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MHN5120 Advanced Mental Health Nursing 1

Semester 1, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Nursing and Midwifery
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Don Gorman
Moderator: Coralie Graham


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in the following Program: MMHN.


Mental health nurses need to understand the theoretical basis for their practice and be able to relate this understanding to clients from a range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. As well, mental health nurses need to be able to communicate with their colleagues in the multi/inter disciplinary teams. Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) is the model of classification taught in this course as it is widely used in mental health services.


This course has two modules. The first will introduce students to complementary theoretical perspectives used in mental health nursing including Peplau's theory of interpersonal relationships, the behaviourist perspective, the cognitive approach, the psychoanalytic perspective, and the humanist perspective. Students will be encouraged to apply these theories directly to practice.

The second module of this course will relate these theories to mental health nurses' understanding of mental illnesses.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. use the ACMHN Standards of Practice for Australian Mental Health Nurses and the National Practice Standards for Mental Health as a framework for their clinical practice
  2. use Peplau's theory of interpersonal relationships as the basis for establishing partnerships with clients as the working basis for a therapeutic relationship
  3. use a range of theoretical frameworks including the recovery model, behaviourist perspective, cognitive approaches, psychoanalytic and the humanist
  4. use the DSM model of classification of mental illness in clinical practice
  5. assess and care for a person experiencing a mental illness
  6. promote culturally and linguistically appropriate care using specific mental health nursing strategies in the least restrictive environment with clients from across the lifespan (Essay - Theoretical Perspectives in MHN, Essay - Case Study of a Client, Clinical);


Description Weighting(%)
1. Theoretical Perspectives: Peplau's theory of interpersonal relationships & the therapeutic relationship, Psychoanalytic theory, Behaviourist, Cognitive theory, Humanism, ACMHN Standards of Practice for Australian Mental Health Nurse 50.00
2. Mental Illness, Nursing's Perspective, DSMIV, DSMIV axes. 50.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc 2010, Standards of Practice for Australian Mental Health Nurses 2010, ACMHN, Canberra.
  • Happell, B, Cowin, L, Roper, C, Foster, K & McMaster, R 2008, Introducing mental health nursing: A consumer-oriented approach, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest.
  • Sadock, BJ & Sadock, VA 2007, Kaplan and Sadocks's synopsis of psychiatry: behavioral sciences/clinical psychiatry, 10th edn, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore.
  • Sadock, BJ & Sadock, VA 2007, Study guide and self-examination review for Kaplan and Sadocks's synopsis of psychiatry, 8th edn, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • American Psychiatric Association 2000, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders DSM-IV-TR, 4th edn, American Psychiatric Association, Washington.
  • Corsini, R & Wedding, D (Eds) 2011, Current psychotherapies, 9th edn, Thomson Brooks/Cole, Belmont, California.
  • Marriner-Tomey, A 2001, Nursing theorists and their work, 5th edn, CV Mosby, St Louis.
  • Stuart, G & Laraia, M 2005, Principles and practice of psychiatric nursing, 8th edn, Mosby, St Louis.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 56.00
Private Study 104.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 27% of the marks available for each item (ESSAY THEORETICAL PERSP IN MHN, ESSAY CASE STUDY OF A CLIENT) which indicates that they have achieved the objectives assessed on the assessment item at an appropriate level as determined by the Examiner based on the Examiner's best professional judgement.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval then a penalty of 1 Equivalence Point gained by the student for the assignment will apply for each working day late.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of a pass in this course students must submit each assessment item, achieve an aggregated of 50% of the marks available for the assessments (ESSAY THEORETICAL PERSP IN MHN, ESSAY CASE STUDY OF A CLIENT).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receiving a request from the Examiner to do so.

  3. The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. The Faculty will normally only accept assessments that have been written, typed or printed on paper-based media.

  5. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.