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NUR3599 Clinical C: Nursing Care for Mental Health

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Fraser Coast
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Nursing and Midwifery
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Julie Martyn
Moderator: Rhonda Dawson


Pre-requisite: NUR1140 and NUR1200 and NUR2099 and NUR2199 and NUR 2000 and NUR2200 and Students must be enrolled in Program: BNUR

Other requisites

Recommended Prior Study: NUR2100 & NSC2500


Present-day mental health nursing practice for Registered Nurses is situated within a variety of health-care settings. Clients with mental illness are part of the greater community and therefore may have contact with a diversity of primary, secondary and tertiary health care settings where they may require more than general health care. As such it is important to familiarize students with a breadth of clinical experiences, which reflect such diversity to develop skills, attributes and behaviours appropriate to the care of clients with mental illness. Communication practices, mental status assessment, timely intervention skills and collaboration within the multidisciplinary mental health care team are key competencies of Registered Nurses working within these settings. This course will provide students with the opportunity to plan, practice and evaluate care for individuals, families and communities whilst under the supervision of Health Care Professionals and in a multidisciplinary team.


Students will complete 160 hours of clinical practice in either a primary, secondary or tertiary health care setting directed to the care of Mental Health clients. Student placements may include rural and remote hospitals, tertiary hospitals, acute inpatient facilities within general hospital settings, community health care centres, correctional facilities, aged care mental health facilities, and drug rehabilitation centres. The course will provide facilitated or preceptored clinical placement opportunities for students to demonstrate competency as assessed in the Clinical Performance Evaluation Tool which partially fulfils requirements of the National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse. This clinical course facilitates the transfer of skills and knowledge gained in other courses into hands-on delivery of care in the diverse settings of Mental Health Care. Students will be expected to integrate pre and co-requisite theory, such as NUR2200: Mental Health Nursing; NUR2199: Clinical Practice AA: and NSC2500 Pharmacology and Pathophysiology for Nurses to augment clinical knowledge and experience to demonstrate holistic, culturally appropriate and effective mental health nursing practice.. Strategies are guided by the Standards of Practice for Australian Mental Health Nursing (ACMHN 2010) as a framework for decision making. Conceptual and professional development will be facilitated through critical reflective processes and the identification and implementation of evidenced based practice.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Conduct clinical practice, which can be ethically justified and is within scope of practice and in accordance with legislation (Queensland Mental Health Act 2000) and common law (ANMC Competency 1 and 2, and 10)
  2. Critically reflect on mental health practice and identify opportunities for further personal and/or professional development (ANMC Competency 4)
  3. Demonstrate a commitment to, and application of "best practice, using an Evidenced Based Practice and quality framework, in response to the client?s mental health needs (ANMC Competency 3)
  4. Demonstrate, integrate and apply a sound knowledge of the pathophysiology, pharmacology and nursing care related to major mental illness by proposing and demonstrating safe and effective nursing practices during clinical placements. (ANMC Competency 3, 5, 6, 7)
  5. Demonstrate the ability to critically analyse mental health events and intervene appropriately to plan, implement and evaluate safe and appropriate nursing care for clients experiencing compromised health by using effective clinical reasoning strategies, incorporating evidenced-based practice (ANMC Competency 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10)
  6. Demonstrate appropriate professional communication in written and oral forms, through shift handovers, reflective case review, written documentation, , telephone and face-to-face communication with clients, families and other health professionals (ANMC Competency 8, 9, 10)
  7. Undertake accurate and comprehensive holistic assessments, and mental state examinations for clients with mental health issues (ANMC Competency 5)


Description Weighting(%)
  1. Mental health status exam
  2. Effective communication strategies for clients with mental illness
  3. Communication practices within the multidisciplinary team
  4. Critical reflective case review
  5. Provision of evidenced based mental health care

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. (

  • Edwards K, Munro I, Robins A, & Welch A 2011, Mental Health Nursing - Dimensions of Praxis, Oxford, Sydney, Australia.
  • USQ 2012, Instructional Guide 2012, Course NUR3599 Clinical C including Clinical Evaluation Tool, Clinical Workbook and Critical reflective case review, USQ Publication, Toowoomba.

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.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Case Studies 4.00
Clinical Placement 160.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
CLIN EVAL & TIME SHEET 1 80 17 Jul 2012 (see note 1)
INTERIM EVALUATION REPORT 1 1 17 Jul 2012 (see note 2)
REFLECTIVE CASE REVIEW 1 19 17 Jul 2012 (see note 3)

  1. Due date and submission of the Final Clinical Evaluation Tool and Time Sheet will be one (1) weeks after completion of the clinical placement.
  2. Due date and submission of the Interim Evaluation Tool will be at the completion of 2 weeks or 10 clinical shifts.
  3. Due date and submission of Case Based Review will be one (1) week after the completion of the clinical placement.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to : (a) attend 100% of the clinical placement period (160 hours) within the assigned weeks which have been allocated through the SONIA placement system. (b) attend all shifts as allocated at the beginning of the clinical placement by the preceptor or mentor ( these may involve day shifts, evening shifts, night shifts, weekend shifts and public holidays). Changes to rostered shifts will only be considered for extremely extenuating circumstances and will require explicit permission from the mentor/preceptor and the course examiner in consulation . (c)attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them as part of this practicum either on campus or at the clinical venue including orientation, briefing sessions, debriefing sessions, tutorials or inservice. (d) be informed of course-related activities and administration (e) access and obtain all material provided to complete course objectives and activities.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete the Clinical Performance Evaluation Tool and Timesheet satisfactorily, students must obtain a mark of 1. To achieve a mark of 1, students must complete 100% attendance in the allocated time and submit a completed timesheet and achieve each of the competencies to a satisfactory (S) level.

    To complete the Interim Evaluation Report satisfactorily, students must obtain a mark of 1. To achieve a mark of 1, students must obtain the signature of the preceptor/mentor on the clinical Interim Evaluation and submit this to the examiner within 2 days after completing 10 shifts of the clinical practice and receive a satisfactory review.

    To complete the Reflective Case Review satisfactorily, students must obtain a mark of 1. To achieve a mark of 1, students must fulfil outlined criteria stated in the course materials on StudyDesk.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit required assignments late without the approval of the examiner they can expect to be given a score of 0 for the workbook and clinical evaluation tool. A Fail grade for the course will then result.

  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 and achieve a mark of 1 available for Clinical Performance Evaluation Tool and Timesheet, Reflective Case Review and Interim Evaluation Report.

    As P is the only passing grade available for this course, all students who are qualified for a passing grade will be given a grade of P. Other students will be given either a Failing grade or an Incomplete grade.

    Note that a conceded pass is not available in this course due to accreditation requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    As P is the only passing grade available for this course, all students who are qualified for a passing grade will be given a grade of P. Other students will be given either a Failing grade or an Incomplete grade.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no exainations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations. There is no supplementary clinical time. The objectives for clinical practice must be satisfactorily completed within the allocated time or a failed grade will result.

  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. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. If requested, students will be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request being made.

  2. 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.

  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. The Faculty will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile.

  6. Students need to be conversant with and will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course.

  7. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  8. 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.

Other requirements

  1. Students of clinical courses must submit the following documents to the Faculty Office by the due date which is set for the current semester by the Director of clinical Schools or a clinical placement cannot be offered. These documents include : (A) Current CPR Certification (B) Completion of the Queensland Health Orientation. (C) submission of the Hepatitis B titre declaration & titre results. (D) suitability for Working with Children (Blue Card). Failure to adhere to submission of all required documentation by the due date will result in the student being unable to attend a clinical placement and a failed grade in the course.