The experience of nurses moving into forensic mental health employment: A qualitative study

Publication Name

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing


While forensic mental health has seen considerable growth over the last two decades, little is known about the experience of registered nurses working in these environments. This study used a qualitative descriptive approach and interviewed 11 registered nurses to explore the interpersonal experiences of transition into a forensic mental health hospital. The data revealed three themes. ‘Observing what's safe’ examined nurses' ability to maintain safety in the context of inconsistent practices among colleagues. ‘Navigating cliques and divisions’ focused on nurses' sense of belonging and adapting to professional and personal groups. Finally, ‘gaining management support’ reflected nurses' experiences of engagement with management. This study provides new insight into nurses' experience of adapting to employment in forensic mental health settings and highlights the importance of positive support strategies for workplace transition.

Open Access Status

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