Nursing (NURS) 527

NP: Mental Health (Revision 1)


Delivery Mode: non-Paced/home-study online

Credits: 2

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: NURS 519 and NURS 521 or NURS 516 and NURS 517, NURS 518, NURS 526NURS 610, NURS 614

Faculty: Faculty of Health Studies

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies


Advanced knowledge of mental health and the treatment of mental disorders is germane to the provision of high-quality Nurse Practitioner practice in the community setting. This course is designed to develop a solid understanding of the approach to the promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental illness, as well as, how to screen for, diagnose and treat mental disorders commonly seen in the primary care setting.

NURS 527 is a required course within the program of study leading to the Post Master's Diploma: Nurse Practitioner or the Master of Nursing: Nurse Practitioner degree.

Course Goals

Building on knowledge of neurodevelopment, physiology, pharmacology, and the Nurse Practitioner approach to care of the adult, NURS 527 is designed to help students achieve the following goals:

  1. Identify evidence-based factors that promote mental health and help prevent mental illness.
  2. Utilize diagnostic and screening tools to assess for and evaluate mental health/illness
  3. Make a mental health diagnosis based on the DSM-5 criteria
  4. Identify mental health emergencies and respond appropriately
  5. Understand the approach to prescribing for mental disorders
  6. Safely manage and monitor selected classes of psychotherapeutic agents
  7. Describe evidence-based psychotherapies most commonly used in the community setting.
  8. Collaborate with other mental health professionals to optimize care
  9. Understand special topics like pregnancy-related mental disorders, ADD in adults, and mental health issues in settings like prison or the military
  10. Appreciate the ethical and legal issues in mental health care in NP practice

Course Materials

NURS 527 comprises online and print-based course materials.

  • Study Guide
  • On-line articles, references and websites

There are no textbooks for this course.

Textbooks recommended, but not supplied:

The Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (2013). American Psychiatric Association. Washington, DC: Author.

Technical Requirements

Computer System

In order to successfully complete this course, you must own or have ready access to certain computer hardware and software programs. For complete and up-to-date information on the minimum computer requirements required to complete the graduate nursing courses, visit the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies technical site.

Course Outline

NURS 527 is comprised of 5 modules:

  • Module 1: Concepts in Mental Health
  • Module 2: The Approach to the Diagnosis of Mental Disorders
  • Module 3: Pharmacological Treatment of Mental Disorders
  • Module 4: Psychotherapies for Mental Disorders
  • Module 5: Special Issues in Mental Health

Assessment Structure

  1. Self-assessment - Quizzes

    Students are required to complete several short multiple-choice-type quizzes within each module. Each quiz is designed to provide feedback until the correct answer is selected. In this way, the assessment processes become a secondary learning tool.

  2. Course assessment - Exams

    There are three exams placed at intervals throughout the course. An average mark of 70% is required to successfully pass the course.

Assessment Tool Percent of Final Mark
Quizzes 0%
Exam 1 35%
Exam 2 35%
Exam 3 30%

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 1, December 18, 2015.