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    Provision of a theoretical basis for mental health nursing through the use of a problem-based learning approach, and the incorporation of critical social theory as a basis for reflection on mental health nursing practice.

    This is a specialist mental health nursing paper with an emphasis on developing clinical skills, critical thinking skills and clinical reasoning skills. The focus is on promoting critical reflection on practice and is designed to meet the learning needs of all levels of competence by encouraging students to identify and meet their own learning needs determined by their level of practice. This approach to teaching and learning incorporates adult learning principles and the principles of enquiry-based learning.

    About this paper

    Paper title Mental Health Nursing Practice
    Subject Nursing
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $2,984.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    NURX 403
    Limited to
    MAdvNP, MHealSc, PGCertHealSc, PGDipHealSc
    • Have registration as a nurse from a three-year programme or course
    • Hold current Nursing Council of New Zealand registration
    • Be currently practising in a mental health setting

    Teaching staff

    Professor Marie Crowe
    Dr Dave Carlyle

    Paper Structure
    This paper will focus on the principles underpinning mental health nursing practice. It will explore the social and institutional constructions of mental health and addictions and mental health nursing care. Critical reflection on clinical practice will provide the basis for learning and specific aspects of mental health nursing will be explored within a problem-based learning approach. Therapeutic approaches to mental health nursing practice will be explored in relation to their application to mental health nursing practice.
    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

    Four 2-day block courses held in Christchurch: attendance at all block courses is compulsory.


    Highly recommended: Barker, P (ed) (2009) Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing: The Craft of Caring. London: Edward Arnold.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Critical thinking.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to:

    1. Articulate the scope of mental health nursing practice
    2. Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively across settings
    3. Show scholarly research inquiry translated into practice


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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