Graduate Program – Mental Health Nursing


We welcome Graduate Nurses to join our team in providing compassionate and responsive care to people experiencing mental illness.

The Learning Program

The Mental Health Graduate Nurse Program is an integral part of Mercy Mental Health’s commitment to developing our future mental health workforce.

We are pleased to offer Graduates with a two year program (24 month contract) that allows newly registered nurses time to consolidate their learning in a supported environment.

The second year of the program is dedicated to support Registered Nurses to complete the practical component of their Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing with one of our affiliated universities.

The program aims to develop confidence within the Graduate Nurse, to help them develop their professional identity. We believe in providing Graduates with quality feedback to help them improve their skills and to work towards their learning goals.

Graduates are contracted to work 0.8 EFT. Commencing February 2023.

Clinical Rotations

The first year of  program offers two six-month rotations in either an acute or community clinical setting

Clinical rotations offered may include:

  • Mental Health Adult Inpatient Unit (Werribee or Footscray)
  • Community Care Unit (Werribee)

The second year of the program offers a further two six-month rotations in a specialist clinical area; this may include:

  • Clinical case management (Werribee or Footscray)
  • Mother Baby Unit (Werribee)
  • Mental Health Inpatient Unit (Werribee or Footscray)
  • Community Care Unit (Werribee)

Paid Professional Study Leave

The Mercy Mental Health Graduate program begins with an intensive two week orientation.

The goal of the orientation is to provide Graduate Nurses with an opportunity meet with other graduates from the nursing and allied health programs, as well as the educators in the Learning and Development Team.

The orientation program covers core clinical skill areas, clinical frameworks, legislation and self care principles that are necessary to perform the role of a mental health nurse.  The training is delivered in various methods including; lectures, workshops with small group discussion, activities and simulations.

After the two week orientation, Graduate Nurses start their first rotation and are provided with 3 to 5 days supernumerary time. Graduate Nurses are paired with a preceptor and a clinical supervisor to ensure they are supported as they start their journey as a Mental Health Nurse.

In addition, Graduate Nurses are provided with six training days throughout the year, this training has been designed to consolidate the Graduates knowledge and skill areas.

In 2021 the training days offered to Graduate Mental Health Nurses include:

  • Foundations in Clinical Mental Health Assessment Skills
  • Safewards
  • Recovery Orientated Practice
  • Mediation Management
  • Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Suicide: Engaging, Understanding, Responding

Graduates will be provided with pre-reading material and post-workshop reflection activities to allow for a deeper understanding of concepts and frameworks that are outlined in the training.

Clinical Supervision

“Clinical Supervision is a process of professional support and learning in which nurses are assisted to develop their practice through regular time spent in reflective discussion with an experienced and knowledgeable colleague who has been trained in providing clinical supervision” (Clinical Supervision for Mental Health Nurses: A Framework for Victoria, 2018).

Mercy Mental Health Graduate Nurses are provided with monthly individual clinical supervision with a senior nurse from the Learning and Development Team. This monthly space is for graduates to professionally reflect on their learning goals, develop plans for skill acquisition and continually develop their professional identity and role in the multidisciplinary healthcare team.

Graduate Nurses are also provided with monthly group clinical supervision; facilitated by the Graduate Coordinator. This group is inclusive of all members of the Mercy Mental Health learning programs (nursing and allied health graduate and postgraduate clinicians) and provides a space for the clinicians to reflect on current themes that are occurring in clinical areas or other relevant topics.  The space allows clinicians time to connect, reflect, share ideas and plan.

How to apply

Applicants will be required to apply here, and upload the following supporting documents:

  • a letter of application stating rationale for choice and future career plans
  • two page curriculum vitae, relevant experience and clinical rotations
  • three referees (a minimum of two clinical) including their professional title, place of work, email and phone contact details
  • certified copy of academic transcripts to date, including ‘key to results’
  • two recent and certified acute clinical appraisals

All applicants must register with the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria Computer Matching Service and rank Mercy Health in their preferences. For further information visit:

Affiliated education institution

The Mercy Mental Health Graduate Program has endorsement from The University of Melbourne and RMIT.

On successful completion of the Graduate Mental Health Nurse Program, Graduates are provided with a certificate and transcript which equates to credit points towards subjects in the Gradate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing at The University of Melbourne and RMIT.


Mental Health Nursing Graduate Program enquiries

Last reviewed June 5, 2019.