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Specialist Nurse Practitioner Older peoples Community Mental Health Team

Clinical Practice
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice

Area of Practice

  • Adult Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing


  • Community/Primary Care

Job/Role Summary

I work in a nurse led clinic service which was introduced into the older peoples Community Mental Health Team to improve access to mental health services for older people. The service was set up to provide improved access to mental health assessments and specialist interventions for both patients and their carers. I work under close supervision of our consultant psychiatrists carrying out outpatient reviews which has been successful in reducing outpatient waiting lists.


Specific qualifications and experience required

Registered Nurse - Mental Health

5 years post registration experience in a mental health setting.


Career Milestones

Over the past four years I have successfully completed  two Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses at Queens University relevant to my clinical area of practice. These included Post-Graduate Diploma in Specialist Practice in Older Peoples Nursing and V300 non-medical prescribing course. Both courses have been very beneficial in developing my skills and knowledge to work in older peoples mental health and dementia care. I have been working in older peoples care for over 10 years. My experience and training to date has helped me to gain insight into the functional and cognitive  needs of older people which at times can be complex, especially in relation to patients with a diagnosis of dementia and associated symptoms. I have gained experience and training in both treatments and interventions which are tailored to meet the needs of patients I work with.


What attracted you to this job?

My job enables me to make a difference to the lives of older people and their carers. I have always been interested in this area of care. My job allows me to take a holistic view of my patients. It also allows me to meet the needs of carers. My job gives me a degree of autonomy and independence in making nursing decisions. 


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

- Working as part of a Specialist Older People's Community Mental Health Team  which has much experience and knowledge in Older peoples Mental Health. I learn something new from my colleagues on a daily basis.

- I enjoy receiving compliments and feedback from relatives confirming that I have made a difference and helped to improve the quality of their lives.

- I enjoyed completing the CPD courses as they enabled me to develop my skills and knowledge thus improving the care and support I provide. 


Challenging aspects of the job/role

- Time management as my role requires me to stay focused and organised in order to manage my work load and meet deadlines.

- Communication skills - timely communication  with voluntary and statutory organisations as well other allied health professions is important in order to meet care and support needs of patients and carers.

 - I meet many patients and relatives following a diagnosis of dementia for a family member, which can be difficult. This can be challenging as I am often faced with many questions some of which I cannot always answering immediately. 


Important success factors

- Support of medical staff and other members of the multi-disciplinary team.

- Support and encouragement from managers.

- Support of university lecturers and colleagues.

- Continued professional development relevant to practice area.

- Networking with both voluntary and statutory sevices. 


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

I would definitely recommend my role to any nurse interested in older peoples mental health and dementia care. My role involves a lot of commitment and dedication however is very rewarding with good job satisfaction.


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

- Assessing complex needs

- Risk Assessment

- Communication Skills

- Report Writing

- Organisational Skills

- Time Management

- Team Working

- Networking


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