NUR5229 - Challenges and controversies in mental health nursing practice - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Ian Munro


Dr Ian Munro

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (Flexible)


Students must be enrolled in M6031 or M6022.

Students enrolled in M6022, must be enrolled in Mental Health Nursing specialisation.


In this unit students study four modules in which they examine complexities and challenges of working with mental health consumers and services. The first module concerns the nursing and therapeutic principles of working with hard to engage mental health consumers. Students will study several case examples and consider relevant engagement principles that can be used by mental health nurses in their clinical contexts. The second module concerns the practice and philosophy of integrated mental health care for complex consumers. The third module examines frameworks for innovation and advancing the culture of mental health nursing that can be applied in clinical care contexts. The fourth module explores mechanisms by which mental health nurses can use their professional voice to advocate for mental health consumers, professional autonomy and to achieve professional influence.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Appraise and apply advanced mental health nursing engagement frameworks for the care of complex and hard to engage mental health clients.
  2. Critically examine integrative mental health care policies and frameworks that can be used to plan and manage the care of mental health clients with complex and chronic illnesses.
  3. Consider the relevance and utility of models and frameworks that can be applied in mental nursing contexts to innovate services and care.
  4. Appraise observational and interventional methods that can be applied to evolve the efficacy of workplace culture in mental health care settings.
  5. Consider professional strategies that involve the use of nursing voice and advocacy to influence mental health care and mental health nursing.
  6. Create comprehensive and evidence-based mental health nursing care plans and interventions across a range of complex care situations and workplace contexts.


  • On-line discussions x 2 (500 words each) (20%)
  • Case study (2,000 words) (35%)
  • Written essay (2,500 words) (35%)
  • Interaction and participation in communication workshops (10%) (Hurdle)

Workload requirements

12 hours per week - online and self-directed.

This is primarily an online unit; plus two days of interactive workshops on-campus.

Detail: Students will be expected to log on each week undertake several hours of direct work and further hours of indirect, personal work, to a total of 12 hours.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study