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.

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
  • 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 need to be a registered Mental Health Nurse with the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • You must be aged 20 to 39
  • You need to be a minimum height of 151.5cm and within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • A National of the United Kingdom, a Commonwealth citizen or Dual National

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

  • 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

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 degree level modules in alcohol, addictions and substance misuse. You can then be selected to complete level 6 or 7 specialist qualifications in alcohol, addictions and substance misuse.