Becoming a mental health nurse in Australia

Please find below information on how to become a mental health nurse and a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse. 



Scholarships to study mental health nursing are available through the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and through each state and territory department of health.


Step 1 - Why do I need an undergraduate degree in nursing?

In order for you to work in Australia it is a requirement by law that you meet the registration standards of the Nursing and Midwifery Board. To register and apply please visit their website.. 

For overseas mental health nurses:

To work as a mental health nurse in Australia, you will first need to apply for and be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board. For further information please go to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) website.

You may also need to apply for a visa issued by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.


Step 2 - What courses can I study?

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) has accredited a number of courses which you can find here. These courses have gone through the ACMHN's meticulous accreditation process to ensure that education providers meet the standards for the profession and the criteria set out by the National Framework for Postgraduate Mental Health Nursing Education.


Step 3 - What additional training can I do?


Many mental health nurses choose a specialty area and then provide services only to that client demographic. These may include a Master in Family Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Eating Disorders, Psychotherapy, or Perinatal Mental Health. The choice is yours to choose whatever qualification you are interested in so you can provide specialist practice. 


Step 4 - How do I become credentialed?

The ACMHN credential is the only nationally consistent standard for recognition of specialist mental health nurses. A Credentialed Mental Health Nurse is a specialist nurse who has demonstrated meeting the credentialing criteria. To find out more, head to our page.

If you are from the UK

If you are registered in the UK as a mental health nurse and you have evidence of being listed on the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) Mental Health Register you can apply for credentialing under Pathway 3.