Introduction to Mental Health Nursing


This introductory module explores the role and responsibilities of the mental health nurse in today's mental health system


The aim of this module is to provide the student with an understanding of the role, remit and responsibilites of the mental health nurse. It examines the place of mental health nursing in relation to other fields of nursing and other disciplines, its specific contribution and some of the challenges it faces.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Describe the main roles and responsibilities of the mental health nurse and the role of the student.

2.  Describe the place of mental health nursing in relation to the other fields of nursing and others disciplines working in the field

3.  Explain how the profession emerged, its current position and how it might evolve in the future

4.  Discuss the role of the NMC

5.  Discuss key challenges facing the discipline

6.  Demonstrate an understanding of mental health nursing as an academic discipline providing evidence of competence in core academic skills

Indicative Content

1 Role the MHN and the student

Remit and role: MHN as educator, carer, therapist , advocate. Tensions in the role - MHN as custodian. Scope of professional practice; Staff nurse, Senior charge Nurse, Nurse Director, CMHN, MHN prescribers and nurse consultant. Fields of practice: Adult, Children's Nurse, Learning Disability Nursing and Midwifery.

2 MHN and other disciplines

Role of psychiatrist, social worker, AHP, peer workers and psychologist - similarities and differences. Team working, multidisciplinary and inter-disciplinary working.

3 History of the profession

Attendants to nurses, custodians and therapeutic agents.

4 The NMC

Role and functions, regulating the profession,setting standards maintaining the register, public protection. Fitness to practice , good health and good character. The Code

5 Challenges facing the profession

The future of MHN - generalism and specialism. Does mental health need mental health nurses? the contribution of MHN - where is the evidence? Working alongside psychiatry, experts by experience and colleagues from different professional backgrounds. Tension between therapy, care and custodialism, recovery and cure. Social media and nursing . Digital and E-Health health. Care assurance, patient safety and quality improvement.

6 MHN as an academic discipline

Introduction to using databases, information technology and library skills, how to reference academic work, academic writing skills; retrieving information, literature searching.Referencing and using RefWorks. Reading and making sense of research. Evidence based practice,

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The module is delivered by lecture and tutorial with additional sessions facilitated using the discussion boards on blackboard. A range of resources are used to introduce the notion of multi disciplinary and interdisciplinary work and the ideas of co-production, stakeholder and partnership work.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Supervised Practical Activity 6
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 20
Independent 150

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/20 , and may be subject to change for future years.