Mental Health & Recovery

Subject NURS50008 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Summer Term, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 05-Jan-2015 to 15-Feb-2015
Assessment Period End 27-Feb-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 09-Jan-2015
Census Date 16-Jan-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-Feb-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: TOTAL: 178 hours (18 hours lectures, 160 hours professional placement experience)
Total Time Commitment:

In addition students are expected to devote approximately 6 hours of self directed study per week to this subject.


A pass in the following prior to enrolment:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

This subject requires students to actively and safely contribute to clinical activities. Students who think their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Nursing Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Ms Bronwyn Tarrant


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Alan Gilbert Building,

Level 7, 161 Barry St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 4171
F: +61 3 8344 4188

Subject Overview:

This subject builds on the knowledge gained in Foundations of Nursing and further develops understanding of the dimensions of the nursing role in mental health promotion and the provision of care for people experiencing mental health issues. The principles and practices of mental health presentations are reviewed as discussion focuses on deepening understanding of the National Mental Health Plan, major psychiatric disorders, mental health law, psychiatric nursing assessment, collaborative care models, and service providers. The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of psychotropic medication and issues related to medication management for people experiencing mental health issues will be explored.

During the professional experience placement under the guidance of clinical educators/ preceptors, students will participate in collaborative, inter-professional mental health care. They will gain experience in acute, sub acute or community mental health/psychiatric services that will enable them ot combine general nursing expertise with beginning skills in mental health assessment and care.

The major focus for the clinical practicum component of this subject is the integration of the principles of mental health nursing and clinical decision making. On completion of the subject it is expected that students, while providing therapeutic interventions, are able to incorporate the further collection of health assessment data and adjust care accordingly for 1-2 patients.

Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • be aware of and critically discuss outcomes of The National Mental Health Plan (2009-2014);
  • discuss the aetiology and presentation of the major psychiatric disorders that occur across the lifespan and identify key aspects of management;
  • appreciate the impact of mental illness on families, carers and loved ones and on the broader community;
  • understand the concepts of resilience, recovery, reconnection and therapeutic optimism in relation to providing optimum health care interventions for individuals and groups in the health care setting;
  • demonstrate beginning mental health nursing skills that facilitate therapeutic nurse/client relationships and promote recovery focused care;
  • demonstrate cultural sensitivity in negotiating healthcare strategies that achieve outcomes endorsed by the client;
  • demonstrate the ability to collect assessment data using a comprehensive nursing framework which includes mental status examination and risk assessment;
  • use data collected to develop a nursing care plan for patients experiencing the range of mental health presentations;
  • demonstrate analytical skills by incorporating the theoretical principles of clinical decision making into patient care plans;
  • discuss and demonstrate in practice the legal and ethical principles related to medication administration, involuntary treatment & detention and the documentation of nursing care;
  • appreciate the value of reflective practice and continually developing self-awareness;
  • consider resource use and sustainable approaches for research, continuing education and professional development.

  1. 2 hour online examination - 40% (Week 2 of summer)
  2. Professional Experience Performance Appraisal - (Pass/Fail)
  3. Podcast & Discussion Board Participation - 20% (During summer semester)
  4. Professional Experience Practice Analysis - 40% (Week 8)

Students must pass the theoretical and clinical components to achieve a pass in the subject

Attendance at all Professional Experience Placement days is compulsory

Prescribed Texts:

Hungerford, C., Clancy, R., Hodgson, D., Jones, T., Harrison, A. and Hart, C. (2012). Mental health care: An introduction for health professionals. Milton:John Wiley and Sons Australia Ltd.

Education Innovations. (2005). Nursing Calculations (Version 6.0.0). ( General Relativity Pty Ltd, CD-ROM 2005 release).

Perrin, R. (2009). Pocket guide to APA style (3rd ed.).Boston:HoughtonMifflinCollege.

Roper, C. (Ed) (2003). Sight unseen: Conversations between service receivers. On mental health nursing and the psychiatric service system.Melbourne: Centre for Psychiatric Nursing Research and Practice.

Stedman’s medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing. (2005). Australian andNew Zealand Edition (5th ed.).

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

At the completion of this subject, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • the capacity for information seeking, retrieval and evaluation;
  • critical thinking and analytical skills;
  • an openness to new ideas;
  • cultural safety;
  • planning and time management skills;
  • the ability to work effectively in a team;
  • the ability to communicate knowledge through classroom and web-based discussions and written material.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Nursing Science

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