Foundations in Mental Health 2

Subject NURS90016 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 54 hours on-campus lectures. Clinical practice component of a minimum of 384 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

In addition to the subject contact hours, students are expected to devote approximately 9 hours a week to this subject. Students can anticipate a time commitment of approximately 24 hours per week concurrent field practice.


Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia registration (Unrestricted)
Students must be employed at an affiliated clinical agency and provide documentation of clinical support arrangements necessary to undertake the professional practice portfolio prior to enrolment.

A pass in the following subject prior to enrolment:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's courses. Students who think their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 1, 200 Berkeley St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 13MELB
F: +61 3 8344 4188

Subject Overview:

This subject builds on the knowledge and skills learnt in Foundations in Mental Health Nursing 1. It is designed to consolidate and extend problem-solving, critical thinking, rational inquiry and the integration of theoretical and practical aspects of specialty nursing for the beginning psychiatric nurse. The subject emphasizes the use of research evidence to underpin practice and provides the student with foundational knowledge about a range of bio/psycho/social psychiatric nursing interventions and practices, with a focus on caring for a range of mental health consumers across the lifespan in a range of mental health settings. The subject introduces students to a variety of therapies and skills such as relapse prevention, counselling, group facilitation, family sensitive practice, supportive psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, solution focused therapy, and narrative therapy. The subject emphasises recovery focused approaches to mental health care, where the consumer is at the centre of all aspects of treatment planning and implementation.

Students engage in field practice in specific critical care environments to address learning objectives that focus on developing confidence and skills in working therapeutically with mental health consumers to assist them toward self management and recovery from episodes of mental illness.


Students will be expected to be able to demonstrate their beginning specialty nursing practice through:

  • integration of the theoretical content covered within the subject to develop new knowledge that supports safe practice as a beginning specialty nurse in mental health;
  • the ability to integrate knowledge and skills learnt in the subject to recognise and plan a response to patients experiencing alterations to health and wellness that occur in the specific context of mental health;
  • the ability to understand and evaluate specialised interventions as described in the subject content to provide a foundation for participating in the delivery of care at the beginning level of psychiatric nursing practice;
  • the capacity to use skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, rational inquiry and self-directed learning to apply knowledge learnt in the theoretical component of the subject to beginning level psychiatric nursing clinical practice;
  • an understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area;
  • the ability to apply scientific knowledge to understand skills and techniques applicable to the specialist area.

Theoretical Component 60%

1. Written assignment of 3000 words (35%) - Due week 6

2. 20 minute oral presentation (25%) - At the end of semester

Clinical Component 40%

3. A professional practice portfolio which must include evidence of clinical competency achievement and is equivalent to 3,000 words (40%) - due by the end of semester

Students must achieve a pass in both the theoretical and clinical component in order to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Gamble, C., & Brennan, G. (2000). Working with serious mental illness: A manual for clinical practice. Edinburgh: Elsevier.

Norman, I., & Ryrie, I. (2004). The art and science of mental health nursing. Berkshire: Open University Press.

Recommended Texts:

Carson, V. (2000). Mental Health Nursing: The nurse-patient journey (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders

Repper, J. & Perkins. (2003). Social inclusion and recovery: A model formental health practice. Edinburgh: Elsevier.

Rogers, A., & Pilgrim, D. (2006). A sociology of mental health and illness. (3rded.). New York:Open University Press.

Townsend, M.C. (2006). Psychiatric mental health nursing: Concepts of carein evidence-based practice. Philadelphia: Davis.

Varcarolis, E.M. (2006). Manual of psychiatric nursing care plans. New York: Elsevier.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject students should have developed the following generic skills of the Melbourne graduate and postgraduate coursework student:

  • a capacity to articulate their knowledge and understanding in oral and written modes of communication;
  • a capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Mental Health)
Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice (Mental Health)

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