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Mature students are vital to mental health nursing – but numbers are dropping

Financial pressures and the removal of the nursing bursary are putting older potential candidates off mental health nursing as a career
Mature students

Financial pressures and the removal of the nursing bursary are putting older potential candidates off mental health nursing as a career

  • Real-world experience delivers real value in the mental health nursing profession
  • Older candidates are less likely to want to accrue student debt in their middle years
  • Academics in mental health nursing are concerned that the number of mature applicants for courses is falling

Dealing with customers’ distress when a leaky water pipe damaged their house has proved good preparation for mental health nursing, says Liam Mackie, now a second-year mental health nursing student at Abertay University, Dundee.

Liam Mackie

‘My years in the plumbing trade – which involved visiting people’s homes, building relationships and reassuring them their plumbing problem could soon be fixed – gave me some useful transferrable skills for mental health nursing,’

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