Implementing a major stream in mental health nursing: Barriers to effectiveness


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5 Citations (Scopus)


Changes to the educational preparation of the nursing workforce in mental health continue to have profound effects on the availability of sufficient numbers of skilled graduates willing to work in this field. The longevity of the problem has focused attention on possible solutions. Introducing a major stream in mental health nursing in undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing programmes was proposed and supported as a potentially beneficial strategy, adopted by some Australian universities. Despite the promise invested in this strategy, systematic evaluations to determine the effectiveness or otherwise of this approach were not initiated. A qualitative exploratory study was undertaken with Australian universities, which had implemented the major stream, regarding their experiences and observed outcomes. In-depth interviews were conducted with a mental health nurse academic from each university. The barriers to the effectiveness of the major in mental health nursing are the specific focus of this paper. Thematic data analysis revealed three main barriers: clinical placements, lack of support from other academics, and integrated curricula. These barriers substantially limited the effectiveness of this strategy – in some instances, leading to the programme's termination – and must be assertively addressed to maximize the potential of the major in mental health nursing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-441
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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