Mental health content of comprehensive pre-registration nursing curricula in Australia

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McCann, Terence, Moxham, Lorna, Usher, Kim, Crookes, Patrick and Farrell, Gerald (2009) Mental health content of comprehensive pre-registration nursing curricula in Australia. Journal of Research in Nursing, 14 (6). pp. 519-530. ISSN 1744-9871


In 2008 the final report of the Mental Health Nurse Education Taskforce was released. This paper presents the findings of the report’s survey into the mental health content of generic pre-registration nursing curricula in Australia. A questionnaire was sent to all nursing schools providing pre-registration curricula. Results indicate curricula contained a wide range of mental health theory and clinical hours. While the majority of universities incorporated most of the 20 key topics recommended by the Mental Health Nurse Education Taskforce in their courses, few addressed issues such as Indigenous mental health. There was considerable competition for placements between universities, and concern about the quality of some placements. Nurse academics with formal qualifications in mental health and specialist clinical mental health nurses were mainly involved in teaching theory. Specialist mental health clinicians and clinical educators were the key groups engaged in students’ clinical education, and preceptorship was the most common form of clinical supervision. Consumers and carers had limited involvement in the development or provision of mental health content of pre-registration curricula. Greater attention is needed to increasing the mental health content in pre-registration curricula. Furthermore, initiatives should be developed to increase access to clinical placements and reduce competition for places between universities.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1177/1744987109347041
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Historical > FOR Classification > 1110 Nursing
Historical > SEO Classification > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Keywords ResPubID17033, clinical agencies, clinical hours, mental health nursing, pre-registration nursing, curricula theory, hours survey
Citations in Scopus 45 - View on Scopus
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