Our Graduate Mental Health Nurse Program can give you a fantastic start to your nursing career. The program is supportive, flexible and will provide you with a wealth of knowledge, skills and clinical experience.

Applications for our 2025 Graduate Mental Health Nurse Program (GMHNP) are currently open and will close Friday 21 June 2024.

Find out how to apply.

Mitch Graham on choosing mental health nursing

The GMHNP is an essential part of the future development of the mental health nursing profession. Our graduate mental health nurses are well supported by senior nursing leaders and a professional development structure that provides the opportunity to experience different clinical areas within the mental health setting.

Graduate mental health nurses are a major contributor to our new staff recruitment each year. We welcome graduate mental health nurses into our team and assist them to become confident and skilled mental health nurses who are truly 'Always there when it matters most' for consumers, families and significant others.

Our program benefits

Our Graduate Mental Health Nurse Program (GMHNP) is designed to make the transition to mental health nursing practice as safe and supportive as possible. It will also enable you to consolidate and expand on your existing clinical knowledge and skills.

We offer graduate mental health nurses several benefits, including:

  • Support from designated GMHNP coordinators
  • 16 professional study days
  • Supernumerary shifts when commencing in the clinical area
  • Intensive support in the clinical area to promote the wellbeing and success of graduate mental health nurses

Find out more about our staff benefits.

Program summary


  • One intake per year
  • Approximately 20 positions
  • Two-year part-time contract
  • Opportunity for two six-month clinical rotations
  • Six weeks annual leave
  • Salary packaging
  • Preceptorship within the clinical area
  • Intensive orientation block
  • Paid professional study leave
  • Certificate on successful completion of the program

Orientation block

We value lifelong learning for all employees. The GMHNP begins with a structured 10-day orientation block. The orientation block is designed to be both interactive and informative, giving you the opportunity to get to know other graduate mental health nurses, as well as members of the Mental Health Nursing Workforce Skills Development Unit (MHNWSDU).

The orientation block comprises different activities, workshops and lectures to help you feel more prepared and confident about beginning your role as a registered nurse in the mental health setting. You will then start your first clinical rotation with the support of your allocated preceptor for your supernumerary days.

Our intensive orientation program covers:

  • Introductions to recovery oriented practice
  • Management of clinical aggression
  • Orientation to safe medication administration
  • Communication
  • Clinical documentation
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Physical health
  • Mental state examination
  • Risk assessment

Academic component

The academic component of the program involves two oral presentations, an essay, examination and clinical portfolios. The academic component contributes towards credit points with our university partners for postgraduate mental health nursing studies in the second year.

Second year involves completing postgraduate mental health nursing studies at university as part of the Postgraduate Mental Health Nurse Program (PGMHNP).

Clinical rotation specialty areas

Additional clinical rotations including those in the community mental health setting are offered in the second year as part of the postgraduate program.

Time requirement and salary

We offer part-time positions as a 32-hour week with incorporated study leave and supernumerary days and six weeks of annual leave.

Your salary is as per the Victorian Public Mental Health Services Enterprise Agreement 2020-2024.

Paid professional study leave

Throughout the year there are a further six paid professional study days. These days will provide you with additional knowledge to assist with your clinical and professional development.

Expert clinical support

Clinical nurse educators, nurse team leaders and clinical nurse consultants
Preceptor support

Beyond the program

The RMH Mental Health Services provides many different career opportunities.

As contracts are two years in duration, the Postgraduate Mental Health Nurse Program involves completing postgraduate mental health nursing studies at university while rotating to clinical areas within a variety of mental health settings.

We pride ourselves on assisting in the development of future mental health nursing leaders.

Ready to apply?

Applications for the 2025 GMHNP will open Monday 27 May 2024 and close Friday 21 June 2024.

Learn more about the application process.

For more information, email the GMHNP coordinators at gmhnp@mh.org.au

Contact us
Mental Health Nursing Programs
Mental Health occupational therapist, Caitlin at CCU
Looking for a career with us?

Find out more about current vacancies in our mental health services on the Royal Melbourne Hospital online recruitment system.

Related pages
Last updated 10 April 2024