Mental Health Nursing BSc (Hons)


Overview


If you hope for a rewarding career, a Mental Health Nursing degree can train you to help the 1 in 4 of us now expected to need treatment.
Mental health nursing is a value-based and very rewarding profession working with children, young people and adults of all ages with a variety of mental health problems and from numerous cultures and backgrounds. These specialist nurses are usually based in hospitals or in the community, for example, in GP surgeries, prison health, community health care or residential centres and patients’ own homes.

This course is designed to help equip you with the hands-on clinical and care skills to prepare you to practise autonomously and compassionately, providing person-centred and compassionate care and support for service users to be physically safe and emotionally secure.

Ranked in the UK’s top 10 for Nursing in the Guardian University Guide 2019, Coventry offers a Clinical Skills Centre with up-to-date equipment and simulators. This course benefits from the highest levels of student satisfaction – 90% overall in the National Student Survey (NSS 2016).


Course information


In modern health and social care settings nursing students are increasingly required to work towards becoming autonomous practitioners, taking a leadership role in decisions regarding patient care within multi-professional settings. They routinely have the most frequent and intense contact with patients and must be competent in recognising changes in patient condition so that appropriate action can be taken.

This curriculum has been developed as a spiral curriculum with assessment at its the core. A spiral curriculum is when the same topics are studied throughout the duration of study but each time they are encountered they increase in complexity and reinforce previous learning. Placing equal value on practice and theory, undertaking 800 hours of both per year, you should study a wide range of subjects, including anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, psychology, sociology and research methods. You’ll become immersed in learning about the needs of populations, individuals, related health and nursing services with an emphasis on using research to enhance and improve services.

The course focuses on integrated care for children and young people in a variety of settings. You should learn to value the needs of children and their families through their ongoing involvement in the curriculum. You should develop skills in communication, health assessment, professional practice, evidence based practice, knowledge of public health and policy, and legal and ethical issues.

The collaborative curriculum, which you’ll study alongside students from our other health-related courses, has been developed in response to the need to produce professionals who are effective communicators, caring and compassionate, with good relationship building skills. It recognises the importance of inter-professional working within the health and social care workforce and comprises five core modules in the areas of: the foundations of communication and professionalism; the social determinants of health and wellbeing; evidence informed practice and decision making; working together to lead service improvement; and enhancing practice through evaluation and research.


Why choose this course?


One in four people are expected to need help for mental health issues at some point in their life and helping people back to good mental health is every bit as valuable and satisfying as caring for those with a physical illness. For some people, mental illness can be triggered by a life event, such as the breakdown of a relationship, bereavement or the birth of a baby or personal circumstances, including work, an eating disorder or alcohol and drug abuse, for example.

This course builds on knowledge of mental health, various disorders and innovative nursing care approaches. It is designed to equip you with the knowledge and competence to understand the experiences of people with mental health problems and to assist and facilitate their journey to recovery. You might help one person to take their medication correctly, while advising or providing another with relevant therapies or social activities.

It aims to prepare you for the dynamic and fast changing health and social care system, developing you into an adaptable, flexible, reflective, competent and compassionate practitioner. From the outset, you’ll gain hands-on experience with real service users under supervision from qualified mentors, spending 50% of your time on clinical practice placements in a range of healthcare environments within the NHS in hospitals and community placements, at private hospitals and independent care providers.

While the course has a clear focus on mental health nursing, a key benefit of our curriculum is the notion of collaboration across all areas of health and social care. Your studies will be complemented with significant insights into a range of potential challenges to health and wellbeing throughout the lifespan, such as learning disabilities, complex care and life limiting conditions.

All of our nursing courses have shared learning modules which include Introduction to Nursing, The Scientific Foundations of Nursing, and Legislation, Accountable Practioner.

The following modules are also studied in conjunction with other health and social care professionals – Foundations in Communication and Professionalism, Social Determinants of Health and Well Being, Evidence Informed Practice and Decision Making, Enhancing Practice through Evaluation and Research, and Working Together to Lead Service Improvement. These aim to look at specific issues and challenges they face to broaden your knowledge and expertise.

Our links with universities in USA, Australia, China, and Hong Kong provide opportunities for student engagement in online projects and field trips and, through the University’s volunteering schemes, you have the chance to work overseas on ‘live’ projects such as orphanage work in Uganda. European links are also in development with potential field trips and student exchange to Finland, Denmark and Spain to compare health courses and nurse education globally. We are also one of only four UK members of the European Florence Network, helping create further opportunities for student nurse mobility.


International experience opportunities


Throughout the course, we provide key insights into cultural diversity and global issues of significance to public health and all fields of nursing practice. For example, we look at what it means to be culturally competent within health care today. There are also opportunities to study specific issues of interest to you, such as people trafficking, working in war torn or developing countries. Some of this is supported by guest lecturers or simulation facilitators and others through topical issues covered within the course.

For high-performing students, it is possible towards the end of the second year to devise a short placement abroad within Europe or beyond – typically three to four weeks’ duration. We have existing links with universities in USA, China and Hong Kong, as well as agreements with several European institutions which have been utilised for incoming and outgoing student exchanges.

Students and visiting lecturers from other countries provide an input into the course, previously from areas such as Hong Kong, Japan and Africa. We also participate in a number of senior staff exchanges, for example, from India and China, and non-mobility student exchanges using technology such as international shared learning online or a skype exchange with an international college of nursing. These aim to provide additional insights to students into mental health nursing in different healthcare systems.

While the course prepares students for registration with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council, this currently provides eligibility for graduates to apply for registration to practise in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. There is a need to gain an employment offer before gaining a suitable visa and the sufficient points required for accessing the country. Also, registration in some of these countries may only be state wide registration and not national. For further criteria, please refer to country specific regulations.


Career prospects


The National Health Service (NHS) has estimated there are around 35,000 mental health nurses within today’s NHS and the demand for these specialist nurses has increased with number of people in contact with NHS mental health services surging by as much as 40%.

During your three years on the programme you will undertake six placements in a range of service settings, working with and alongside qualified mental health nurses, and therefore potential local and regional employers.

If you graduate successfully from this course, you can apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which enables you to practise immediately if successful.
As well as helping you to find suitable work placements and give you advice on how to get the most out of them, the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences’ Employability and Placements Unit can support you when you are ready to begin your professional career for the time you are registered as a Coventry University student.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.


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