoyable role but can also be very challenging and stressful. Lone working can be daunting and not everyone is suited to the role and time management is key in this role as you have to balance administration and face to face contact as well as training, case discussions and Multi-Disciplinary Team meetings. 


Key skills that can be gained within this job/role?

I believe that have become a more cofident and competent practitioner as result of taking up this role. I have learnt how to liaise with clients and their families as well as other members of the multidisciplinary team to ensure that all my clients needs are met. I have learnt the importance of communication with other professionals involved in  a clients care and have learnt what each professional is responsible for. I have also learnt how to write concise and factual rerports about my clients and have developed an in-depth knowledge of policy and legislation relating to the Trust I work for and in relation to mental health.


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