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The Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing is a 36-unit course offered by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Admission requirements

Applicants must be registered general nurses or registered mental health/psychiatric nurses, hold an approved degree or equivalent qualification from an approved tertiary institution and hold a current practising certificate. However, the Faculty Board may, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature. 

Course aims

The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge, clinical skills and competencies in the field of mental health nursing, making them eligible to seek employment in mental health nursing settings.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of the course all students will be expected to be able to:

  • meet the requirements for employment in mental health nursing settings
  • evaluate and apply the best available evidence on which to base mental health nursing practice with individuals, families and communities
  • analyse and critique current trends in the delivery of client-centered mental health nursing care
  • identify and critically analyse the social, political and economic issues in the wider health care system and review how these affect the health of specific populations and their access to mental health care
  • identify policy development and strategies for mental health care delivery and discuss how these influence intersectoral collaboration and individuals'' access to health care
  • critique recent developments in mental health nursing practice and their application to the wider health care system.

Program of study

To qualify for the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing, a student must complete 36 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the program of study below.

A student must pass the practice component of any topic in order to receive a passing grade for that topic. A student may at any time be precluded or removed from a clinical placement.

The award of a grade of Fail (F) in the same topic on more than one occasion or in 9 units or more, or failure to complete the course within two consecutive years may constitute prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory progress for the purpose of the University''s Policy on Student Progress.

Except with the permission of the Faculty Board, the program must be completed full-time in two consecutive semesters or part-time in four consecutive semesters.

Not all elective topics will be available in any given year or semester.

Core - Year 1 topics

31.5 units comprising

 NURS9120  Evidence-based Clinical Practice  (4.5 units)
 NURS9126  Leadership in Health Studies  (4.5 units)
 NURS9533  Primary Health Care for Mental Health  (4.5 units)
 NURS9539  Mental Health Nursing Practice 1  (9 units)
 NURS9540  Mental Health Nursing Practice 2  (9 units)

Option - Year 1 topics

Select 4.5 units from the following topics

 NURS9218  Approaches to Research Designs  (4.5 units)
 NURS9518  Independent Study  (4.5 units)*
 NURS9621  Epidemiology for Nurses and Midwives  (4.5 units)
 NURS9709  Advanced Nursing Assessment  (4.5 units)
 NURS9710  The 3 Ds Dementia, Delirium and Depression  (4.5 units)
 NURS9711  Advanced Communication  (4.5 units)

*NURS9518 Independent Study is a recommended elective for the exploration of research in a particular area of interest in mental health.

Students may, in consultation with the Course Coordinator, select other postgraduate topics offered by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences as their option topic.