Nursing (NURS) 435

Professional Practice in Community Mental Health Promotion (Revision 3)

Revision 3 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Paced study online with practicum component

Credits: 6

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: This course is open only to post LPN BN program students. NURS 328 and Professor approval required. *Effective September 1, 2015, the prerequisite will be changed to NURS 436 and Professor approval required.

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies

NURS 435 is not available for Challenge.

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**Note: Please consult the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies website for the most recent information relating to clinical course registration and start dates. Online course materials cannot be accessed before your course contract start date.


Nursing 435: Professional Practice in Community Mental Health Promotion is a paced online clinical course that provides opportunities to integrate theory and develop further skills related to community health promotion with a focus on individuals, families and groups experiencing mental health alterations. Practice occurs in a variety of community mental health settings. Consideration is given to mental health promotion with vulnerable aggregates and recognition/screening/referral of psychiatric mental health disorders that emerge across the lifespan. Opportunities to apply nursing assessment skills, such as mental status examination, and nursing intervention strategies, such as therapeutic communication, are facilitated. A current snapshot of the field of psychiatric nursing, including both current practice and future research possibilities, is presented.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of NURS 435, the student will achieve or exceed the following learning outcomes:

  • Critically examine the unmet mental health needs, across the lifespan, of clients, families, and groups within the community;
  • Recognize acute symptoms of mental illness that require urgent intervention;
  • Explore mental health conditions related to mood, thought, and behaviour;
  • Construct assessment, screening and referral documentation relevant to a variety of disciplines and health care contexts;
  • Understand selected therapeutic approaches currently implemented by nurses and other members of mental health care teams;
  • Reflect upon the stigma and barriers that exist within the field of mental health;
  • Analyze the implications of addiction for individuals, families and the community;
  • Actively incorporate mental health promotion into practice in the workplace as well as with vulnerable aggregates;
  • Pose research questions that remain unanswered both in your personal learning and in the profession of psychiatric mental health nursing; and
  • Comply with the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) Entry-to-Practice Competencies (May, 2013).

Course Structure

Section 1: Overview of Psychiatric Mental Health Alterations

  • Unit 1: Introduction and Engagement
  • Unit 2: Mood
  • Unit 3: Thought
  • Unit 4: Behaviour

Section 2: Facilitating Help Through Assessment, Screening and Referral

  • Unit 5: Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Medicine, Psychology
  • Unit 6: Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Pharmacology, Law
  • Unit 7: Nursing Actions

Section 3: Stigma and Barriers

  • Unit 8: Break
  • Unit 9: Advocacy and Therapeutic Nurse-Client Relationships

Section 4: Addiction

  • Unit 10: Individual
  • Unit 11: Community

Section 5: Towards Mental Health Promotion

  • Unit 12: Vulnerable Aggregates Across the Lifespan
  • Unit 13: Care of Self and Colleagues
  • Unit 14: Closure and Summarizing


NURS 435 is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. To receive credit for NURS 435, all clinical practice and assignment requirements must be successfully completed and submitted. Effective January 1, 2010, all papers submitted must follow the guidelines of the APA Publication Manual (6th ed.) (2010).

The required assignments are as follows:

Quiz Scholarly Paper Mental Health resource paper Case study Forum participation Clinical practicum
Pass/Fail Pass/Fail Pass/Fail Pass/Fail Pass/Fail Pass/Fail

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Antai-Otong, D. (2009). Psychiatric nursing: Pocket guide. Sudbury MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Austin, W., & Boyd, M.A. (2015). Psychiatric nursing for Canadian practice (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Other Materials

A variety of electronic journals and websites are used in the course and paper copies are not included in the course package.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, March 18, 2014.

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