Mental Health Nursing

Unit of study descriptions

NURS5012 Assessment and Clinical Judgement

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus Assessment: essay (40%) and online activities (10%) and report (50%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
The ability to undertake a focused and comprehensive patient assessment is fundamental to nursing practice. Conducting patient assessment allows nurses to gather the requisite information to make sound clinical judgements. Thus, with an emphasis on the systematic collection of reliable and valid assessment data, this unit of study examines the knowledge, capabilities and clinical skills required to undertake comprehensive health assessment, inclusive of physical, mental health, social, ethnic and cultural dimensions in complex clinical situations. Underpinning any patient assessment is a detailed understanding of normal physiological processes and the ways in which illness and injury alters these processes.
NURS5062 Clinical Practice and Nursing Work

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: essay (35%) and online journal club (15%) and take home exam (40%) and presentation (10%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Students will have the opportunity to examine the nature of nursing work in relation to the effects of and assumptions underlying the models of care and ward organisation; organisation of shiftwork; occupational health and safety; workforce supply and demand and the effects of such issues on the agency and professional boundaries of nurses. The unit will examine the nature of nursing work in relation to its industrial and socio-political origins by taking a critical evaluative focus on the perceptions and practices that have shaped the construction of clinical nursing practice. Wider issues such as the impact of the knowledge economy; globalisation and the patterns of global workforce migration; and the increasing use of technology in nursing work will also be explored.
NURS5063 Managing Mental Health and Illness

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: essay and discussion paper and online activities (100%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit aims to consolidate and extend students' understanding of a range of mental health issues and their associated management and treatment approaches. The evidence-base for mental health nursing practice will be applied to mental health issues and problems including anxiety, mood, psychotic and personality problems. The issues and needs of specific populations, including children and young people experiencing mental health problems, and the co-morbidity of mental health with substance misuse and physical health, are also explored. Therapeutic and psychopharmacological approaches to mental health issues will be critically explored with regard to their relevance and efficacy, and ethico-legal aspects of mental health nursing care and clinical decision-making addressed.
NURS5064 Mental Health and Illness in Context

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: discussion paper and case study and presentation (100%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
The focus of this unit of study is to extend students' ability to engage in advanced mental health nursing practice in several ways. Firstly, this includes viewing the lived experience of mental illness from the perspective of the consumer and family/carers. Secondly, through examining the theoretical approaches and philosophical underpinnings of models of mental health care; emphasizing mental health promotion and prevention, early intervention, building strengths, enhancing resilience, working collaboratively, and rehabilitation and recovery. Specific international, national, and state policies and plans will be appraised to facilitate understanding of the broader impact that socio-political issues have on the provision and delivery of mental health care.
NURS5065 Interpersonal Mental Health Nursing

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: essay and online activities and portfolio of practice (100%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
The foundation of effective mental health nursing care is the development of a therapeutic relationship with consumers and their family/carers. This unit focuses on the theoretical basis and philosophical frameworks for mental health nursing practice, and aims to further develop the communication and interpersonal skills required for building and maintaining an effective nurse/client relationship. Students will explore the personal and professional qualities of effective mental health nurses, and through practical learning experiences will extend their skills in building and sustaining effective nurse/client relationships. Students will also be required to submit a portfolio of practice as part of their assessment.
NURS5069 Research in Nursing and Health Care

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: online activities (30%) critical review (30%) and research plan (40%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit of study will examine and critique established and emerging ways of researching nursing and health care through discussion of the philosophical and theoretical origins of the research traditions and knowledge generation in nursing research. Conceptualisation of research questions, selection of research designs, governance of research and research utilisation in the clinical setting will be explored. Opportunities will be provided to engage in the research process with reference to clinically related situations.
NURS5070 Creating a Culture of Safety and Quality

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: essay (45%) and case study (55%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit of study pursues a critical analysis of the theoretical constructs and practical applications underpinning good clinical governance in health care organisations. Many studies identify the factors influencing a culture of safety and quality in the clinical environment and most concur with six main domains: the safety climate, teamwork, perceptions of management, working conditions, job satisfaction and stress recognition. These factors and how to influence them positively will be examined in this unit of study utilising a better practice (quality/continuity of care/health outcomes/governance) framework.
NURS5071 Contemporary Health Leadership

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: essay (50%) and assignment (30%) and reflection (20%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
The need for leadership across all clinical disciplines has been shown to be integral to safe practice and strong staff morale. Providing a clear and unambiguous framework for practice and fostering skills in moral stewardship is known to enable personal growth and strong clinical care. This unit explores a range of issues for clinicians including their legal and ethical obligations, concepts of accountability and collegiality, and strategies to increase resilience and emotional intelligence. It aims to equip students to take initiative, create supportive and sustaining clinical environments, have the courage of their convictions, and to celebrate curiosity.
The Australian health care system has experienced significant clinical, structural and socio-political transformations over the last two decades (collectively referred to as reform). The need for stronger and more effective leadership has never been more evident, particularly at the clinical interface. The chronic recruitment and retention issues and the changed nature of the nursing workforce and health workforce generally, vis-à-vis different levels of carers with diverse skill mix, have constructed a healthcare environment in which experienced (advanced) clinicians are positioned at the core of leadership development. While the concept of leadership is not new, the provision of leadership in the clinical arena is now a central component of clinical practice for all health professionals, regardless of experience, education or position.
As we increasingly experience a globalised world, we recognise that leadership is not the same in all contexts. This unit is structured on an innovative case-based approach. Through using case studies along with the theoretical constructs / perspectives, students are encouraged to critique the achievements and failures of real-time leadership scenarios (and the leaders). This approach to student learning moves away from the traditional `constructivistic approach¿ to management education, which is both subjective and prescriptive (Darmer 2000). The case study method facilitates examination of real leadership scenarios through which students can gain greater insight into the challenges that confront leaders in complex environments and how these challenges impact decision-making processes.
As a postgraduate unit of study, this unit pursues critical analysis of the context in which leadership occurs. In the process of completing this unit, students cover a broad range of topics and explore the literature from a number of disciplines including management, sociology and nursing. While this unit of study is broad, it is designed to allow students to gain a more detailed understanding of the multiple and often conflicting contexts in which health leadership is now situated.
NURS5075 Expanding Practice in Mental Health

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 4 study days Assessment: assignment and workplace assessment and essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
The focus of this unit of study is to extend students¿ ability to engage in advanced mental health nursing practice. Theoretical and philosophical approaches to a range of therapeutic strategies will be examined, and the nature of effective and ineffective interpersonal relationships critically explored.
Through application of evidence-based knowledge, students will explore individual, family, and group therapeutic strategies including psycho-education, relaxation strategies, group training, problem-solving skills, social skills training, and solution focused approaches. Students will be provided with structured learning experiences to extend their practice in a number of these areas.
NURS5078 Capstone (Workplace)

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 8 study days Prerequisites: 42 credit points Assessment: presentation (5%) and reflective portfolio (35%, 40%) and presentation (20%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit of study will assist students (as potential senior clinicians) to extend their development of a critically informed personal/professional position on the many issues impacting clinical nursing practice and to further develop the skills required to argue that position effectively within current clinical contexts and climates. The unit will provide a framework within which students will explore current professionally relevant clinical and professionally related situations from several perspectives such as those of tertiary and professional education, local, state and federal government policy development and implementation, health services management, workforce and regulatory perspectives. Students will also conceptualise and develop a personal portfolio incorporating the work undertaken during their degree and including guided reflections on their observation and analysis of senior/advanced practice roles in nursing and assess their current state of readiness to undertake the role of a senior clinician within a personally relevant workplace.
NURS5080 Capstone (Research)

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: distance education/intensive on campus, up to 8 study days Prerequisites: (42 credit points and NURS5069 Research in Nursing & Health Care) Assessment: thesis (100%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit of study will provide an opportunity for students with an interest in research to conduct an in-depth exploration of a topic that you have identified as being of personal professional relevance and/or research interest. To complete this unit you will be expected to work independently selecting, locating and analysing the relevant literature to prepare a scholarly piece of work reviewing current knowledge on the self-identified topic. While you will be expected to pursue your investigation as an independent scholar you will be assisted in your work by regular meetings with the unit coordinator, student colleagues and an academic advisor appointed on the basis of your area of interest as identified by the topic. Your work may be presented in either thesis or journal manuscript formats and will be assessed in a manner appropriate for determining suitability for further research higher degree work.
Students are advised to indicate their interest in undertaking the research capstone to the Director of Postgraduate Studies as they complete the unit of study NURS5069 Research in Nursing and Health Care so that specific academic advice can be provided.
Capstone (Research) is also an important component of the Sydney Nursing School pathway to research higher degree enrolment and students interested in pursuing this pathway should also seek Academic advice from the Director of Postgraduate Studies before enrolling in the second semester of their course.
NURS5091 Simulation-Based Learning in Health

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: on-line Assessment: reflection (5%) and online activity (45%) and project (50%) Mode of delivery: Online
The use of simulation (the process of mimicking reality in an environment that can be manipulated to reflect real clinical situations) is an educational tool that is becoming increasingly prevalent in health care practice and education. Simulation activities have strong relevance to a broad range of learner levels across health professions providing a safe and controlled learning environment. Simulation can be used in task or situational training areas in order to train clinicians to anticipate certain situations and develop capability to react appropriately. Additionally, simulation has the potential to create a dynamic interprofessional learning environment, facilitating the process of learning through assessment, decision making, evaluation and error prevention or correction within the healthcare team.
This unit of study will provide learners with the opportunity to critically examine the current literature related to the instructional use of simulation in health education and practice. They will become familiar with evolving theoretical frameworks associated with the use of simulation in education and explore concepts related to technical and non-technical skill development such as: participant consent and confidentiality, levels and types of fidelity, models of instruction/tuition, immersive and non-immersive scenarios, virtual reality simulation, debriefing, participant assessment and translation to practice. Students will be encouraged to further expand their clinical and theoretical repertoire by developing a simulated learning experience, based on best evidence, and linked to education outcomes.