Module NMA-1201:
Introduction to MH Nursing

Module Facts

Run by School of Health Sciences

40 Credits or 20 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Elizabeth Mason

Overall aims and purpose

To introduce the student to the values and principles which underpin mental health practice, that value diversity and promote recovery. Students will be introduced to the core functions of the mental health nurse in assessment, health care delivery and will consider the factors that influence the development of therapeutic partnerships between health care providers and service users. Students will be introduced to the strategies which support service user expertise and experience in the promotion of mental well-being and recovery.

Course content

• Historical context of mental health care. • Relationship between primary and secondary mental health care provision. • Introduction to legal, ethical and policy context specific to mental health care. • Values based practice and the role and responsibilities of the nurse in a mental health setting • Developing effective therapeutic communication skills. • Use of self in building and maintaining therapeutic relationship and the importance of therapeutic relationships in relation to the use of boundaries. • Protection of vulnerable people including those with complex needs across the lifespan. • Power imbalances between professionals and people experiencing mental health problems. • Understanding mental health, resilience and wellbeing. • Recognising social inequalities, stigma and discrimination that may arise from or contribute to mental health problems. • Person-centred and recovery orientated practice.1000 Lives Plus • Developing and working in partnership with individuals, families, carers, voluntary sector services and other people important to the person experiencing mental health problems. • Collaborative inter professional practice – roles and responsibilities • Advocacy, autonomy and empowerment across health and social care settings. • Introducing frameworks for recognising need and planning care including risk assessment.

Key clinical skills - with application to the person with a mental health problem • Maintaining a safe environment • Eating, drinking, nutrition and hydration • Moving and positioning • Continence promotion – bladder and bowel care • Skin health/wound management • Infection control

• Common and complex conditions – competing perspectives. • Presentation of mental health distress and classification systems. • Bio- psychosocial factors influencing the individual experience of mental health problems. • Understanding bio-psychosocial approaches. • Introduction to psychopharmacology, medicine management and numeracy • The relationship between physical and mental health, wellbeing and distress. • Early and timely intervention.

Assessment Criteria


Excellent understanding of the facts and principles specific to the topics covered in this module, with an ability to apply what is learnt in healthcare practice. This equates to a minimum mark of Grade A- in the Grading Criteria.


Understanding of the facts and principles specific to the topics covered in this module, with an ability to apply what is learnt in healthcare practice. Students will be required to achieve a minimum of D- grade in the assignment to in order to pass the theory component of the module.


Good understanding of the facts and principles specific to the topics covered in this module, with an ability to apply what is learnt in healthcare practice. This equates to a minimum mark of Grade C- in the Grading Criteria.

Learning outcomes

    1. Explore mental health nursing in different contexts, taking into account culture, diversity, groups and the individual across the lifespan;
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of professional, legal and ethical requirements for mental health nursing practice;
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of how professional relationships are built through appropriate communication, information sharing, respect and dignity;
    1. Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills required for safe, compassionate and effective mental health nursing practice;
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of models of health, wellbeing and disability in the context of mental health nursing practice
    1. Demonstrate the numerical skills and ability to perform drug calculations for safe administration of medicines.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY MHTS1 Communication and Empowerment Assignment 100
ESSAY SafeMedicate Exam 0

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Workshops and materials will be presented throughout the module.

Private study

Directed study is used in this module to support your classroom activities.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in


Resource implications for students

Access to internet and access to library

Reading list

Healy, D. (2016). Psychiatric Drugs Explained 6th Edition. London: Churchill Livingstone.

Norman, I. and Ryrie, I. (2013) Editors. The Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing: A textbook of principles and practice 3rd Edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Pilgrim. D, (2017). Key Concepts in Mental Health 4th Edition. London: Sage Publications.

Pryjmachuk, S. (2011) Editor. Mental Health Nursing: An Evidence Based Introduction London: Sage Publications.

Rogers, A. and Pilgrim, D. (2014). Sociology of Mental Health and Illness 5th Edition. Berkshire: Open University Press.

Walker, S. (2014). Engagement and Therapeutic Communication in Mental Health Nursing. London: Sage Publications.