Athona’s nursing division is proud to offer a wide variety of jobs in many different specialties of nursing. A Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) is just one of the specialties we recruit for here at Athona.

As a CPN, your role will involve having the opportunity to care for patients in their homes, outpatient departments or GP surgeries, which is different to most other mental health roles which are  that are based in a hospital setting. As a part of your role, you will talk through the problems your patients are facing and give practical advice and support, as well as administering medication and keeping an eye on how this is affecting your patient.

What are the typical day-to-day duties of a CPN?

Working as a CPN requires you to adhere to a number of duties. These may vary depending on where you work, but as a whole, these are just a few of the most common duties you will be undertaking on a typical day.

  • Maintaining high standards of care
  • Visiting patients outside of the hospital
  • Communicating with other members of staff
  • Providing support to patients and their families
  • Encouraging positive mental health practices
  • Giving psychosocial interventions

What are the key skills of a CPN?

Community Psychiatric Nurses are healthcare professionals with strong personable skills. To ensure you are performing to the best of your ability in your role, here are some other fundamental skills that will be useful to have.

Knowledge of mental health regulations

To become a CPN, you must have a strong educational background in the healthcare industry with at least a minimum of 6 months NHS experience within the last 2 years. To perform in your role, you will need to know the Mental Health Act 1983 as well as the Mental Health Capacity Act 2005. Both of these Mental Health Acts ensure you are administering the proper treatment to patients and using the right methods when dealing with people who struggle with mental health problems.

Sensitivity and understanding

As well as needing to know the physical skills of becoming a CPN, it’s also essential you have the empathetic and emotional skills to ensure your patients feel comfortable and understood. By being emotionally available and open, this could also encourage your patients to share more with you and make them feel like they have a safe and comfortable space to discuss their issues or concerns. These skills could also be used to assist with helping patients get through challenging times such as addiction relapses or depressive episodes.


As a CPN, you will be working with patients struggling with either mental health or behavioural conditions. Due to this, you may be working with multiple patients each day, if contacted, across a variety of different locations depending on the patient. It’s important that you can efficiently handle these changes in regards to patients and locations so you feel prepared and relaxed in any potential scenario.

Reporting skills

After every appointment you have with a patient, you will be required to fill out medical forms to report the progress your patients have made that session and compare that to their plan. Your written communication, logical thinking and observational skills must be used in this role to then relay this information back to your supervisor or the patient’s psychiatrist to ensure everyone is given a thorough indication as to what development the patient has made.

Useful tips for working as a CPN

A career as a CPN can be very rewarding for someone who likes helping others, however it is important that you invest in your education. Obtaining a 3 year undergraduate degree in Community Mental Health and registering with the NMC are necessities to become a qualified CPN. There are also other routes available, such as a degree nursing apprenticeship which is the equivalent to a Level 6 degree. To further enhance your knowledge, you can also attend webinars, professional training at work, enrolling in additional medical courses or even some self-learning.

Due to the nature of the role and having to travel to different locations outside of the hospital, getting a drivers licence may help you become more mobile. Depending on your workplace, your employer may even offer to cover the cost of petrol/diesel for you or provide you with a work vehicle.

Furthermore, if you are an empathetic person, you could be receptive to experiencing your patients emotions. To help combat this, it’s important to take care of your own mental health as much as you do for your patients. Whether that be speaking with a therapist or engaging in self-care practices, talking about what is troubling you will improve your life and help you execute your job to a high ability, as you will be in the right frame of mind to help others.

Finally, gaining hospital or clinic experience before committing to working as a CPN could prove valuable to you. This way, you can ask fellow healthcare professionals for help or information which will allow you to adapt to the role’s requirements in less time.

Benefits of working as a CPN

  • You are enabling patients to remain in the comfort of their own homes
  • You will develop and enhance your skills and experience as you’ll be working with a variety of conditions
  • You can gain valuable knowledge and insights from other healthcare professionals along the way

What about the locations of these roles?

We’re currently focusing on recruiting CPN’s in the Sussex, Essex and Kent areas. Each of these areas offer unique and valuable reasons as to why that location could be perfect for your next relocation move.


Sussex is located in the South West of England and is a historic county, known for its tradition of bonfire celebrations and musical heritage. With excellent commuting routes, Sussex is easily reachable by train to London and surrounding locations. The stunning seaside’s, villages, national parks and thriving nightlife are just a few of the many reasons why over 18,000 people move there each year.


This South East county has beautiful countryside’s and a flat coastline with stunning landscapes. With the City of Chelmsford only 30 minuets by train away from London, it’s no surprise most people relocate here for it’s fantastic transport links. Essex is a great alternative to living in London as the prices of everyday items and houses are significantly cheaper, yet only around an hour away via car!


Kent is known as the ‘Garden of England’ and is home to the Canterbury Cathedral in the city of Canterbury. As well as this, Kent is also consistently recognised as one of the best places to work and live in the UK with excellent education and employment opportunities throughout.

Sound like the career path for you? If you are you a Community Psychiatric Nurse looking for your next role in the NHS, get in touch with our nursing team or start applying directly to these roles today.

01277 217 777