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Detective to retrain as mental health nurse


A new student at the University of Salford is swapping a career as a police detective to become a mental health nurse.

Justine Burgess from Cheshire has spent 16 years in the force, but has now been accepted onto a full-time mental health nursing degree at Salford, starting this month.

Ms Burgess joined the police straight from school and worked on cases involving murders and serious sexual crimes. She decided to start a new career in nursing where she could help prevent the spiral of illness and drug addiction that led to many of the crimes she investigated.

Ms Burgess said: “With the police I was dealing with a lot of people who had committed terrible offences, but who often had serious mental health issues and tragic pasts that had led to drug abuse and crime. 

“It made me think about a career that would help people manage their conditions and not get involved in criminal activity in the first place,” she said.

Despite having no A-levels, her police experience meant she could enrol onto Salford’s alternative entry scheme, which involved completing a personal statement, taking tests for maths and England, and attending an interview. 

Ms Burgess was subsequently granted a place on a three-year degree course.


Readers' comments (8)

  • None story... yawn

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  • " taking tests for maths and England"

    If only journalists had to take a test in English... dipstick.

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  • Anonymous | 12-Sep-2013 1:44 pm


    perhaps the minister of health and some NHS managers could do with passing a test in financial management for England or at least for the sake of saving the NHS!

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  • Maybe she can conduct an investigation into all the criminals who are running the NHS into the ground?

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  • sounds like she will be a useful member of the team. maybe they should train some more.

    I wish her lots of luck in a long and fulfilling career and for bringing some fresh perspectives and contributions to nursing.

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  • Without being rude i'm not sure why this merits being a story.

    Plenty of people come into Nursing from a wide range of backgrounds offering valuable experience and skills.

    I'm sure Ms Burgess will have an awful lot to offer to vulnerable people, especially those who come under the criminal legal systems radar, but so will other students who have worked within other professions.

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  • ...or none.

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  • Well as stated peviously this really isn't worthy of being printed as being a newsworthy article.

    I have worked with an RMN who later became a police officer, I didn't think what she did was so far from the norm that it needed to be printed, and think the same applies to this.

    I also totally agree with the comments regarding the phrase " taking tests for maths and England"

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