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 graduate nurses with a two year program (24 month contract), at 0.8 EFT 8 days a fortnight. Our next Mental Health Graduate Nurse Program is commencing in early February 2024.
The first year is committed in supporting newly qualified registered nurses to build and consolidate mental health nursing skills through study days, workplace based assessments and clinical supervision.
The second year of the program is dedicated to support registered nurses in transition to mental health nursing specialty where graduates enroll and undertake Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing at a University. Successful completion of first year of the graduate program would qualify for credit pathway at affiliated University for Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing.
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.
The first year of program offers two six-month, or one 12-month rotations in either an acute or community clinical setting
Clinical rotations offered may include:
- Mental Health Adult Inpatient Unit (Werribee)
- 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)
- Community Care Unit (Werribee)
Paid Professional Study Leave
The Mercy Mental Health Graduate Program begins with a comprehensive three week orientation. The first two weeks of orientation is provided by the Learning and Development team and third week encompasses supernumerary shifts at allocated teams.
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.
After the two week orientation, graduate nurses start their first rotation and are provided with 3 to 4 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 2022 and 2023, the training days offered to graduate mental health nurses included:
- Foundations in Clinical Mental Health Assessment Skills
- develop foundation skills in engaging consumers; mental state examination; risk assessment; and formulation and planning
- develop an understanding of the evidence-based Safewards model, and learn how to use the 10 Safewards interventions designed to reduce conflict and containment in mental health services
- Recovery-orientated practice
- develop an understanding of the Recovery Framework and how recovery domains guide clinical practice, develop skills in collaborating with consumers and families to uncover recovery goals
- Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD)
- develop skills in AOD assessment; gain an increased understanding of pharmacotherapy and the management of withdrawal from substances; and explore the concept of recovery from the consumer and carer perspective using the stages of change model
- Suicide: engaging, understanding, responding
- identify factors that contribute to risk of suicide; understand prevention-oriented formulation approach (Pisani); and learn how to structure an interview to best explore intent to suicide.
These training days will continue for 2024.
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 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 Clinical Nurse Educator 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.
Group clinical supervision
Graduate nurses are also provided with monthly group clinical supervision. These sessions are interdisciplinary as it 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.
The Mercy Mental Health Graduate Program has endorsement from The University of Melbourne, RMIT and Latrobe University.
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, RMIT and Latrobe University. The units offered as credits are at the discretion of the university.
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: pmcv.com.au
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.
Last reviewed June 5, 2019.