NURSING 3004 - Mental Health Nursing

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

This course has been designed to facilitate your understanding of the concepts of common mental health disorders, epidemiology, aetiology, pathophysiology and your learning in the therapeutic nursing care of the patient with mental health problems using an evidenced based approach. The role of the consumer in their recovery and the skills necessary to conduct a comprehensive mental health assessment are of particular emphasis

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code NURSING 3004
    Course Mental Health Nursing
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Nursing School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to B.Nurs students only
    Course Description This course has been designed to facilitate your understanding of the concepts of common mental health disorders, epidemiology, aetiology, pathophysiology and your learning in the therapeutic nursing care of the patient with mental health problems using an evidenced based approach. The role of the consumer in their recovery and the skills necessary to conduct a comprehensive mental health assessment are of particular emphasis
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Robert Laing

    Level 4 AHMS Building

    Telephone : (08) 8313 2848

    School contact:
    Phone: +61 8313 3595
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:
    1. Describe the biopsycholosocial, cultural and historical factors that shape the conceptualisation of mental health, common
      mental illnesses and mental healthcare.
    2. Differentiate the clinical presentations of mental disorders and relevant evidence based approaches to nursing intervention.
    3. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to perform mental health assessment.
    4. Integrate the principles of recovery and consumer-focused care for mental health nursing practice.
    5. Recognise the services that make up the health care system responses to clients across the continuum of care, and show an understanding of the social inclusion, legal and ethical aspects of mental health and substance use practice.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    5,6, 8
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    3, 4
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Required Text

    Hungerford, C, Hodgson, D, Clancy, R, Murphy, G & Doyle, K 2021, Mental Health Care, 4th edn, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Milton.

    This publication is available electronically or as hard copy. The electronic resources that accompany the text will be required through the course.

    Happell, B, Byrne, L, McAllister, M & Wand, T 2014, Clinical helper for mental health nursing: The vital guide for students and new graduates, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest NSW.

    This publication is available electronically or as hard copy. The electronic resources that accompany the text will be required through
    the course.

    Supplementary readings for this course will be available online electronically via MyUni. These are required readings for the course.
    Please Note: it is your responsibility to organise printing should you prefer a hard copy of the reader.

    Recommended Resources
    You are not required to purchase recommended resources, however they will provide further materials to build your knowledge and understanding in mental health nursing.

    Mental Health Nursing

    Evans, K, Nizette, D & O'Brien, A 2017, Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 4th edn, Elsevier, Australia.

    Edward, K-L, Munro, I, Welch, A & Cross, W 2018, Mental Health Nursing - Dimensions of Praxis, 3rd edn, Oxford Universtiy Press, Australia & New Zealand

    Edward, K-L & Alderman, C 2013, Psychopharmacology Practice & Contexts, Oxford University Press, Australia.

    Hercelinskyj, G & Alexander, L 2020, Mental Health Nursing - Applying Theory to Practice, Cengage Learning Australia,


    Bullock, S & Manias, E 2017, Fundamentals of Pharmacology, 8th edn, Pearson, Australia

    Usher, K, Foster, K & Bullock, S 2009, Psychopharmacology for health professionals, Elsevier, Australia
    Online Learning
    Study Guide and Reading materials will be available through the online platform - MyUni

    Submission of assessments will be through the relevant portal online
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Face to face lectures - this course benefits from the real time delivery of content. Face to face lectures offer synchronous learning opportunities and enable students to quickly clarify complex descriptions and terminology. Much of the content for this course is supported by text book and readings. The Adelaide Nursing School supports the audio and video capture of lecture content as an aid to revision.

    Interactive Tutorials - the essential nature of teamwork and communication in mental health nursing is emphasised through interactive and supported tutorials. The use of case scenarios will build upon the lecture material and aid the synthesis of content in preparation for practice.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The workload for this course requires attendance at
    • 2 X1 hour lecture / week
    • 1 x 1 hour tutorial / week (a compulsory tutorial will be scheduled for this course)
    Non contact hours for assessment preparation and reading will be 5 hours per week

    Learning Activities Summary
    The information below sets out the lectures and tutorial outlines for Mental Health Nursing. Other tutorials may be provided as required.


    1. Mental Health Introduction; Setting the Context
    2. Affective and Anxiety Conditions
    3. Suicide and Self-harm
    4. Psychotic and Personality Disorders
    5. Substance Use and Misuse
    6. Person Centred Approaches
    7. Mental Health Care Planning; Therapeutic Relationships
    8. Mental Health Assessment
    9. Psychotherapeutic Interventions
    10. Psychopharmacology
    11. Ethics and Law
    12. Social Determinants and Cultural Perspectives
    13. Child and Adolescent Mental Health
    14. Older Person's Mental Health


    1. Preconceived ideas and Stigma
    2. Self-care
    3. 'In My Own Words' video and discussion
    4. Care Planning and Promoting Recovery
    5. Mental Health Assessment
    6. Ethical and Legal case discussions
    7. Social Determinants and Cultural Perspectives
    8. Mental Health through the lifespan
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Not applicable
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcomes being addressed
    Online H5P Formative 2, 3
    Online Discussion Summative 10% participation 1-5
    Online Quiz x 4 Summative 40% 1, 2, 4, 5
    Case Study Analysis Summative 50% 2, 3, 4, 5
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1: Online H5P - Formative
    A H5P activity related to mental health assessment will be provided online for students to complete. This will provide the opportunity to monitor the learning and understanding of core concepts in mental health and substance use.

    Assessment 2: Online Quiz x 4
    Students will respond to four (4) online quizzes over the semester. Each quiz will contain a series of questions that include multiple choice, true/false and short answer questions. This will assess the learning and understanding of core concepts covered in the course. The quiz will be marked automatically online.

    Assessment 3: Online Discussion Activities
    Students will respond to a discussion question related to the week’s lecture and/or tutorial topic. This will be completed in the Discussions area on Canvas each week. Formal feedback will not be provided, but the coordinator will engage in the discussion. These activities will encourage engagement in the core concepts in mental health and substance use.

    Assessment 4: Case Study Analysis
    Students will complete a written case study analysis. The purpose of this assignment is to explore the personal and social implications of mental illness, as well as, the ethical, legal and clinical practice implications related to a person who has mental health concerns, and has been admitted to a medical ward. Using a recovery and person-centred approach, students will explore the issues raised in the case study, together with corroborative information related to the case study.

    Unless otherwise indicated all submission of assignments is to be through the assignments portal of MyUni. TurnItin will be used to check student assignments. Students MUST keep an electronic copy of all assignments submitted. 

    To apply for an Assessment Extension, a student must submit an application for extension form prior to the assessment deadline. 

     See the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    Feedback from SELTS has led to inclusion of more case studies for discussion and increase in SIM lab involvement for skill development.
    Student feedback was positive in regards to the practical skill session, which will continue to be incorporated into the course going forward.
    Tutorials will be structured in a way to allow for more case study discussion
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.