Mental health content of comprehensive preregistration nursing curricula in Australia
In 2008 the final report of the Mental Health Nurse Education Taskforce was released. This paperpresents the findings of the report's survey into the mental health content of generic pre-registrationnursing curricula in Australia. A questionnaire was sent to all nursing schools providingpre-registration curricula. Results indicate curricula contained a wide range of mental healththeory and clinical hours. While the majority of universities incorporated most of the 20 keytopics recommended by the Mental Health Nurse Education Taskforce in their courses, fewaddressed issues such as Indigenous mental health. There was considerable competitionfor placements between universities, and concern about the quality of some placements.Nurse academics with formal qualifications in mental health and specialist clinical mental healthnurses were mainly involved in teaching theory. Specialist mental health clinicians and clinicaleducators were the key groups engaged in clinical education, and preceptorship wasthe most common form of clinical supervision. Consumers and carers had limited involvementin the development or provision of mental health content of pre-registration curricula.Greater attention is needed to increasing the mental health content in pre-registration curricula.Furthermore, initiatives should be developed to increase access to clinical placements and reducecompetition for places between universities.