Mental Health Nursing Courses

Find the best Mental Health Nursing Courses

Mental Health Nursing Courses overview

Mental health nurses care for conditions ranging from emotional difficulties to mental disorders. They are an invaluable resource to sufferers of psychosis, depression, bipolar disorder and a variety of other conditions ranging in severity. Postgraduate study equips students with advanced knowledge of interpersonal nursing in mental health, clinical practice, leadership in health contexts, clinical judgement and more depending on the extent of their chosen program.

Evidence of mental health treatment has been dated back to Marcus Tullius Cicero, Consul of the Roman Republic. The ancient leader would use biographical information and questionnaires to determine the nature of a patient’s mental condition and administer optimal treatment. Advances continued as the centuries wore on, with ‘lunatic wards’ gaining prominence in the 18th century US, giving way to more sophisticated psychiatry in the years to come.

Modern mental health nurses conduct themselves with respect and dignity for patients, remembering their humanity first and foremost. They utilise state of the art theory and medical practice for the benefit of all concerned.

Is mental health nursing for me?

Postgraduate study is ideal for licensed nurses wishing to specialise in the sensitive field of mental health. It’s for those with empathy for friends or family who might suffer from conditions ranging from stress to debilitating genetic conditions. If you’re a patient, respectful nurse with the will to learn more about mental health and apply it to a meaningful career, this could be for you.

Study pathway

Mental health nursing can be taken up to master level, with graduate certificates and diplomas being available for shorter study periods.

Graduate certificates allow students to gain focussed, clinical experience. Programs from the University of Wollongong and Griffith University exemplify this, providing knowledge in essential skills, legal practice, mental health care philosophy and more over a six-month full time study period. These programs are unlike diplomas and master programs in that those without prior nursing qualifications can be permitted entry.

Graduate diplomas are for nurses wishing to specialise in a succinct timeframe, taking one year of full time study to complete or longer if part time. Programs from the University of Sydney and similar offer an array of units in context-based mental illness, managing mental health, simulation-based learning, interprofessional engagement and more. Entry requirements are tight, requiring applicants to either hold a nursing degree or graduate certificate in mental health nursing.

Master degrees provide extensive knowledge of mental health nursing, taking one and a half to two years of full time study to complete. Institutions like the University of Queensland provide units in mental health nursing practice, core skills, knowledge and the application of these. Students are also required to undergo research in some programs, but not all; the University of Melbourne offers an advanced program that focuses entirely on clinical practice and advanced therapeutic skills.

Employment options

Mental health nurses can find employment at a variety of different institutions. The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses is the premier organisation for the proper administration of mental health nursing across the country. They provide professional accreditation and networking opportunities for mental health nurses, making professional support readily available throughout the network.

Postgraduate mental health nursing students are able to enrol with this organisation at a significant discount; they are recommended to strongly consider this option, as it will give them legitimacy as mental health practitioners and improve employment opportunities in hospitals and clinics across the country.

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Edith Cowan University (ECU)

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Australian College of Nursing (ACN)

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Edith Cowan University (ECU)

Discover courses, get advice from staff, watch demos and enjoy music, food and games.