If you need information in another format from our website please contact us by email: janet.hall@nipec.hscni.net or enquiries@nipec.hscni.net or phone us on 0300 300 0066.

Complex Behavioural Nurse

Clinical Practice
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice

Area of Practice

  • Mental Health Nursing


  • Community/Primary Care

Job/Role Summary

I am responsible for providing support and training for staff in residential and nursing homes and in-patient settings on how to support people with dementia who may have challenging behaviour. The aim of this is to prevent inappropriate hospital admissions and to maintain people in their current environment wherever possible. I also provide psychological therapies as an alternative to neuroleptics.

Where hospital admission is necessary, I work with ward-based staff to develop effective formulation- lead interventions to support patients' return to community settings where possible. I also provide advice and consultancy to other colleagues working with people with challenging behaviour. 


Specific qualifications and experience required

Registered Mental Health Nurse

Desirable- Knowledge of The Newcastle Support Model for challenging behaviour. 


Career Milestones

Completion of Bsc Hons Specialist Practice in Older People's Nursing.


What attracted you to this job?

Working with older people with a diagnosis of dementia.

Being able to advocate for the use of psychosocial interventions as first line intervention in management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

Direct patient contact.

Establishing good working relationships and clear lines of communication.


Challenging aspects of the job/role

Patients who are in distress and who may display challenging behaviours.

Staff culture and resistence to change.

Risk assessment and risk management.

Crisis management.

Case load management.


Important success factors

Advocating for clients with dementia and preventing unnecessary admissions to hospital.

Reducing the use of antipsychotic medication in clients with dementia.


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

Despite all efforts patients may still require admission to the challenging behaviour assessment ward.

Be prepared to challenge staff attitudes and beliefs.


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

In-depth knowledge and skills in the use of a bio-psycho -social approach in assessment and management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Crisis management skills.

Risk assessment skills.

Negotiation skills.

De-escalation techniques / skills.


Share this page