NURS20157 - Mental Health Nursing Assessment and Formulation

General Information

Unit Synopsis

The focus of this unit is the range of assessments conducted by mental health nurses, including the comprehensive mental health assessment, mental state examination, and various risk assessments. You evaluate the need for holistic, recovery-oriented approaches to assessing consumers with complex physical or biological, mental, social, cultural, and functional needs. You also analyse diverse situations requiring specific specialised mental health assessments, comparing and contrasting practitioner-administered assessments to self-reported assessments. Finally, in response to the findings of your assessments, you formulate a culturally safe, evidence-based, consumer-centered recovery plan in collaboration with consumers and their families or carers.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 8
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 7
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Be Different Intakes

Note: BeDifferent Units are available to study all year round
There are no Be Different Intakes availabilities for this unit.

Higher Education Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2023

There are no Higher Education availabilities for this unit on or after Term 1 - 2023
Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 50%
2. Case Study 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2019 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 3.9 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 35% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: self reflection
(i) Self evaluation: the unit overall ran quite smoothly, the library links and navigation for students was well designed and the introduction of the assessment template for the first assessment allowed for a practical form of assessment that was well received from students.
Consider the ongoing use of the assessment template for the unit as it aids in aligning clinical practice activities to the assessment task
Action Taken
The first assessment was changed to a Quiz to provide an early measure of student performance.
Source: course meetings
(ii) Staff feedback Changes to unit design from a 6 module to 12 week structure on the Moodle page currently under discussion with MH post grad team.
For the future roll-out of this unit, the unit content could be spread out to a 12 week format rather than the existing 6 module approach
Action Taken
There are weekly unit materials nested in modules.
Source: Student survey
(iii) Student feedback Positive feedback related to engagement and the template for Assessment 1 Strategies needed to improve Moodle navigation and to make the content more challenging
Balance the level of interface between clinical activities in the workplace and the assessment requirements / unit content to address the range of experience, learning needs and standards set by AQF and ACMHN for building the mental health workforce.
Action Taken
The unit is now more practically focused with the introduction of a practice portfolio which references ACMHN standards.
Source: Member of Mental Health Advisory Committee
(iv) Broader feedback
A phone call occurred with a member of the MHAC, linked to the ACMHN that is currently in a senior director position with QLD Health. The member provided accolades for the level of clinical content provided in this unit for application to the workplace, and provided further positive feedback regarding the level of satisfaction that one of his staff that is currently enroled in this unit noted to him during a line supervision meeting. This feedback from a key stakeholder should be taken into consideration for further roll-out of this unit and the content currently being offered.
Action Taken
The mental health team will continue to work closely with MHAC and clinical partners in further course and unit development.
Source: Feedback from a senior nurse educator on the course advisory committee.
The unit comprehensively covers core skills of mental health nursing, however the role of families could be more prominent.
The role of the family will be incorporated into assessments.
Action Taken
Source: Students are not accessing feedback studio and failing to see a plethora of comments and edits on their submission.
Assignment feedback - students not seeing in-text comments and edits.
Students will be given instructions on how to access and use feedback studio.
Action Taken
Source: Students raised issues about the portfolio being too broad.
Portfolio could be improved for students not currently working in mental health by giving a list of suggested topics.
The portfolio task will contain a list of suggested topics/scenarios suitable to students with limited clinical experience.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Appraise the role of the mental health nurse in assessment and intervention
  2. Justify the need for safe, holistic, and recovery-oriented approaches to assessing diverse consumers with complex physical or biological, mental, social, cultural, legal, and functional needs.
  3. Examine the components of a comprehensive mental health assessment, including the mental state examination, in the context of the mental health nursing scope of practice.
  4. Analyse clinical situations requiring specialised assessments, such as crisis assessment, clinical risk assessment, suicide risk assessment, risk of aggression or violence, assessment of vulnerability, and assessment of extrapyramidal side effects.
  5. Formulate a culturally-appropriate, evidence-based, consumer-centred recovery plan, including appropriate interventions, and collaborating with consumers and their families or carers.

Provisionally accredited with The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN).

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Case Study
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
4 - Research
7 - Leadership
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8