NURS 7018 Contemporary Professional Practice in Mental Health Nursing

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 400220

Coordinator Gihane Endrawes Opens in new window

Description Professional practice in Mental Health Nursing is continually evolving to meet changing social, political and legal requirements related to mental health issues. These requirements include changes in social and political understandings of mental illness and the rights and responsibilities of consumers, carers and providers. There has also been increased emphasis on health promotion, prevention and education in population specific contexts (eg, aged care, child and family, adolescent mental health, alcohol and other drugs services). Mental Health Nurses thus face challenges to develop practice that is congruent with the context of these changing requirements. This subject aims to provide a basis of inquiry into contemporary practice(s) from which the nurse can build an ongoing understanding and appreciation of changing influences.

School Nursing & Midwifery

Discipline Mental Health Nursing

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


This course is restricted to students enrolled in 4719 Master of Mental Health Nursing, 4720 Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing, 4721 Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing, 4734 Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing (exit only), 4673 Master of Mental Health Nursing (Nurse Practitioner)

Assumed Knowledge

Students are required to be registered nurses with basic knowledge of mental health, mental illness and assessment processes augmented with experience in mental health settings.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Appraise scholarly evidence and contemporary practice in the area of mental health nursing
  2. Critically reflect on the influences upon contemporary mental health nursing practice
  3. Conceptualise the ways that mental health nursing can meet the challenges of contemporary practice
  4. Succinctly articulate and effectively communicate an action plan for future practice improvement
  5. Critically evaluate the broader social and cultural impact of contemporary mental health practice
  6. Critically investigate the nature and relevance of national mental health policy to service development, implementation, contemporary nursing practice and health outcomes for clients within mental health contexts

Subject Content

1. The Socio Political Contexts of Mental Health Care
- National and State agendas and policies: Standards, National Action Plans, strategies (priorities, inter-sectoral approach, mainstreaming, special needs groups)
- protocols that include: Confidentiality / suicide
- social influences (Feminism, socialism, consumerism, economic change)
- indigenous Issues in mental health care
- cultural awareness, safety and competence
2. Contemporary Philosophical Constructions in Mental Health
- mental health care provision across The lifespan
- prevention , intervention and person-centred care
- collaboration / partnerships with Consumers, carers, care providers and inter-sectoral agencies to promote optimum outcomes
3. Mental Health Nursing Practice Issues
- professional practice and competencies
- Nurse identity in multidisciplinary and person-centred contexts
- inclusion of quality practice (ie: clinical indicators) to provide A framework for care provision
- professional practice and improvement: Organisations, credentialling, clinical Roles, career options
- supervision, mentorship and preceptorship
- research in mental health Nursing
4. Power and Ethics
- legal Issues: police, mental health acts, Privacy acts
- professional Issues: therapeutic relationships, power, personal / professional boundaries
- Ethical concerns encountered within mental health Nursing practice: diverse spiritual beliefs, risks associated with marginalised groups, Domestic violence
- Nursing Code of professional conduct and Code of ethics


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Professional Task Part A: 1000 words (30%); Part B: 10 minutes (20%). 50 N Individual
Essay 2000 words 50 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • There is no essential textbook.

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)



Subject Contact Gillian Murphy Opens in new window

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