Credentialed Mental Health Nurse
"I wanted formal acknowledgement of my mental health credentials, skills and experience and this is essential for me to be in private practice. Clients deserve to know that the nurses who care for them meet these basic credentials showing them to be mental health nurses" - Ann, CMHN
"The introduction of credentialing can only be a positive influence for the profession; it opens up increasingly attractive career options and the requirement to continue to improve one’s knowledge results in increasing nurses confidence in their abilities to do their job well" - Wendy, ACMHN's 700th CMHN
Mental Health Nurse Credential
The Mental Health Nurse Credential recognises the qualifications, skills, expertise and experience of nurses who are practicing as specialist mental health nurses. It demonstrates to employers, professional colleagues, consumers and carers that an individual nurse has achieved the professional standard for practice in mental health nursing. The Credential also increases awareness of the contribution mental health nurses make to the mental health of the community.
Credentialing is a core component of clinical/professional governance or self regulation where members of a profession set standards for practice and establish a minimum requirement for entry, continuing professional development, endorsement and recognition.
Registered nurses working in specialised fields and other disciplines have developed credentialing as a means to ensure standards of practice and competence within their specialist domain beyond entry to practice.
The Credential for Practice Program is an initiative of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and has established the only national consistent recognition for specialist mental health nurses.
"As a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse I feel somewhat liberated in my practice, and can truly advocate for the client using sound evidence based theories, though they may be alternative, the client has the right to them" - Alison Moore, ACMHN's 500th CMHN
"To become credentialed, to be further acknowledged as a mental health nurse who is part of the team able to offer services to clients is most satisfying" - Sandy Shilling, ACMHN's 300th CMHN
Is Credentialing just about the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP)?
It is true that to work under the MHNIP, you need to be a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse™, however, there are many other reasons to become Credentialed.
"The process of credentialing allowed me to reflect upon my professional experiences and to truly understand why I continue to work as a mental health nurse. While Credentialing requires voluntary and intrinsic motivation, it is itself a modality to ensuring that I remain an educationally prepared and competently developed mental health professional" - Brent Hayward, CMHN
Mental Health Nurse Credential Criteria
If you are a registered nurse practising within the mental health field in Australia, you may apply to be a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse™. If your application is approved, you will be awarded a Credential that is valid for 3 years. The award means you are formally recognised by the ACMHN as a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse™.
To gain a credential, applicants must demonstrate that they:
• Hold a current licence to practice as a registered nurse within Australia
• Hold a recognised specialist / post graduate mental health nursing qualification (as specified in the guidelines for applications)
• Have had at least 12 months experience since completing specialist / postgraduate qualification OR have three years experience as a registered nurse working in mental health
• Have been practicing within the last three years
• Have acquired minimum continuing professional development points for education and practice