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NUR3599 Mental Health Care in Practice

Semester 2, 2021 Toowoomba On-campus
Short Description: Mental Health Care in Practice
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Nursing and Midwifery
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 060305 - Mental Health Nursing
Grading basis : Pass/Not Pass


Examiner: Rhonda Dawson


Pre-requisite: NUR2200 and (NUR2299 or NUR2399)


Mental health is an important health issue worldwide. An estimated 20% of Australians experience symptoms of a mental disorder each year. Most of us will experience mental health challenges at some point in our lives. Mental health concerns transcend all areas of practice; however, increasingly individuals living with mental illnesses are living well within communities. In this course students will have the opportunity to care for individuals, families, and groups whose lives have been impacted by mental illness. Emphasis will be placed on contemporary nursing and evidence based practice in a simulated and health practice environment.


In NUR3599 students will develop their professional interactions, therapeutic relationships and nursing care practices associated with caring for individuals, families and significant others in simulation and practice settings in community or mental health environments. The mental health needs of inpatients and groups requiring a specialised approach such as child and youth, older people, people from rural and isolated areas, indigenous and cultural diverse populations and the homeless will be explored. Students will develop critical thinking and clinical decision making within these types of clinical and simulated environments. The aim of NUR3599 Mental Health in Practice is to develop skills introduced in courses and to apply knowledge obtained from past or concurrent theoretical courses. Students are required to be reflective about their clinical practice experiences for both their professional development and lifelong learning journey.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competency towards the NMBA competency standards of practice under the supervision of a Registered Nurse
  2. Demonstrate awareness of an individual's unique values, beliefs, customs and culture which provide the framework for that individual's experience of health, illness, or death.
  3. Utilise systematic data collection, effective clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice to critically analyse events and intervene appropriately to plan, implement and evaluate safe and appropriate nursing care, including patient and family education in mental health simulation and clinical practice.
  4. Critically reflect on personal and community attitudes to people with a mental illness, incorporating mental health promotion and recovery principles in simulation and clinical practice.
  5. Explore and apply legal and ethical issues in caring for people with a mental illness, including documentation and therapeutic communications.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to analyse events and to intervene appropriately commensurate with a second year level student to plan, implement and evaluate safe and appropriate care for individuals with common mental health disorders, and related symptomatology within interdisciplinary teams.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Clinical practice in a simulated environment of mental health scenarios including nursing care and decision making related to health assessment and collaborative care planning, medication administration, patient education and care of the individual with a mental health illness 40.00
2. Clinical practice in a health care setting in accordance with NMBA standards of practice for a Registered Nurse with specific knowledge, skill and application in a community or acute mental health setting 30.00
3. Therapeutic communication strategies for use with clients and the health care team including professional communication and contemporaneous documentation. 20.00
4. Professional scope of practice including safe and appropriate culturally sensitive care: legal and ethical boundaries of care 10.00

Text and Materials

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. (

Berman. A., Snyder. S. J., Levett-Jones. T., Burton. P., & Harvey. N (2017), Skills in clinical nursing, 8th edn, Pearson.
Brotto. V., & Rafferty. K (2019), Clinical dosage calculations for Australia and New Zealand, 3rd edn, Cengage.
Levett-Jones. T., & Bourgeois. S (2018), The clinical placement, 4th edn, Churchill Livingstone.
Tollefson. J (2019), Clinical psychomotor skills: Assessment tools for nursing students, 7th edn, Thomson Learning Australia Pty Ltd.

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.
Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (2010), Standards of practice for Australian mental health nursing,
Commonwealth of Australia (2010), The national standards for mental health services,
Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia (NMBA) (2016), Registered Nurse Standards for Practice, Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia,
Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia (NMBA) (2017), Code of ethics for nurses in Australia, Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia,
Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia (NMBA) (2018), Code of conduct for nurses in Australia, Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia,
Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia (NMBA) 2016, Registered Nurse Standards for Practice, Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia,
The State of Queensland, Queensland Health (2008), Queensland plan for mental health 2007 – 2017,

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 5.00
Clinical Experience 120.00
Directed Study 40.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
ANSAT Final ClinicalEvaluation 1 25 05 Nov 2021 1,2,3,4,5 (see note 1)
ANSAT Interim Clinical Eval 1 25 05 Nov 2021 1,2,3,4,5 (see note 2)
Clinical Reflection 1 25 05 Nov 2021 (see note 3)
Clinical Timesheet 1 25 05 Nov 2021 1 (see note 4)

  1. All other assessment items are to be signed by student and preceptor/facilitator and submitted electronically within 7 days after the student has completed the clinical placement.
  2. Interim Evaluation is to be signed by student and preceptor/facilitator and submitted electronically within 2 days after the student has completed 10 clinical shifts.
  3. Refer to ANSAT Final Clinical Evaluation notes
  4. Refer to ANSAT Final Clinical Evaluation notes

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and 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. Students MUST attend 100% of the clinical placement hours required for the course.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve 100% of the marks (mark of 1) for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must submit all assessment items and achieve 100% (a mark of 1) for each assessment item and satisfactorily complete the Clinical Experience.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course. Note that a conceded pass is not available in this course due to accreditation requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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. There is no supplementary clinical time. If unforeseen circumstances occur resulting in incomplete hours in relation to the placement, deferred clinical participation may be granted in accordance with the USQ compelling and compassionate circumstances policy or in the event of a facility closure or relocation at the discretion of placement availability and suitability with respect to course objectives. Other than when compelling and compassionate circumstances are evident, the objectives for clinical practice must be satisfactorily completed within the allocated time or a failed grade will result.

  2. Students have signed to acknowledge understanding of, and a commitment to, abiding by the Professional Experience Placement Declaration Guide. The student directions outlined within this guide must be followed and complied by students. Failure to meet the student obligations as outlined within the USQ Clinical Placement Declaration guide, relating to professional conduct whilst on placement, may result in the termination of the clinical placement and a fail grade.

  3. American Psychological Association (APA) is the referencing system required in this course. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA referencing style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. These policies can be found at

Evaluation and Benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways.
This course:

  1. Conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
  2. Forms part of the Bachelor of Nursing and is benchmarked against internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.
  3. Forms part of the professional accreditation standards of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) through an external accreditation process.

Other Requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Mandatory Documents
    Students of clinical courses must submit the following mandatory documents to InPlace by the date given for the Professional Placement Office to allocate the current semester's clinical placement or a clinical placement will not be offered. To complete these documents go to the Mandatory Documents information on the Professional Practice Hub Study Desk (PPHub) and upload all forms to InPlace by the date specified each semester.

    Working with Children check (6-12 weeks to obtain)
    Pre filled application from the PPHub MUST be used to apply
    All QLD applications MUST go through the Professional Placement Office and sent to Blue Card
    See the Mandatory Documents List on PPHub for other state WWC links
    Upload: Copy of WWC card OR QLD students ONLY can provide APHRA registration instead

    Australian Police Certificate
    3 year expiry
    There is a list of acceptable providers on the PPHub
    Upload: Copy of certificate

    USQ Student Declaration
    Document is located on the last page of the Professional Practice Handbook
    Upload: Signed and witnessed Signature page at the commencement of each academic year

    CPR Certificate (2- 3 weeks to obtain)
    Must be renewed each year
    Must be nationally accredited hands on training course
    Upload: Copy of certificate

    Queensland Health Student Orientation Requirements
    Submit evidence only once
    Not required from GUC students (WA)
    Upload: Student Orientation Checklist (2 pages)
    Upload: Deed Poll (Signature page only)

    Queensland Health iLearn Certificates
    5 Certificates must be renewed annually
    Not required from GUC (WA) or Tasmania Students
    Upload: Copy of each certificate

    Upload: USQ branded VPD form
    An accelerated Hepatitis B vaccination process (under 4 months) will NOT BE ACCEPTED
    Influenza vaccination must be obtained at the start of flu season each year (usually April) and must be for the flu season for that year
    Upload: Evidence of date of injection
    Tuberculosis Risk Assessment form
    Complete and submit prior to your first placement
    Upload: Completed TB Risk Assessment form and evidence of clearance if required

Date printed 8 November 2021