NRS222 Essential Nursing Care: Mental Health Nursing (8)

Guided by recovery principles, a strengths-based framework and appreciation of trauma informed care, students will be introduced to the lived experience of mental illness considering especially the perspectives of consumers of mental health services and their carers. Students will critically appraise the biomedical model of health care in its contributions to understandings of the genesis, experience and useful interventions for those experiencing mental health problems (for distance education students this will involve a 1 day residential school). Legal and ethical considerations pertinent for working with people experiencing such issues will be examined. Students will also consider the impact of complex health situations (e.g. co-existing conditions) and how these affect people from culturally diverse backgrounds.This will equip students to provide nursing care founded on a therapeutic alliance with those experiencing mental health problems and utilising contemporary evidence informed approaches and will be supported by 80 hours of workplace experience.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Bathurst Campus
Dubbo Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *
Bathurst Campus
Session 3 (90)
Online *
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: NRS222. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health

Enrolment Restrictions

Only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing course and Bachelor of Nursing - Graduate Diploma of Clinical Practice (Paramedic).


( NRS121 and NRS123 ) or NRS293

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe and apply the principles involved in providing person-centred and culturally competent care for all individuals experiencing mental health issues (aligns with Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse: 1.2, 2.3, 2.4, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 7.7, 8.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 10.3).
  • be able to identify the key mental health disorders/illnesses and describe their prevalence, clinical features, treatments, co existing health issues and nursing interventions; (NMBA 1.2, 2.5, 2.6, 4.1, 5.3, 7.1, 7.2, 7.4, 8.1, 8.2, 9.4).
  • be able to select, apply and demonstrate mental health nursing skills and interventions used in the care of individuals experiencing mental ill health in a wide range of health care settings, including but not limited to psychosocial. risk and mental status assessments (NMBA 1.2, 2.2, 2.5, 2.6, 3.5, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 7.4, 8.1, 8.2, 9.2).
  • be able to describe and explain pharmaceutical and treatments utilised for different mental health illness/ disorders and nursing considerations with same (NMBA 1.2, 2.5, 2.6, 4.1, 5.3, 7.1, 7.2, 7.4, 8.1, 8.2, 9.4).
  • be able to describe and explain the ethical considerations and legal frameworks used in mental health nursing practice (NMBA 1.1, 1.3, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 4.4).


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module 1: Understanding Mental Health Issues: History and contexts of the experience of mental health issues and their relationship to current practice; Models of care in mental health (Bio-medical, recovery principles, trauma-informed); Consumer and carer challenges living with mental health issues; Mental health issues across the life-span, characteristics and prevalence at different ages and life stages; Stigma and stereotyping and social determinants of mental health issues; Role of diagnostic classifications and limitations; Role of significant organisational bodies
  • Module 2: Mental Health Assessment and Management: Comprehensive mental health assessment including mental state examination, substance use, physical and medical, trauma and discussion of other risk assessment/diagnostic tools; Risk assessment including suicide and aggression or violence risk, and audits including risk to self, risk to others, risk from/of others; Nursing interventions used in provision of mental health services ? legal frameworks, somatic interventions (pharmacology, ECT, and emergent surgical approaches) and psychotherapeutic approaches; The role/experience of general registered nurses with mental health issues in non-specialist settings, their nature and helpful nursing approaches in primary, secondary and tertiary environments; Mental health promotion, prevention, early interventions, illness interventions and recovery strategies.
  • Module 3: Mental Health Illness, Treatments and Nursing Interventions: Disorders in the perinatal period; Disorders of Childhood; Disorders of Youth; Disorders of Adulthood; Disorders of the Elderly
  • Module 4: Complexities and Co-existing Issues: Mental health challenges for those with developmental disability and implications for nursing practice in a range of settings; Co-existing physical ill-health; Forensic mental health; Substance related disorders; Indigenous Australian Mental Health; Cultural considerations for culturally and linguistically diverse populations in the provision of nursing care for mental health issues; Rural Mental Health
  • Module 5: Working with Mental Health Services: Caring for oneself- clinical supervision, mentoring, critical self-reflection and other strategies to maintain personal well-being and effective practice; Professional, Workforce and Service standards; Challenges of working with non-traditional workforces including peer support workers and non-government organisations; Specialist mental health professional/disciplines including specialist nursing roles in provision of mental health care. Working inter-professionally with shared scopes of practice; Advocacy models: opportunities and responsibilities.

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 10 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

Students will be placed in workplaces with a strong focus on mental health in order to develop their understanding of this area of nursing care.

Residential School

This subject contains a 1 day Compulsory Residential School.

For distance education this subject will be supported by a 1 day residential school. This will include tutorials, group work and assessment of students through Simulation and will be timetabled to attach to the residential school of NRS221 which the majority of students will also be enrolled in.

Special Resources

Distance Education students will be required to travel to a residential school.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.