Mental Health Nurse (Student)

Service:Surface Fleet

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

Healthy mind, healthy body: people in the Royal Navy need both. As a Student Mental Health Nurse, you’ll learn how to make sure our people are mentally fit for service. Once you’ve qualified, you’ll join a multi-disciplinary medical team and work all over the world. That could mean taking part in exercises on an Assault Ship in the Indian Ocean, or providing treatment for serving personnel in conflict zones. Wherever you go, you’ll have an unrivalled career in mental health, and know you’ve helped our people invaluably along the way.

Your role

  • Become a fully-qualified Mental Health Nurse, and start working towards your BSc from day one. Learn additional, crucial skills as an integral part of the advanced medical team, and as an Incident Board Operator, helping damage-control teams fight fires and floods
  • Combine military training with medical skills
  • The role is varied – you could work ashore, offering community care to returning personnel, or provide occupational mental health assessment, treatment and management on missions all over the world
  • Be part of a world-class medical service that’s respected far beyond the Armed Forces

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • BSc Mental Health Nursing
  • Option for additional therapy qualifications after your BSc

Skills you'll develop

  • Unique mental health care, assessment, treatment and management
  • Specialist vocational qualifications in areas such as cognitive behavioural therapy and addictions

Career progression

What you'll need


  • If you take your A-levels after the start of 2017, you need 120 UCAS points including two non-overlapping subject areas and must include a science based subject; before 2017, you need 120 UCAS points
  • If you take your GCSEs after the start of 2017, you need 3 grades 9 – 4 including English Language and Maths; before 2017, you need 3 grades A* – C (In the interview a good standard of English and a reference is required)
  • Evidence of academic study within the last 5 years
  • 2 weeks of clinical experience
  • You must be aged 17 and a half to 39
  • You need to be within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • You must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen who has lived in the UK continuously for the 5 years prior to applying, or a dual national

Skills and interests

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • A caring and compassionate nature
  • An independent thinker
  • A highly organised team player, who remains calm under pressure 
  • An adventurous spirit

Check Eligibility

Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form

  • Naval Service Recruitment Test (NRST)

    You’ll be tested on general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role

  • Medical and eye tests

    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors

  • Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)

    This involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill within a certain time, at a fitness centre near you

  • Pre Royal Navy Course (PRNC)

    This four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy is a pass or fail course

  • Start training

    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh

Initial training

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh, a shore base in Torpoint, Cornwall. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon handling skills you learn here will stay with you right through your career.

Aim to get yourself as fit as possible before you arrive. You’ll be doing a lot of physical exercise, and you’ll find it much easier if you’re already in shape. There’s also a swimming test, so if you can’t swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.

Professional training

You’ll study for your degree at Birmingham City University and will balance your studies with military training. Once you’re registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and you’ve completed your Military Transition Course, you’ll take up your first post as Acting Leading Naval Nurse at Community Based Mental Health Centres in Royal Navy bases in Plymouth, Portsmouth or Scotland.