A better way to do this? Views of mental health nursing directors about preparation for mental health nursing practice


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Objective Nursing directors in mental health services hold important leadership positions that include responsibility for the nursing workforce. The comprehensive or generalist approach to undergraduate nursing education consistently poses significant recruitment problems. Specialisation in mental health within Bachelor of Nursing programs has been suggested as a potential solution. This paper presents the views and opinions of mental health nursing directors regarding undergraduate specialisation.

Methods A qualitative exploratory study was undertaken. Thirteen nursing directors from Queensland Mental Health Services participated in an in-depth telephone interview. The data were analysed thematically.

Results Nursing directors were very supportive of specialisation in mental health at the undergraduate level. Thematic analysis revealed four main themes: perceived advantages of the specialist stream; knowledge and experience; increased recruitment; and commitment.

Conclusions Nursing directors are important stakeholders in educational preparation for practice in mental health settings. The research participants described many potential benefits to undergraduate specialisation. Their voice provides an important contribution to this issue
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Health Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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