NURS 7030 Mental Health Nursing Practice 1

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 400218

Coordinator Gillian Murphy Opens in new window

Description This subject will assist the student to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nurse-client relationship in mental health nursing, presenting this relationship in its multiple contexts, (e.g., the interpersonal, cultural and socio-political), in order to appreciate factors influencing this relationship and the way it might be 'lived out' in practice. The subject assists students to understand: (1) the nurse-client relationship and its development; (2) the nature of the relationship between the client and nurse; (3) how skilled nurses use this relationship to assist their clients; and (4) how the type of relationship the nurse develops with the client frequently determines the quality of work they do together.

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


Students must be enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Nursing (Mental Health), 4719 Master of Mental Health Nursing, 4720 Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing or 4721 Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing.

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. Critically discuss how the theoretical perspectives of the therapeutic relationship can inform nursing practice.
  2. Evaluate how current models of care such as Recovery Orientated Care and Trauma Informed Care improve consumer outcomes.
  3. Critique ideas about the structure, function and process of the therapeutic relationship, such as boundaries, milieu and collaborative care.
  4. Evaluate outcomes emerging from skilled nursing practice that improve health outcomes that result from the therapeutic relationship.

 5. Investigate processes for changing practices in clinical settings in accordance with current models of care to improve health outcomes for consumers.

Subject Content

1. The context of Mental Health Nursing
i. Mental Health Care reform
ii. Consumers perspectives
iii. Contemporary Mental Health Nursing Practice: Recovery Orientated Care, Trauma Informed Care and Safewards
2. Introducing the nurse-client relationship: What is it, how is it conceptualised, its history and attributes
3. Challenges to conceptualisations of the nurse-client  relationship,
4. Personal  characteristics skills and self awareness in therapeutic nurse-client relationships
5. The skills of the nurse-client relationship:
6. The nurse-client relationship in practice settings
7. Limitations and boundaries in the construction of nurse-client relationship
8. Clinical supervision and the nurse client relationship
9. The ‘therapeutic milieu’ and the therapeutic environment: therapeutic communities
10. Barriers to the nurse-client relationship: personal, contextual and socio-political


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
Viva Voce 10 minutes 20 N Individual
Reflection 1,000 words 30 N Individual
Reflection 2,000 words 50 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • There is no essential textbook.

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)



Subject Contact Gillian Murphy Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window