Mental Health Nursing

Take your career to the next level: specialise in mental health nursing at Sydney Nursing School.

This program is designed to equip registered nurses with the knowledge, skills and confidence to become a leader in mental health nursing.

It will advance your knowledge and skills in clinical practice, enhancing your professional practice and helping you to improve outcomes in a range of health care settings. It may also help you to meet criteria necessary for recognition as a mental health nurse by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.

What impact can I have as a mental health nurse?

Around 45% of Australians will experience a mental illness during adolescence or adulthood.

Mental health nurses play a critical role in supporting individuals and their carers. Making up the largest part of the mental health workforce in Australia, they lead the way in the prevention, planning and delivery of mental health care.

Why study at Sydney Nursing School?

  • Build the professional practice capabilities needed for leadership in mental health nursing.
  • Further develop your research skills, enabling you to make evidence-based decisions, opening the door to a PhD at Sydney Nursing School.
  • Enhance your specialty knowledge, clinical expertise and therapeutic skills, immediately applying what you learn in class to your professional practice.
  • Join our global community of influential students, staff and alumni, building your professional network as you study alongside academics and peers from the mental health community.
  • Choose how to fit study into your life with full-time and part-time options, as well as self-paced online study for some components of the program.

What will I study?

The Master of Mental Health Nursing builds on your existing knowledge and skills, supporting you to use evidence to inform clinical judgements and develop models of care.

During your study, you will have opportunity to critically explore the lived experience, issues and needs of specific populations experiencing or caring for a person with mental illness.

You will consider mental health promotion, prevention, intervention, management and treatment strategies within the contexts of broad socio-political issues, ethico-legal aspects, theoretical foundations and recovery-focused approaches. You will look at the theory and philosophy behind psychotherapeutic and pharmacological approaches to treatment.

You will further develop the intra- and interpersonal skills necessary to maintain effective clinical and professional relationships, enabling personal growth. You will also explore ways to enhance individual aspects of resilience and emotional intelligence.

This program ends in a capstone project, offering you the choice to complete either a work-based project examining a current and professionally relevant clinical issue, or undertake a research project, giving you the opportunity to explore in depth an area that you feel passionate about. This may also provide a pathway to a PhD at Sydney Nursing School.

Study units include:

  • Managing mental health and illness
  • Interpersonal mental health nursing
  • Mental health and illness in context
  • Expanding practice in mental health
  • Assessment and clinical judgment
  • Research in nursing and healthcare
  • Creating a culture of safety and quality
  • Contemporary healthcare leadership
  • Capstone.

Pathways to the Master’s

Our Mental Health Nursing programs are offered at master’s, graduate diploma graduate certificate levels. The latter two are embedded within the master’s degree, meaning you can choose to study the program over a duration which suits you best.

Next steps: Course details and planning your study