Guest Adam31

Mental Health Nursing - Advice Needed Please

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    Guest Adam31

    Adam - Hi we are stuck in the middle of the 176 Cat 5 mess and have been for nearly a year now. We decided after our son was born the best thing to do while waiting would be for my wife to retrain, with the long-term goal to both be more employable in the future.

    We have applied for our visa through my trade and would ideally like to get straight on a plane as soon as she is qualified.

     

    OH - Hi I am starting a 3 year DipHe in Mental Health Nursing in September with the option to convert it into a degree in year 3.

     

    I have a few questions that I need advice on, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

     

    1) I am not sure whether to go ahead and convert into a degree in year 3 as this means a loss of the non-means tested bursary and that is not financially viable at this point in time. I know that without it in this country you can only reach grade 5, cannot go into mgmt, etc. The best case scenario would be to convert it into a degree later whilst working.......would I be able to do this in Oz, or what would my limitations workwise be in Oz, only with a DipHe? Or would I even be able to top up and convert my course in Oz later on whilst working?

     

    2) Do I need to gain experience once I have qualified in this country or can I approach employers in Oz (SA - Adelaide) before qualifying to get a job as a newbie qualified nurse? Who should I contact

     

    3) I am not sure which area of MH that I wish to specialize in as I have not tested the water yet? So would the best policy be to contact hospitals, or wait until I know what exact area that I want to work in?

     

    Sorry for so many questions but somewhat confused :confused:

     

    Adam

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    Guest julie2010

    Hi Adam,

     

    Sorry no help from me but I am too in exactly the same position as you. I am looking into starting the Diploma in September 2011 and have exactly the same queries as you regarding Australia. My Oh has been studying a science degree via the Open Uni for 2 years now to get us over there but he has no guarantee that when he qualifies we can get over there. Iv been looking for a new career and the idea of working with children in the mental health area is something I am keen on.

     

    If anyone reads this post and can answer any of the queries adam has asked I would be extremely gratefull... It is a mindfield when looking into a new career and Id like to make sure I go about it in the right way. And Adam if you ever need any help with your student bursery info etc, my partner works as a grants assessor in the student grants unit so I can get you any info or help you want, trust me I email him every day asking him to re calculate something for me. Im like a VIP hehe...

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    Guest nicandchris

    Hi there

     

    Ive been an RMN since March 2006 and i qualified with a degree in Mental Health Nursing following converting my 3 year diploma into a degree so that overall i only did three years. Personally i think that whilst having a degree does not move mountains for you whilst in a job it is extremely helpful when trying to gain another job once you have experience (UK anyway) so i would op for the degree if you can whilst intially training.

     

    In relation to Australia, well im still in the UK and whilst im now a band 7 in England this doesnt seem to be important over there. We have to start again and it is how long that youve been qualified that gains you more money. I am led to believe that i will be the same as a new qualified in Adelaide but on more money. I think that obviously the more speciality that you have then the more option you have to gain employment in that area (and a degree may help with this) but im not holding my breath.

     

    However im prepared to start again and hope to work my way up. There is the option of converting from an RN1 to an RN2 (on a managerial basis) but this seems very difficult as you have to show experience in a managerial position and this will be hard to do if you 'have to start again' as a basic nurse.

     

    Nursing however is a needed qualification and you wouldnt be without a job apparently when you get to Adelaide so whatever you choose it should be worth it!

     

    Hope im making sense!!

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    Hi Guys,

     

    We have been in South Oz for about 20 months now and love it.. I (Hamish) retrained to become a nurse so we could move here, i started my training 2004 and we gave ourselves a 5 yr plan to get here, that pretty much was on the money give or take a few months.

     

    I too was offered the degree course in my final yr but decided against it.. more work/less money didn't work for me, and, glad i didn't, it hasn't made any difference for my career or how much i earn now. If you are highly motivated or ambitious you can always do more training once you have arrived here, but i wouldn't rush into that because you'll probably be busy with settling yourselves into Ozzy life and enjoying yourselves too much. Also if you're anything like me, you would of had enough of college/uni and being a student for a while.

     

    Also if u get lucky enough to get a good job (by that i mean supportive) you will be able to do pretty much any training u like, paid for by ur hospital. I work at Noarlunga hospital in Emergency and love it, started at the Royal Adelaide in Cardio Thoracic ICU which i wasn't so keen on, but hey thats just me.

     

    Not sure about how much experience u will need, that will probably depend on visa requirements but my guess would be a year before Oz hospitals will take u, but the visa process takes about a year from job offer/interview in UK to startin work in Oz, so that means u can probably start lookin for jobs as soon as u've qualified, thats what we did (more or less, think i had 6 months post qualification experience before job interview to Oz).

     

    Finally, I wouldn't worry too much about what area to specialise in yet, that will come with time, what u thinku may like now u might hate when ur qualified and vice versa.

     

    I believe ur doin the right thing, we absolutely love it here, a truly great lifestyle here, it'll be worth all the commodes, vomit mopping and other delightful jobs u get as a student nurse. Hope this has helped, i've got a night shift to do now so gotta go,

     

    Cheers and good luck, Hamish

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    Guest julie2010

    Thanks Nicola,

     

    There was a lot of advice there, I would love to get a degree rather than a diploma and I wouldnt like it to take more than 3 years, could I ask where you took your degree. I noticed there is the odd university that offers an advanced diploma in nursing but we would have to relocate and sell our home baring in mind Im due to have a baby in december lol... Seems rather a lot and I dont want the children getting too unsettled.

     

    Do all the diplomas only offer 80 points a year, thats what the course at Preston offers me at the moment wheras the degree is 120. Im wondering how I would be able to transfer to the degree course and still do it within 3 years. Preston dont offer an advanced diploma unfortunatly. Im wondering whether I could ask them if I could take extra units.

     

    Have you had any luck in looking for jobs in Australia yet? Im sure we could go and stay with family in Adelaide, they were lucky to move about 5 years ago and got a huge 5 bedroom house for next to nothing. Do you have any idea what salary a newly qualified mental health nurse would achieve in adelaide and also whether there are employers that would sponsor you to get over quicker?

     

    A million questions I know but up until last week I never believed I would be able to go back to university and study and realising this is an option this week has opened so many doors, I just wish I could start today but seen as Ill be a little pre-occupied in December Ill have to wait.

     

    Thankyou

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    Guest julie2010

    Just wanted to say thankyou Hamish, thats extremely helpful to hear. So many people are against the diploma over here and you hear so many horror stories of not being able to get a job over a degree student. However with less points to get I may be able to put more work into the modules Im doing...

     

    Im trying to put the sickness etc to the back of my mind lol... thats the only thing thats ever put me off nursing lol, and I know its a rather large area! I love looking after people, especially children and Iv been around plenty of people with mental health issues including myself so Im hoping this will help.

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    Guest nicandchris

    $45,191 for a new qualified and this goes up to $50,789 after one year and so forth every year up until the 9th year increment which is $65,989 but you also would get your increments for unsocial, weekends etc on top. I think generally nurses are paid fortnightly?

     

    Hope this helps

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    Hi

    I qualified in 1993 as an RMN and did a diploma with the Open University in 2006.

    I don't have a degree and have a job in Adelaide starting in May 2011.

    The fact that I didn't have a degree was not an issue at all.They were keen for me to apply for a management post once I settled in Adelaide.

    I was informed that experience was more important to employers (in nursing), but having said that will be going as an a R1.

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    Forgot to say that you can go higher than a grade 5 in this country without a degree........if you check out the job spec its usually desirable rather than essential.Im a grade 7 in the UK

    and know loads of people who are the same or higher who don't have degrees.

    Best wishes

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    Guest nicandchris

    i would def agree that you dont need a degree to go beyond a band 5 bin the uk though it helps its experience that counts.

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    Guest julie2010

    Thanks everyone this has definatly reassured me. Just trying to get myself signed up to a diploma course now however I need a Septemeber start date in 2011 and my local college doesnt seem to be offering any after May 2011 :(... I think we might have to sell up our little home and move. Hopefully it will be worth it to move over to sunny Adelaide!

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    Guest Adam31

    OH - Sorry for the really slow response, have not checked in, in a while.

     

    Thanks so much to everyone for all the invaluable information and advice, much appreciated.

     

    Well my course begins a week next Monday and I'm very excited that I have the opportunity to change our lives.

     

    I think that I will do the DipHe and not go for the degree, due to financial reasons, but may convert later on if I get the chance to do so.

     

    Another member has informed me that I can apply for the postgraduate program (18mths) once graduated and this gives an approx income of £20k. The advantage that UK graduate nurses have is that they specialize during the DipHe/Degree whereas OZ undergraduate programs are general.

     

    Julie - is Preston still doing the DipHe for Sept 2011? The reason I ask is that I know that many Uni's are stopping the DipHe after 2010. One of my friends started at Preston last year on MH and she loves it! She has done 3 placements, one on an acute ward and 2 in the community. She has had 4 assignments and says that once you get your head around the referencing of essays, etc, it is really straightforward.

     

    Thanks for the offer of advice on Bursary, I got all my info sorted and sent off as soon as I had my bursary ref. Unfortunately we only get the basic and no childcare allowance etc as Adam is just above the threshold.

     

    Good luck to everyone and once again thanks so much for all your helpfulness :D

    Adam and Maif

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