An examination of the scope and purpose of education in mental health nursing.


This study examined the education of mental health nurses by surveying all qualified mental health nurses working within one National Health Service region in Scotland. Using an adaptation of a previously used instrument, 488 questionnaires were distributed producing a response rate of 194 (39.75%). The study's themes - initial preparation, professional development and future practice - reveal findings of interest, particularly the axis of RMN (pre-1992 education) and RMN (Project 2000 education). In terms of initial preparation, clear differences between groups were found. Pre-1992 RMNs' report on educational experience majoring on practical skills contrasts sharply with Project 2000 respondents who, in spite of a course philosophy of reflective practice, emphasised an apparent lack of practical skills for practice. For professional development, both groups valued flexible approaches via journal reading, teaching, networking and participating in clinical supervision. In terms of educational provision, short course provision with an emphasis on short, flexible course provision (e.g., in-service study days), practice education and closer (and flexible) links between higher education and the practice area were highlighted as the most important ways to prepare for future practice.

Cite this paper

@article{Gass2007AnEO, title={An examination of the scope and purpose of education in mental health nursing.}, author={John Gass and Andrew McKie and Ian E. Smith and Ann Brown and M . A . Addo}, journal={Nurse education today}, year={2007}, volume={27 6}, pages={588-96} }