Nursing Officer Mental Health

Service:Surface Fleet
Humanitarian aid
A Royal Navy Naval Nurse at work.

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

Our people are our most important asset, which is why their mental health and wellbeing is vital to the operational effectiveness of the Royal Navy. As a Nursing Officer (Mental Health) you’ll lead a team in providing vital occupational mental health to personnel all over the world. You will be responsible for assessing, treating, advising and supporting patients on shore bases and at sea, ensuring that they can operate in the most challenging environments on the planet.

Your role

  • 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
  • Gain clinical and management experience while taking responsibility for mentoring junior nurses and medical assistants
  • 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

Career progression

What you'll need


  • If you take your GCSEs after the start of 2017, you need 5 at grades 9-4, including English Language and Maths; before 2017, you need 5 at grades A*-C
  • You need to be a registered Mental Health Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • You must be aged 20 to 39
  • You need to be within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • A National of the United Kingdom, a Commonwealth citizen or Dual National. 
  • Commonwealth applicants applying from inside their country of origin must be aged minimum 18.  If a resident in the UK Commonwealth applicants are eligible to apply at 16.  Current valid passports and visas (where applicable) are a mandatory requirement to be eligible to apply, it is the responsibility of individual applicants to ensure that they have permission to be in the UK and this permission is valid for the entirety of the recruitment process up to the point entry.  

Skills and interests

  • Technical, clinical and interpersonal excellence
  • Decisive with strong independent thinking
  • A caring and compassionate nature

  • Highly organised and able to remain cool under pressure
  • Meticulous attention to detail
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

  • Admiralty Interview Board (AIB)

    This stage is unique to officers and takes place over a day and a half. It’s a competency-based assessment that confirms that you’re physically and mentally ready to become a Royal Navy Officer

  • Nurses Selection Board

    Upon passing you AIB, your application will be reviewed by the Nurses Selection Board for final selection

  • Start training

    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at Britannia Royal Naval College

Initial training

You’ll spend 30 weeks training at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) in Dartmouth, focusing on: Military Skills, Maritime Skills and Initial Fleet Time. The military skills phase includes learning leadership and teamwork skills, and the principles of command and management. You will put this into practice during several exercises on Dartmoor.

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 will then work with one of the Community based Mental Health teams in Portsmouth, Plymouth or Scotland. There you will complete your preceptorship.

You’ll gain qualifications and develop your skills combined with on the job experience. There will also be opportunities to study further at degree or masters level within a mental health specialty.

The opportunities for rapid progression are excellent for all officers. We’ll provide all the feedback, encouragement and training you need to go as far as you want.