Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Advanced Mental Health Nursing Practice

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Mental Health

DESCRIPTION The unit assists students to understand how nurses can respond effectively to the diverse needs of patients with mental health problems in an effective manner. Hence students will be encouraged to utilise and apply evidence-based practice in mental health nursing as nurses should be able to argue the evidence for specific nursing interventions. Moreover the critical analysis of evidence-based practice in mental health nursing as a concept provides a means of accountability for the nurse. This unit will also examine the assessment and treatment planning practices for advanced practice nurses. Components of the unit include advanced assessment skills, diagnostic decision-making, judicious ordering, reading and interpretation of pathology and radiology tests, prioritization, advanced psychopharmacology from an applied nursing perspective, intervention and referral skills. Supervision is provided by a clinical supervisor and a multidisciplinary clinical panel who can support the student.

Study-unit Aims:

To enable students to explore, critique and implement evidence based practice in advanced mental health nursing; to function in a leadership capacity and demonstrate clinical efficacy as a member of a psychiatric multi-disciplinary team.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Systematically apply evidence from research findings to answer clinical questions, solve clinical problems, and develop innovative nursing interventions for diverse patient populations;

Apply knowledge of advanced clinical application of psychopharmacology and quality use of medicine knowledge, thus providing them with the skills and attitudes necessary to function as leading nursing practitioners in the field;

Critically evaluate and respond professionally to the unique needs of each individual patient.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Conduct advanced nursing practice within an ethical-legal framework and guided by professional regulations, and standards of practice associated with a mental health nursing area of practice;

Examine and formulate management strategies after integrating conceptual frameworks of relevance such as cultural/ethnic, developmental, neurobiological, familiar and social;

Demonstrate advanced mental health nursing skills in planning, implementing and evaluating mental health nursing care for people with mental disorders;

Develop personal skills in dealing with difficult to manage patients requiring psychotropic medications

Teach the application of clinically based psychopharmacological knowledge to junior and peer nurses.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Barker, P (Ed) (2009) Psychiatric and mental health nursing: the craft of caring (2nd edition) Arnold and Sons. London.

Gauwitz, D (2007) Administering medications: pharmacology for health carers (6th edition) Career Education. USA.

Hales, R. Shahroch, NC. Schatzberg, AF. & Nemeroff, CB. (Eds) (2009) Psychopharmacology: Study Guide to Psychopharmacology: a Companion to the American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology. American, Psychiatric Publishing. USA.

O'Brien, P.G.,Kennedy, W.Z., & Ballard, K.A. (2007). Psychiatric mental health nursing: An introduction to theory and practice.

Pavuluri, MN. & Janicak, PG. (2008) Handbook of Psychopharmacotherapy: A Life-Span Approach. (2nd Edition) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. USA.

Rose, M & Best, D (2005), Transforming Practice through Clinical Education and Professional Supervision and Mentoring, Elsevier, Churchill Livingstone: Sydney.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM2 Yes 30%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 70%

LECTURER/S Ritienne Darmanin
Christie Attard
Maria Bezzina Xuereb
Galea Roberta Chetcuti
Stephen Demicoli
Paulann Grech
Lara Huber
Christine Lofaro
Alexei Sammut
Charles Scerri
Pauline Claire Zammit

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.