Skip to main contentSkip Navigation or Skip to Content
Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

NURS 2941: Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Developing Competence

Students apply the theory learned in HLTH 2931 to a clinical setting. This clinical course, along with the theory course, enables students to meet the licensing requirements of the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM). The essential features of this practice experience are professionalism, skills and competency development, scope of practice for psychiatric and mental health nursing, professional communication skills, and therapeutic use of self. Participants are assigned to work with a Nurse Preceptor on an acute care psychiatric inpatient unit, and under the supervision of a Nurse Educator (Open Learning Faculty Member). The main emphasis in this course is developing clinical competencies in the following areas: therapeutic relationship, admitting and discharging clients, teaching clients, administering medications, group therapies, and common mental health interventions.

Learning outcomes

After students have completed the practice experience, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate collegiality while working as a member of the mental-health care team
  • Identify ethics and legalities related to mental health care
  • Demonstrate therapeutic communication, including therapeutic use of self
  • Take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of clients, yourself, and others
  • Admit clients to the psychiatric/mental health unit, including all assessment and documentation
  • Develop and implement nursing care plans that meet the needs of assigned psychiatric/mental health clients
  • Develop and implement teaching and learning plans that meet the needs of assigned psychiatric/mental health clients
  • Develop group therapy leadership skills
  • Develop knowledge of psychiatric/mental health adjunctive therapies
  • Carry a full client load on the psychiatric unit
  • Articulate awareness of standards and scope of practice related to personal level of competency
  • Demonstrate safe, competent medication administration
  • Develop and implement pre-discharge care plans that meet the needs of psychiatric/mental health clients
  • Discharge clients from the psychiatric/mental health unit, following all hospital procedures and documentation requirements

Course topics

  • Section 1: Pre-Practice Preparation
  • Section 2: Orientation to the Practice Environment
  • Section 3: Practice Rotation
  • Section 4: Assessment

Required text and materials

No texts are specifically required for the clinical course. However, students should have the resources from HLTH 2931 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Foundational Concepts available for reference.

Kneisl, C. R., & Trigoboff, E. Contemporary psychiatric-mental health nursing. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2013.
Type: Textbook, ISBN: 0-13-255777-0

Note: Textbook is bundled with DSM-5 Transition Guide. Textbook Bundle ISBN: 978-0-13-358160-7.

Additional requirements

Students will need to familiarize themselves with the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives and practice standards, competencies and scope of practice. These resources are available in PDF format on the BCCNM website and will be referred to throughout the course:

Uniform and shoes as required by clinical setting.


To successfully complete this course students must obtain 50% or higher in the course overall. Credit will be granted towards a program in the School of Nursing when course grade is 60% (C+) or better. This refers to the overall course with exam and assignments averaged to this percentage. Marks for all courses must average 65%.

Pre-Practice Assessment 20%
Mid Term Evaluation 40%
Final Evaluation 40%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

Search To Top