Mental Health Nurses in Australia: Scope of Practice 2013

Catherine Hungerford, Donna Hodgson, Peta Marks

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report (public)

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    Mental health nurses in Australia are taking the lead in defining their own scope of practice. In an ever-changing world, this is an important step forward for the profession of mental health nursing. There has been substantial evolution of the mental health service context since de-institutionalisation, with the focus of care moving from illness and pathology to health, wellness, and enabling self-determination for consumers. This evolution has required considerable flexibility and adaptability on the part of the mental health nursing profession; and provided greater opportunity for individual mental health nurses to develop expanded and extended roles in the community and primary health contexts. While such developments are exciting, they have also created some confusion, with the question often asked: 'What is it that mental health nurses do?� It is anticipated that a clear description of the scope of practice of the mental health nursing profession will go some way to answering this and similar questions. A clear description will also enable associated stakeholders, including consumers, carers, families and communities; government and regulatory authorities; not-for-profit and privately operated organisations; employers and managers; together with other nurses and health professionals, to recognise and acknowledge the diverse range of practices, therapeutic skills, activities and innovations undertaken by contemporary mental health nurses. Finally, clarification of the scope of practice of mental health nurses will support development of the mental health nursing workforce; mental health policy and procedural frameworks, health systems and structures; and, ultimately, better health outcomes and recovery for consumers and carers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationCanberra, ACT, Australia
    PublisherAustralian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.
    Commissioning bodyAustralian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)9780958189026
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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