Course structure

Course structure

To gain the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing Practice you must complete 100 points comprised of:

  • Six 12.5 credit point core subjects
  • Two 6.25 credit point core subjects
  • 1 elective subject.
SubjectPoints
Core subjects
Specialist Mental Health Nursing 12.5

Specialist Mental Health Nursing

This subject is designed to provide the theoretical foundation for entry into specialist mental health nursing practice. Students will explore the legal, policy and ethical frameworks, within which mental health care is provided. Students will extend their understanding of bio-psycho-social factors, related to mental health and illness and to the nosology within diagnostic structures of psychiatry.


Detailed Information NURS90077
Type Core
Assessment in Mental Health Nursing 12.5

Assessment in Mental Health Nursing

This subject is designed to develop assessment skills for beginning specialist mental health nursing practice. Skills from Mental Health Nursing 1 will be incorporated with specialist communication skills. Consumer and family perspectives of needs, health and illness will be integrated in the processes of assessment and the investigation of models of care in multi-disciplinary settings. This specialist knowledge will be applied to nursing assessment and care planning, relevant to the range of high- and low-prevalence diagnostic groupings.


Detailed Information NURS90078
Type Core
Psychopharmacology 12.5

Psychopharmacology

This subject will provide students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge of medications used in psychiatry and to examine the role of the psychiatric nurse in psychopharmacological treatments. The subject allows students to develop clinical skills in relevant assessments and interventions for clients receiving psychiatric medication.


Detailed Information NURS90012
Type Core
Consumer Perspective: Theory & Practice 12.5

Consumer Perspective: Theory & Practice

This subject aims to extend participants foundational knowledge to support the development of clinical skills and expertise related to consumer participation in treatment and consumer involvement in mental health service delivery and review. The subject focuses on current State and Commonwealth directives supporting consumer participation in treatment and in service reform activities; consumer rights, and explores models of care that can enhance the consumer's involvement in treatment. The subject would be relevant for healthcare practitioners from nursing and allied health disciplines interested in consumer perspectives and participation in health and health services.


Detailed Information NURS90018
Type Core
Advanced Therapeutic Skills 12.5

Advanced Therapeutic Skills

This subject is designed to provide the theoretical and practical foundation for entry level therapeutic practice in specialist mental health nursing practice. Students will extend their understanding of the triggering and sustaining factors in psychological and social distress and crisis, associated with mental health and illness. Students will attain knowledge of evidence based therapies and associated interpersonal nursing strategies and skills. The specialist knowledge will be applied to therapeutic nursing interventions, relevant to the range of high- and low-prevalence diagnostic groupings.


Detailed Information NURS90093
Type Core
Mental Health Nursing Practice 1 6.25

Mental Health Nursing Practice 1

In this subject students will apply theoretical principles in Assessment in Mental Health Nursing to support comprehensive patient assessment, monitoring and care planning in specialty nursing practice. Students will apply current legal, ethical and policy frameworks to their practice. Students will learn to incorporate knowledge and evidence of bio-psycho-social factors influencing patient outcomes, to inform their clinical decision making in practice.


Detailed Information NURS90101
Type Core
Mental Health Nursing Practice 2 6.25

Mental Health Nursing Practice 2

In this subject students will apply theoretical principles in Assessment in Mental Health Nursing and the skills from Mental Health Nursing Practice 1 to support comprehensive patient assessment, monitoring and care planning in specialty nursing practice. Students will continue to apply current legal, ethical and policy frameworks to their practice. Students will continue to incorporate knowledge and evidence of bio-psycho-social factors influencing patient outcomes to inform their clinical decision making in practice and demonstrate clinical leadership skills.


Detailed Information NURS90119
Type Core
Evidence in Practice 12.5

Evidence in Practice

This subject is designed to meet the needs of nurses and other clinically-based healthcare professionals seeking further education in identifying and critically appraising research as evidence to inform their clinical practice. The subject aims to facilitate the development of knowledge and skills that will allow students to incorporate reliable and trustworthy evidence into their clinical decision making.


Detailed Information NURS90120
Type Core
Elective subjects
Clinical Teaching and Preceptorship 12.5

Clinical Teaching and Preceptorship

This subject provides the learner with the skills and knowledge t provide and apply learning support systems in the clinical workplace. A variety of learning support models are explored and discussed including: mentorship, clinical teaching, clinical supervision and preceptorship. The major themes of the subject are the learning organisation, principles and practices of teaching, learning and assessing in the clinical practice with particular importance on providing learner feedback, the preceptor-preceptee relationship and creating a supportive learning environment.


Detailed Information NURS90010
Type Elective
Community Mental Health (not available in 2019) 12.5

Community Mental Health (not available in 2019)

This subject provides theoretical foundations for best practice in community-based mental health nursing. The focus of the subject is on role and function of the psychiatric nurse in the delivery of recovery focused care and treatment in a range of community settings. The subject emphasises the development of knowledge and skills required to organise and implement care of the seriously mentally ill across the lifespan, and introduces students to a variety of community resources and services necessary for the provision of immediate crisis, short term and ongoing care of the seriously mentally ill. A focus on recovery oriented care planning, relapse prevention, case management, and psychosocial rehabilitation underpins the core content of the subject. Students will critically examine concepts and principles of psychosocial rehabilitation and various models of community-based mental health care, including partnerships with primary health. The subject emphasises recovery focused approaches to mental health care, where the consumer is at the centre of all aspects of treatment planning and implementation.


Detailed Information NURS90013
Type Elective
Child and Family Health 12.5

Child and Family Health

The focus of this subject is to utilise an ecological approach to understand the importance of family relationships when assessing, planning, and implementing the health care needs of children. The effects of social disadvantage on the child and family will be explored with special emphasis on families of children with special needs.


Detailed Information NURS90025
Type Elective
Health Assessment for Advanced Practice 1 12.5

Health Assessment for Advanced Practice 1

The aim of this subject is to develop advanced health assessment skills in nursing that are relevant to the student’s area of clinical practice.

The subject provides the foundation for the development of health assessment knowledge and skills that are required in order to practice in an advanced practice nursing role.

The subject will explore diagnostic decision making processes taking into consideration factors that impact on health and health assessment outcomes, such as: age, gender, culture, socioeconomic status and life style.


Detailed Information NURS90067
Type Elective
Advanced Nursing Practice in Context 12.5

Advanced Nursing Practice in Context

An exploration of advanced practice, expansion of speciality practice, and the role of the nurse practitioner including the regulatory, professional, ethical and practical influences on scope of practice will be explored. In this context, students will consider the implications of mentorship, clinical supervision and clinical governance models before embarking on a project that expands their own scope of practice.

The focus of the project will be on developing the capacity to apply evidence to nursing assessment and management strategies, developing sophisticated assessment, problem-solving, planning and technical skills for client groups that are specific to their designated specialty. For those students undertaking the NP pathway, the contract will include the development of advanced diagnostic reasoning skills, including the use of relevant diagnostic tools. Project development, implementation and evaluation strategies for the treatment plans that address specific extensions to practice will be incorporated in the project. The assessment, investigation and treatment plans should be client focused (eg. culturally sensitive, socioeconomically relevant, sustainable and negotiated with the client and other members of the health care team.


Detailed Information NURS90072
Type Elective
Applied Pathophysiology 12.5

Applied Pathophysiology

This subject provides a foundation for understanding the pathologic basis of disease across the lifespan.

It equips learners with the knowledge and skills required to explain assessment data and prioritise patient care in a specialty area of practice based on scientific principles.

Core pathophysiological concepts covered will include: cellular responses to stress; adaptation, injury and death; acute and chronic inflammation; tissue renewal and repair; infection; neoplasia; haemodynamic, genetic and immune system disorders and genetic predisposition to disease.

Using a case study based approach, learners will be provided with opportunities to apply their knowledge in one or more of the following specialty areas of nursing practice.


Detailed Information NURS90076
Type Elective
Advanced Trauma Perspectives 12.5

Advanced Trauma Perspectives

This subject critically examines contemporary trauma theories, including psychodynamic, narrative, and anti-oppressive approaches. It explores their application to working with individuals, families and communities in a variety of practice settings.


Detailed Information SCWK90027
Type Elective
Suicide Prevention 12.5

Suicide Prevention

This subject explores the theoretical frameworks and available evidence in the field of suicide prevention, regarding the identification and assessment of suicide-related thoughts and behaviours. The subject will dually focus on theoretical knowledge and skills-based acquisition, with a focus on assessment and interventional strategies that are brief and evidence-informed. The language of suicide and definitional issues that exist within the field of suicidology will be explored, as will the ethical aspects of working clinically and undertaking research with suicidal clients. The impact and contribution of psychosocial issues to suicidal crises will be considered, as will the importance of professionals understanding the meaning of self-harming and suicidal behaviours, from the perspective of those engaging in the behaviours. This subject will primarily focus on the integration of theory and practice in assessing and responding to suicidality in the context of the Australian service system.


Detailed Information HLTH90009
Type Elective
Domestic and Family Violence 12.5

Domestic and Family Violence

This provides foundational knowledge in understanding domestic and family violence (DFV) and the intervention for workers in the human services sector. An analysis which draws from an ecological and a public health framing of the cultural, structural, relational and individual understandings of DFV informs the content of the course. An approach which recognises the gendered patterns of DFV and which also recognises the impact on children of living with violence and abuse provides the parameters of the subject. Issues of diversity will be woven throughout the subject. Specific topics that will be covered include: prevalence and incidence of DFV and what this tells us about children, gender and intersectionality; risk assessment and risk management; accountability for men who use violence; strengthening the mother-child relationship in the aftermath of violence; supporting collaborative inter-agency practice; specific issues for child protection workers; the prevention agenda and strategies for earlier intervention.


Detailed Information HLTH90007
Type Elective

Workload

On average, it is estimated that students will be required to allocate 15-19 hours per week for ‘study’ time for each subject. However, the time commitment required can vary based on individual task management and planning skills, familiarity with the material, reading style and speed. Nurses who have completed an approved graduate year will be able to apply for advanced standing of up to 25 credit points.

Students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing Practice have the opportunity to progress into the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice midway through the graduate diploma (pending academic results).

Entry requirements

Discuss your subjects

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