If you are looking for a Registered Mental Nurse (RMN) job in New Zealand there are plenty of opportunities. There is currently a shortage of mental health professionals so finding a suitable position will not be a problem. The job of registered mental nurses is on the Immigration New Zealand’s long-term skill shortage list which means skilled nurses from overseas are encouraged to come and work in New Zealand. An ageing workforce, too few people training for the job and the general public becoming more aware and accepting of mental health problems has lead to more demand for services and increased the need for more registered mental nurses.
As a mental health nurse in New Zealand you can expect to work for a range of services that include hospitals, nursing homes and community care programs. You can work all over the country but most mental health facilities are based in the bigger centres where there are larger hospitals. Auckland, Canterbury, Wellington, Waikato and Otago are the regions that are most in need. Salaries for mental health nurses in New Zealand are different depending on experience and what area they work in. If you end up working for a district health board you will usually earn between NZD44,000 and NZD60,000 a year, this will depend on your experience. Senior district health boards mental health nurses with more than five years experience can earn between NZD63,000 and NZD103,000. If you are based in the community as a mental health nurse you will earn between NZD44,000 and NZD66,000 a year. If you choose to develop your skills you can move into clinical nurse specialist roles and this may progress into other specialisations in the health industry or into research, management or education roles.
You will work in a range of environments such as hospitals, clinics, call centres and specialist rest homes and you may get the opportunity to travel locally in order to visit client’s homes or workplaces. You will need to be prepared to come into contact with diseases and body fluids and potentially aggressive patients but you will be equipped with basic medical apparatus, drugs and medication and a vehicle. Registered mental nurse jobs in New Zealand provide hours that can be flexible but will usually revolve around shift work. You may be on call and work irregular and long hours. Alternatively, if you work in the community you will have normal office hours and if you do telephone assessments you may work from home. You will get the opportunity to work with a wide range of highly skilled professionals including other mental health nurses and professionals. Regular contact with community agencies, police and ambulance officers and clients and their families is also to be expected.