Mental Health Nurse (Qualified)

Service:Surface Fleet
Humanitarian aid

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

You could be taking part in exercises on an Assault Ship in the Indian Ocean. Or providing recommendations and treatment for serving personnel in conflict zones. Your job as a Royal Navy Mental Health Nurse will be as varied as it is crucial to ensuring our people are mentally fit for service. And there’s scope to further your qualifications too, with funding contributions from the Royal Navy to help.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Join at a level that reflects your nursing experience
  • Help ensure Royal Navy personnel are mentally fit for service, wherever they are in the world
  • Use your nursing skills where they’re needed most. That might be offering community care to returning personnel, or providing occupational mental health assessment, treatment and management on missions all over the world
  • Be part of world-class medical service that’s recognised far beyond the Armed Forces. You’ll need to represent the UK whatever you’re doing and wherever you are
  • Develop as a practitioner in unique environments that are always challenging and sometimes dangerous

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • An opportunity to study further at degree or masters level, to top up your professional portfolio
  • You could gain specialist qualifications in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or addiction and substance misuse

Skills you'll develop

  • Unique mental health care, assessment, treatment and management
  • How to use your expertise wherever you are in the world, while developing your leadership and management skills

Career progression

What you'll need


  • You must be aged 20 to 39
  • You need to be a registered Mental Health Nurse with the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • You need a BSc/MSc or BA in Mental Health Nursing
  • You must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen, or a Dual National
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28 (between 17 and 27 if under 18)
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills and interests

  • Technical, clinical and interpersonal excellence
  • A caring and compassionate nature
  • A team player with strong independent thinking
  • Highly organised and able to remain cool under pressure
  • An adventurous spirit

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

  • Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA)

    You’ll be tested on: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Work Rate, Spatial Reasoning, Electrical Comprehension and Mechanical Comprehension.
    To prepare, you can practise the DAA

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role. This is normally conducted using your own device over the Shine video platform

  • 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

  • Qualified Mental Health Nurse Assessment Board

    This is a 1 day Assessment board where you will be asked to deliver a 10 minute presentation on a clinical subject, participate in a team working task and sit a 30-40 minute competency-based interview with the Nurse Education Advisor and Medical Specialist Recruitment Team. These take place anytime throughout the year, subject to requirement.

  • Candidate Preparation Course (CPC)

    This four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy, including a Swimming Test and a fitness assessment, 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

On completion of Basic Training, you will be fast tracked, taking a 2-week military transition course and earning promotion to Local Acting Leading Hand. You will then work in the Royal Navy led Departments of Community Mental Health in Portsmouth, Plymouth or Scotland. There you will complete your preceptorship. There is also an opportunity to complete further post-graduate study in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, alcohol, addictions and substance misuse.