Introduction to Mental Health Nursing (Level 4)

Module summary

Module code: NURS1451
Level: 4
Credits: 30
School: Education, Health and Human Sci
Department: Health Sciences
Module Coordinator(s): Justin Stephens



This course will provide the student with opportunities to:

Understand the role of the mental health nurse and the values and attitudes that influence the provision of mental health care.
Explore and raise awareness of the theoretical frameworks and models which inform mental health nursing practice.
Begin to develop the therapeutic skills and competencies required in contemporary mental health nursing practice.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully you will be able to:

1. Describe the role of the mental health nurse in historical and contemporary contexts.
2. Demonstrate awareness of the attitudes and values required in mental health nursing in accordance with professional codes.
3. Demonstrate a basic understanding of mental health and illness, and the theoretical frameworks and models which inform mental health nursing.
4. Begin to develop and demonstrate a range of therapeutic and care planning skills to meet diverse mental health needs.

Indicative content


Introduction to:
Professional attitudes and values-based mental health frameworks;
Professional, legal and ethical context for mental health nursing;
Developing self awareness and personal development ;
Care and Compassion;
Diversity and cultural awareness ;
Role of the mental health nurse.

Introduction to:
Contemporary health and social care policy at local and national level ;
Psychopathology including Psychosis, Affective, Anxiety, Organic, Addictions, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Personality Disorder;
Theoretical Frameworks for understanding mental health and illness;
Spiritual and cultural approaches to mental heath;
Risk awareness and decision-making;
Evidence in practice.

Introduction to:
Communication and interpersonal skills;
Understanding the nature of therapeutic relationships;
Establishing and maintaining engagement and disengagement;
Comprehensive, systematic, and collaborative nursing assessments;
Medication management and drug calculations ;
Holistic care, health promotion and lifestyle advice ;
Assisting people to choose a diet which provides adequate nutrition and fluid intake;
Identifying and taking effective measures to prevent and control infections.

Teaching and learning activity

Keynote lectures and skills sessions will be delivered to students across both undergraduate and postgraduate mental health nursing programmes.
Group work;
Experiential learning;
Action Learning;
Skills sessions;
Self-directed study;
The VLE (Moodle) will be used as a platform for on-line activities, guided and independent reading to facilitate the development of evidence based knowledge.
Learning in Practice will involve the student in applying their knowledge and skills to the care of individuals, families and carers across secondary, primary and community care settings, to include health visiting, learning disability settings and specialist settings.

Learning Time (1 credit = 10 hours)

Contact Hours:
lectures 20 hours
seminars 10 hours
practical sessions 10 hours
tutorials 10 hours
group activity 10 hours
Private Study 120 hours
Assignments: course work and other forms of assessment:
coursework 0
laboratory work 0
examinations 2 hours
Preparation for exam 117 hours


In Class Test - 100%
A 1 ½ hour in class test - Short written answers to scenario-based questions.
Pass mark - 40%

In Class Quiz - Pass/Fail
A 45 minute classroom based quiz - medication management and drug calculations.

Practice Assessment - Pass/Fail
Practice Assessment Document (PAD) ' semester 2

Students must pas all elements of assessment to pass the course.