RMN seeking comission

Thought i'd try again seen as though i hashed up the first post!

Hi all , first off i'm very new to this so bare with me!!
Secondly i have done some reading here and know there are a lot of knowledgeable people on here, it is you who i seek advice from.

I completed my Nurse training and have been qualified for 3 years now and have worked in various settings (currently working in Forensics).
The thing is i have got my aquaint visit coming up and don't know what to expect and i need advice for anything you can offer, timeline for applying, fitness, interviews, salary, posting (presuming i get through) and family accom etc. I know it's a lot, sorry.

I also have previous cons. dating back 15 years!! So it has been a long while! i have had to have CRB checks throughout my training and various jobs (including two NHS Trusts) and also The Nursing and Midwifery Council. My wife says i should'nt have anything to worry about because of this and the fact that this was all 15 years ago but i suppose i am a worrier and i do want this soooooooo bad.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks in advance. :D
Think about what you've got to offer the Army in the first instance, and then why you want to join. the conviction 15 years ago may be nothing however, it depends on what it was!
Good luck
Thanks for that. I've given it a lot of thought and feel i have valuable experience to bring to the table, so to speak.

If i'm honest i can't think of nothing more at the moment!

I'd tighten up on your command of the English language as a matter of urgent priority :wink: .

I have, on numerous occasions, been asked for advice with regard to military mental health nursing as a career and I uniformly advise people to get 2 - 4 years of post-reg experience in, ideally with a second qualification and go down the commission (note the 2 'm's!) route, so well done :D

You may wish to give some thought to the client group we serve who are, by and large, spared many of the vulnerability factors that may lead to mental health problems. Most of our work is 'sub-acute' by NHS standards, but remember, we are an occupational service and maintaining the fighting force is our raison d'etre. The bulk of the work is not trauma, but alcohol issues, anxiety and depression, anger management etc.

Also, although RCB/AOSB has been introduced for QAs since my time in khaki, I suspect many of the principles of selection with which I am familiar still apply. You will be assessed for your suitability to be an Army Officer - not an RMN.

World and domestic politics, international and current affairs, defence matters of the moment etc, all need to be in your armoury in preparation for board.

If you have any specific questions, by all means pm me, although you may get more benefit by posting them openly in this forum (provided you can sift out the inevitable cynicism and sarcasm that 'the usual suspects' are likely to fire into the debate!)

Good luck

Budgie, as a TA psych nurse the differences in practice are really quite striking. KC's sub acute comment is very accurate and the work is much more therapeutic in nature. I've never used CBT as much as I did when I was on Herrick last year, before or since. You never get to work with the seriously mentally unwell as if they need in-patient treatment they go to the Priory (possibly one of the daftest bits of health procurement in a long while) or are discharged. If you are therapeutically minded it's an interesting, fufilling and challenging role, but you won't find many patients like the forensic ones you're involved with now. I've said this before as well, but the best CBT practitioners I've seen working are within the AMS.

Fundamentally forces RMNs are occupational health nurses, on ops we are there to return soldiers to fighting duty rather than fix them entirely, though clearly that's what happens if possible.

The other point I would make is that compared to NHS life the workload is much lower in terms of cases, and the pace of life of the DCMHs a lot slower. I'm absolutely not saying that people aren't fully occupied but in terms of the workload it's significantly less than mine was when I was a NHS CPN!
psychobabble said:
The other point I would make is that compared to NHS life the workload is much lower in terms of cases, and the pace of life of the DCMHs a lot slower. I'm absolutely not saying that people aren't fully occupied but in terms of the workload it's significantly less than mine was when I was a NHS CPN!
Sorry to but in on a thread in which I'm not in the least qualified to give advice. Is not a reduced workload a benefit in term of patient/nurse ratios giving you more time with patients? I have friends who, work in NHS psychiatric units, who rue not having sufficient time to spend with their patients. Interestingly one of those friends, who now works in a forensic unit, spent six years working in Saudi on a psychiatric unit there and had a ball, socially and professionally. Again, Budgie, my apologies for the intrusion on your thread.
How old are you Budgie?
Psychobabble babbled:
compared to NHS life the workload is much lower in terms of cases, and the pace of life of the DCMHs a lot slower. I'm absolutely not saying that people aren't fully occupied but in terms of the workload it's significantly less than mine was when I was a NHS CPN!
It's rare that I find myself out of step with Psychobabble, and on re-reading his post I am less afronted than I first was :lol: .

It would be entirely fair to say that the CLINICAL workload is lower in the military, but that does not necessarily translate to a slower pace of life. I note that he acknowledges that we are 'fully occupied' and indeed we are. It still seems to me, however, that he is inferring, however subliminally, that if you are not fully occupied with clinical work you are not working efficiently.

If you are serious about joining up, Budgie, it is important to remember that - as I alluded to in my earlier post - you will be just as much an Army officer as an RMN and being an Army (or RAF or RN) officer or other rank brings with it a lot of other tasks and responsibilities that are not shared by our NHS counterparts.

Our most recent time and motion study revealed that only 41% of our collective time (for that month) was spent on clinical work. The rest of the time was variously divided between station duties (stagging on the gate etc), secondary duties, military and professional courses, meetings (local and strategic) and most importantly of all, carrying out health promotion and liaison with the CoC.

As far as I am concerned that is entirely consistent with how it should be. Unfortunately, Army DsCMH come under the purview of Army Primary Health Care Services, who (I'm generalising) appear to have a somewhat sceptical corporate view of psychiatry and in terms of governance agendas, they look to outputs - bums on seats - to measure the effectiveness of those in their domain. I suspect elements of that mind-set may be influencing Psychobabble's position on this.

But I would cheefully see empty clinics in my DCMH if that were attributable to the sterling efforts of my troops getting out on the ground and delivering high quality health promotion that reduced stigma and encouraged early engagement. Thus more people could be helped much earlier and signposted to more appropriate agencies, rather than them allowing their mental health issues to fester and embed themselves to the point where only a mental health professional could help.

In summary therefore, we are different to NHS - and thank God for that :lol:
KC, just to clarify I mean purely clinical workload, not all the other bits which you have to do which NHS clinicians don't! I'm certainly not a bums on seats man (and have to remind myself of this all the time given my NHS Commissioning hat), and definitely prefer the Army/RN/RAF methods of working!

Vive la difference!!


It doesn't make as much of a difference in terms of individual patient contact as there is only so much therapeutic contact you can have without overloading the patient and they often need time to assimilate what's been discussed and put this into practice between sessions. The amount of time I spent with individual patients isn't all that different in reality, it's the paperwork that suffers in the NHS and often staff find themselves getting burnt out as the clinical workload is just too much.

One of the advantages of the military setup is that there are other things required of the nurses so it does allow some space to get your head together!
Thany you all for you're replies, it is evidentally clear that you all have vast experience/knowledge in this area and i appreciate your'e comments. Psychobabble thanks for your'e honesty and i'm in agreement and am not expecting to 'Nurse' forensic patients, if you will.

I am stilly very eager to attendt the aquaint visit (11th & 12th Sept) and look forward to applying. I now have to worry about buying a 'morning ' suit????


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