Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing

2022 course information for Domestic Students
2022 course information for International Students

updated 6:02 AM on Sat, 9 October

Domestic snapshot

International snapshot

Duration
16 months part-time
16 months full-time
Location
SCU Online
Start date
January, March, May, July, August, October
Course code
1108132
Course abbreviation
GDMHN
Credit points
96
Equivalent units
8
CRICOS
View in availability and fee details
Fees
Fee paying
Fees
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Please note, some locations may not have all intake periods available. See the full availability details for further information.

Course overview

The Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing is a completely online course designed specifically for registered nurses who wish to increase their specialist knowledge and employment outcomes in mental health.

The course reflects contemporary mental health research and policy and has been designed with the input of leading clinical and academic mental health professionals.

Core units include contemporary mental health theory and practice, physical care, common interventions within acute care contexts, in primary mental health and in a range of health care settings.

The Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing is a completely online course designed specifically for registered nurses who wish to increase their specialist knowledge and employment outcomes in mental health.

The course reflects contemporary mental health research and policy and has been designed with the input of leading clinical and academic mental health professionals.

Core units include contemporary mental health theory and practice, physical care, common interventions within acute care contexts, in primary mental health and in a range of health care settings.

Current Southern Cross students – to access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook.

Entry requirements

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

A Bachelor degree or equivalent in a health, psychology or social science related discipline, and must be a Registered Nurse with access to Mental Health Nursing practice and to credentialed Mental Health Nurses during the course of their study.

About the course

Domestic students

LocationTeaching period
SCU OnlineSummer Term, Term  1, Term  2, Term  3, Term  4, Term  5

International students

How to apply

Where and when do you want to study?

Applications for this course are made directly to Southern Cross University via our online application service.

View domestic application details View international application details

Why choose SCU?

Excellence in research

Outstanding ratings of 'at world standard' or above in 23 research fields.

Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2018

Top 200 Young Universities

Only 25 years young and ranked in the top 200 universities in the world.

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020

Outstanding student support

5-Star Student Support across undergraduate and postgraduate studies

Good Universities Guide 2021

Learning outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

Course Learning Outcome

Critically evaluates and integrates models of treatment relevant to the care continuum, to inform co-constructed personalized care strategies which meet the consumer’s life needs as well as health needs.

Generates/translates novel information or theories, making a substantial contribution to the discipline through scholarly activities.

Engages creatively in therapeutic relationships with mental health consumers their families and significant others, which are characterized by co-construction of care and collaborative engagement.

Critically appraises the nature and extent of influences (social, political, economic and organizational) to overcome constraints in negotiation of options for clinical interventions.

Advocates for mental health consumers, challenging discrimination and public discourse, minimising stigma through the use of positive portrayal and working toward social inclusion and independence.

Interrogates and challenges the concepts of risk and safety from the basis of consumer centred care considering social protection, legal, moral and ethical principles to balance risk in recovery.

Exercises expert/enhanced clinical judgement and decision-making and insight in novel situations in specialist mental health disciplines in pursuit of optimal consumer outcomes.

Negotiates and executes the role of chosen mental health discipline in a multidisciplinary and multi-professional approach.

Consistently demonstrates a high level of autonomy, accountability, adaptability and responsibility in self-directed work and learning.

Engages in and leads others in collaborative critical reflection on clinical practice and achievement of lifelong learning outcomes.

Develops and maintains partnerships in care (individually and with groups) with mental health consumers and their families which focuses on the recipient of care, the person’s right to choice and self-determination, and the person’s inherent capacity for recovery.

Consistently and judiciously uses information technology, compelling and authoritative written and verbal communications.

Respects individual worldviews and enhances their own critical thinking to lead others in challenging assumptions underpinning world views.

Adjusts clinical practices to incorporate consumer’s cultural perspectives into mental health planning and interventions.


Assessment methods

Assessments in this course include written essays, shorter critical reflections and developing holistic consumer-focused care plans based on a well-developed formulation and the best available evidence. Weekly activities, readings and case studies are laid out with step-by-step instructions that are specifically designed to support you toward the successful completion of the assessment tasks.

Teaching methods

The course is completely online and offers flexibility for you to fit your study within other life commitments. Each adult student brings with them valuable knowledge and experience. The online platform and course design encourages you to read or view learning materials and then collaborate, discuss and debate ideas with fellow students and lecturers. Our multi-modal approach delivers content including video, audio and written materials designed to extend your mental health nursing practice capabilities.

Career opportunities

This course offers the opportunity to expand and refresh a nursing career, enter into a mental health nursing career or advance within the mental health nursing profession. 

Graduates can use this qualification as part of their application to the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses for credentialled Mental Health Nurse status, the only specialist award for the discipline. 

Professional placement

No professional placement is required but it expected that students will have had some mental health nursing experience or access such experience over the course of their studies.

Professional recognition

This course has received accreditation from the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and completion meets the educational requirements for credentialling as a Mental Health Nurse.

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Course requirements

To be eligible to receive the Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing, students must complete the equivalent of 8 units (96 credit points), comprising all 8 core units.

Exit Award:

Students may be eligible to exit with the Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing after completing the equivalent of 4 units (48 credit points), comprising any 4 of the first 6 core units.


Course structure


Schedule of units

Unit CodeUnit TitleNotes

Core Units

MHNS5001Contemporary Mental Health
MHNS5002Mental Health Across the Lifespan
MHNS6002Mental Health in Community, Non-Government and Primary Health Settings
MHNS5003Acute Mental Health
MHNS5004Supporting Behaviour Change in Mental Health Contexts
MHNS6004Physical Health Care in Mental Health
Students may be eligible to exit with the Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing after completing any 4 of the above 6 units.
PBHL6004Leading Evidence-based Practice in Health
PBHL5006Building a Professional Portfolio


Course progressions

Students should use course progression information to select units specific to their course and enrol in these units using My Enrolment

Unit CodeUnit TitleAvailableNotes

Complete the following units to satisfy the Requirements of the Award

MHNS5001Contemporary Mental Health
Term2
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Term2
Term2
MHNS5002Mental Health Across the Lifespan
Term3
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Term3
Term3
MHNS6002Mental Health in Community, Non-Government and Primary Health Settings
Term1,5
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Term1,5
Term1,5
MHNS5003Acute Mental Health
Summer Term
Term4
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Summer Term
Term4
Summer Term
Term4
MHNS5004Supporting Behaviour Change in Mental Health Contexts
Term2
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Term2
Term2
MHNS6004Physical Health Care in Mental Health
Summer Term
Term4
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Summer Term
Term4
Summer Term
Term4
PBHL6004Leading Evidence-based Practice in Health
Term1,5
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Term1,5
Term1,5
PBHL5006Building a Professional Portfolio
Term3
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Term3
Term3


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