Ambassador Program

Our Nurses

There are distinctive attributes of mental health nursing that set it apart from other areas in which nurses can practice which can be promoted as career benefits. A face to face interaction with nurses practicing in mental health provides an opportunity to hear facts and stories from practice, and feel first hand the inspiration that comes from the love of the work, allaying myths and misconceptions along the way. It is well known that a positive experience in mental health for nursing students can influence career choices on graduation.

The ACMHN Ambassador program aims to establish a structure to attract the attention of the professional and general community.

The Ambassadors are a small national team who engage directly with the professional and general community to promote mental health nursing and subsequently promote credentialing.

Ambassadors are State and Territory based and attend local forums and activities with nurses and other stakeholders

The Ambassador Program enhances and supports the enormous contribution already made by ACMHN Branch members. The expected outcomes of the Ambassador program for the College are – a greater awareness of mental health nursing, a conduit of information from and to the College about mental health nursing, and more nurses involved in mental health nursing.

 

Become an Ambassador NOW!

 

Meet some of our Ambassadors

Find out what some of our ambassadors do and why they love mental health nursing

 

  1. Meet Kathy
  2. Meet Marty
  3. Meet Christine
  4. Meet Soula
  5. Meet Pieta
  6. Meet Cate
  7. Meet Tessa
  8. Meet Anabel

 

 

The ACMHN is proud to introduce you to our Ambassadors: 

ACT

 

donnahsmlDonna Hodgson

Donna Hodgson is a credentialed Mental Health Nurse (MHN) who was awarded the National Mental Health Nurse of the Year in 2009 by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) for her outstanding contribution to the educating and mentoring of undergraduate and postgraduate nurses in the field of mental health.

Donna is passionate about ensuring the connection between the theory and practice of mental health nursing. When Donna was an RN working in the Isolation (infection) ward of Royal Canberra Hospital, she often found herself discussing life and grief issues with young people diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. She decided to gain further mental health education to better address these issues in young people. However, since commencing work in the field of mental health in 1991, Donna hasn't returned to her previous role, and has instead worked in a variety of roles including establishing the Clozapine co-ordination role under the first National Mental Health Plan at both public hospitals in Canberra, and the NSW Eurobodalla Region.

She has been the Clinical Nurse Consultant of the acute adult inpatient unit in the ACT, and worked as a clinical manager in the community. Donna is the co-author of Australian longitudinal research on the neuroleptic Clozapine.

Donna also has a strong focus on consumer rights, and promotion and prevention of mental illness in the community. Some of this advocacy for consumers stems from her personal experience after acquiring a permanent disability following a car accident in 2000.

Donna has worked for ACT Health as the Coordinator of Mental Health Nursing Education Programs for ten years. She has additionally spent one year as an academic teaching Mental Health units at The University of Canberra in 2010, and maintains an adjunct position there.

Qualifications

  • RN 1987 (Woden Valley Hospital/Royal Canberra Hospital School of Nursing)
  • RMHN Post Basic Certificate 1993 (Woden Valley Hospital)
  • Diploma in Psychology 1994 (Australian Correspondence School)
  • Graduate Diploma Mental Health Sciences (Young People) 2002 (University of Melbourne)
  • Fellow of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (FACMHN) 2002
  • Credentialed Mental Health Nurse (MHN) 2003 - present
  • Cert IV Workplace Training & Assessment 2008
  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education 2010
  • Master of Mental Health Nursing 2012

 


 

NSW

Anabel_DeLaRivaAnabel De La Riva

Anabel de la Riva is a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse (MHN) and is also a Fellow of the ACMHN, since 2009.

She started working in the field of mental health in 1993 and has worked in a number of mental health settings including acute inpatient, acute crisis teams and case management teams. Currently Anabel works as Clinical Nurse Consultant on the Consultation Liaison Team at Westmead Hospital.

Her areas of focus in the hospital include: renal and transplant patients, aged care, orthopaedics and neurology and the effects of physical illness on patients and their families. 

Stigma has always been an issue for those with a mental illness and a large component of work that she does in the general hospital is in education for general nursing staff, medical teams and allied health on mental illness. Breaking down the barriers and attitudes has been an important component of the work done in the general hospital.

Anabel has been involved in the NSW branch of the ACMHN since 2003 and more recently as secretary of the Consultation Liaison Special Interest Group (CLSIG).

 


 

NT

martyMarty Musco

 have lived in Darwin since August 1993. I have worked for Top End Mental Health Service since 2000 and I am currently the Community Liaison Nurse within the inpatient unit.

I have been a member of the ACMHN since 2002 and am currently the Chair of the Northern Territory Branch.

 

 

 

 

 


 

QLD

Christine Palmer

Gareth Daniels

Micheline Batcheler

karcherKim Archer

Kim Archer trained as a General Nurse at Tamworth Base Hospital and was registered as a General Nurse in 1987. She continued to work in in various areas both in NSW and Brisbane in General Nursing and had some experience in Psychiatric Nursing . Kim regular joined the mental health team at Belmont Private Hospital in 2001 where she  was encouraged to develop her skills as a Mental Health Nurse.

Kim gained her Masters Degree in Mental Health Nursing in 2005 and became Credentialed soon after. While continuing in her education role at Belmont, Kim also held education roles with Griffith University, Australian Catholic University and was appointed Head of Department  at Shafston College for 2 years.

In 2009 Kim set up her own consultancy, KIMAR Consulting, under the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program. KIMAR Consultancy has recently added an additional nurse to the service to support the  mental health needs of the community, working in collaboration with the General Practices and Allied Health Services of Redlands City.

Kim volunteered for 2 years as a coordinator for the Redlands Mental Health Professionals Network to support and  increase the profile of mental health nurses in her area. Kim  was appointed  Ambassador for ACMHN in 2011 to promote Mental Health Nursing and Credentialing. Kim regularly attends the Brisbane ACMHN meetings in Spring Hill each month . the excellent conferences held by the ACMHN and is enthusiastic about supporting mental health in areas of research, development and training.

Kim currently works as: 

  1. Managing Director of KIMAR Consulting under the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program in Private Practice at Cleveland.
  2. Clinical Nurse Educator at Belmont Private Hospital part time.
  3. Supporting Ambassador Program for ACMHN.
  4. Provides Education Services to conferences and other venues.

 


 

SA

Cate Rowlands

 


 

TAS

Kathy Gregory

 

JuliePorter Julie Porter

 I am a Clinical Nurse Educator with THO SOUTH – Mental Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania. I moved to  Tasmania to be the Statewide Clinical Nurse Educator with the department, however this recently changed with a departmental restructure; the restructure meant the move to being based at Royal Hobart Hospital Practice Development Unit.

Originally from Upper Hutt, NZ, I trained as a Registered Nurse at Christchurch Polytechnic and then completed degrees in Management, Mental Health, Tropical Medicine, Adult Education and Training and I am now working towards a PhD combining my interests of mental health, education, and rural health.

I relocated from rural North Queensland with 3 cats and dog to Tasmania in 2010 and love the Tasmanian lifestyle: especially waking up to see the River Derwent, driving to work with the ever changing moods of the river with the reflections of boats and trees, but especially the chance to act as a volunteer crew member on Hobart's Tall Ships; the highlight will be the Tall Ship Review in Sydney this year.

All these roles, even volunteering, has enabled linkages with Mental Health Nurses, the wider community and the contact provides opportunities to promote the ACMHN and the mental health agenda.

Mental health research is another passion. My current research is with the University Department of Rural Health (UTas) investigating education outcomes and examining how education  has an impact on clients, predominantly mental health consumers. I am fortunate to have the supervision of A/Professor Erica Bell and A/Professor Tony Barnett and find their guidance both stimulating and thought provoking. The intent of the research is to develop, implement and promote an integrated model, relating to Return on Investment for training. The new research and contribution to knowledge is primarily utilising application of principles of adult learning within training for mental health key stakeholders particularly in rural areas. The key concepts of the study include an eclectic range: Mental Health Outcomes, Continuous Improvement, Return on Investment, Clinical Skills, Rural Health, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

I'd love to hear from anyone with similar interests and thoughts about the research; and also opportunities to promote the ACMHN.

 


 

VIC

Tessa Moriarty

Pieta Shakes

 

TanKanKuTan Kan Ku

 Qualifications:
- PhD candidate in Psychiatric Nursing - RMIT
- Master of Health Sciences ( Transcultural Mental Health)- by Research - Centre for International Mental Health, Dept. of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne
- Master of Health Sciences ( Mental Health)  by Coursework - RMIT
- Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing - RMIT
- Diploma of Association of Medical Secretaries - London

Scholarships & Awards:
1. Endeavour Prime MInister Australia/Asia Award 2011
2. Australia Post-Graduate Award 2011
3. RCNA Bequest Fund 2010
4. ANF research Grant 2009
5. Melbourne Research Scholarship 2002

Research area:
Social research focusing on uncovering socio-cultural factors influencing the stigma of mental illness from a cross-cultural perspective. Methodology: Mixed method integrating quantitative and qualitative data to draw conclusion
on what constitute the stigma of mental illness.  Research findings from PhD study will be the mechanism for devising community mental health literary program and anti-stigma campaign.

Clinical practice areas: Aged care, mental health (community rehabilitation program).

Teaching: part time Nurse Educator at Victoria University.

Community engagement: Peer Support Life Group meeting once fortnightly in the Eastern suburb of Melbourne

  

jamesJames Houghton

James Houghton was born in England, grew up in New Zealand and now chooses to live in Australia.  He completed his Psychopaedic Nursing (aka to Victorians as Div IV) from 1980-1983, went on to do his Psychiatric Nursing bridging programme from 1986-1988 and has worked in some form of mental health work since then.  It’s suggested that his brief sojourns into the travel industry, lured by the glamour and perks were as much mental health as anything else he’s done!

From 1989 to 1999 he worked at the Ambury Park Centre for Riding Therapy, working with young people with behavioural, psychological and mental health difficulties, using horses as the therapeutic medium for change.  He would describe this as one of the most amazing periods in his career to date.  This position encompassed his love of horses and equestrian sport with his passion for working with young people struggling through incredibly difficult times.

In 1999 he commenced a further bridging programme, this time through the Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) which cemented his enthusiasm for learning (and sharing!)  In 2002 he completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Child & Family Health Nursing (with a particular focus on mental health).  For this period of time James worked in various Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) throughout New Zealand, from Auckland to Hastings, including a period of time as a team leader for the Hamilton Richmond Fellowship Youth Service.  James was a member of the then Australia & New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses for most of this time and remembers the angst when NZ members opted to go their own way and became Te Ao Maramatanga.

In 2005 James moved to Melbourne and joined the team at Orygen Youth Health in Footscray, working on the IPU before moving on to become the Senior Nurse on the Recovery And Prevention of Psychosis (RAPPS) – Early Intervention team in Dandenong.  In 2009 a secondment to the education team at Southern Health allowed James to continue to pursue his passion for learning (and sharing!) issues of contemporary mental health practice.  It was from this position in 2011 that he moved to his current role as Clinical Nurse Educator at the John Cade Adult Mental Health Unit at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

James is in his second term as Co-Professional Development Co-ordinator for the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN), a role he says has significantly helped him develop local networks and further improve the depth of his knowledge.  James frequently tells nursing students that he is more excited about being a nurse now than he was 30 years ago, when he started and has come to clearly identify the influence of Dr. Jean Watson on the development of his nursing practice framework.  This and the proverbial ‘eclectic mix’ of therapeutic skills, predominantly using Solution-Focused Nursing ,Transactional Analysis, and a Family Systems approach allow him to continue to work on the goal he personally sees as paramount to all good clinical work – that of “unconditional positive regard” for the people we work for…  never the easiest of goals, but one well worth working on.

 


  

WA

SoulasmlSoula Doukakis

Soula was appointed by the ACMHN to be the Western Australian Ambassador in 2009, to promote the Mental Health Nursing Profession in her state.

Currently she is self employed in private practice and also works as a Mind Care Counsellor, under the Access to Allied Psychological Services Program. This is a vital program because it supports people who are diagnosed with a mental illness but who cannot afford private services.

Soula has worked for a number of years with people with autism and autism spectrum disorders and their families to design and implement home and community based behaviour management programs.

Her work in the field attracted a Japanese professor who in 2005 invited Soula to present at Iwate University, Morioka in Japan, on the diagnosis and management of autism. "I really love what I do, so its easy to sing the praises of mental health nursing. I hope my personal story will
inspire others to consider this important career."

As a part time clinical educator, Soula had regular contact with undergraduate and post graduate nursing students. "Many students are
interested in mental health, however are put off by the myths they hear about the career. They are pleasantly surprised when I tell them that I work in an attractive, safe workplace with supportive colleagues and interesting clients. This career allows you to pursue a diverse range of specializations and work with patients who are truly inspiring. I also provide a service to individuals with acute and chronic mental disorders, drug and alcohol addictions, with GP's to develop patients' mental health care plans and with offenders within the
criminal justice system.

Soula undertook her undergraduate nursing studies at Deakin University in Victoria, completed her post graduate mental health nurse
training in her home town in Adelaide, and moved to Perth in 1999 where she attained a Masters Degree in Health Counselling at Curtin University. In 2008 she was a winner of the Australian Janseen- Cilag Scholarship.


  

Publications and Resources -  for the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program

 

ACMHN publications  l  Other publications  l  Articles  l  Toolkit  l  Program Updates  l  HoNOS  l  Links

 

 

ACMHN Publications

Release of Guidance Document for the Primary Health Networks on Commissioning Mental Health Nursing Services

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses have been working in collaboration with the Department of Health to develop a Guidance document for the Primary Health Networks (PHNs) on the commissioning of mental health nursing services in primary care.

The document has been finalised and is now available for your information and to support the Primary Health Networks with their commissioning of mental health nursing services. We encourage you to circulate the Guidance document to your colleagues, employers and other contacts who may also find this reference useful.

We hope you find the document helpful and we encourage you to contact our Policy and Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Alexandra Anderson, should you wish to discuss anything further.

 
A survey of Credentialed Mental Health Nurses working in the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program: who are they? How do they work? What have they achieved?

September 2013

Click here to download the Executive Summary and select consumer profiles

Click here to download the full version

 

MHNIPreportNEWFINALThe  Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP) was established in 2007 and provides nurse-led mental health care to those with complex problems who access primary care. Credentialed mental health nurses, working collaboratively with other health professionals and service providers, have assisted many people, providing an array of services.


Commissioned by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, the purpose of this study was to understand the program and to evaluate its outcomes for consumers, carers and the nurses themselves.


It was found that the program has had a constructive influence on care for people with complex and severe mental health and social problems. In particular, it has demonstrated improved clinical and personal recovery for consumers; individual, case specific treatments; greater collaboration with other health professionals to broker targeted services; engagement with services by those consumers who would have previously been disengaged.

 

Achieving through collaboration, creativity and compromise

May 2011

Click here to download the MHNIP Review

Click here to see additional MHNIP stories

acmhn_2011_mhnip_monograph_cover

Over recent years we have seen a gradual shift towards funding and providing effective mental health services in the community. This has been sustained in the recent Federal Budget 2011.

When the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP) was launched in 2007, it appeared to be a promising community-based program which focused on meeting the needs of people who experience severe mental ill-health. Organisations deemed eligible, such as GPs and private psychiatrists, could register with Medicare Australia to become eligible to receive funding to engage the services of a mental health nurse. It was thought that the benefits of the program would be three fold. Consumers of mental health services would get an accessible and flexible service designed to meet their needs and focused on wellbeing and recovery; medical practitioners would get clinical support from a specialist mental health nurse who would be able to spend more time with clients; and other relevant community, health and mental health services and programs would be utilised to support consumers and carers.

Since then, the program has proved to be a watershed for the delivery of coordinated, collaborative primary mental health care. There have been a number of other significant but unforseen benefits. The program has kept many people out of hospital and helped them back into the workforce or other meaningful social lives – benefiting not only the individual, their family and community, but the public purse; and mental health nurses have been able to practise autonomously – having been provided with the freedom to use and adapt their extensive knowledge, skills and experience according to client’s needs.

 

 

Nurses Filling the Gaps: establishing a business to provide services under the MHNIP

Rosemary Lalor, 2010

Click here to read the full version

 

Mental health nursing within the GP setting

Pieta Shakes, 2010

Click here to read the full version 

Back to top

 

 

Other publications

Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program: case studies project report

Prepared by Australian Healthcare Associates for the National Advisory Council on Mental Health, May 2010

The MHNIP is part of the Australian Government's component of the National Action Plan on Mental Health 2006-2011. The MHNIP has been introduced as an alternative model of mental health care for those with serious mental illness, and significant impairment in their daily functioning. General practices, private psychiatric services and other appropriate community providers (including general practice networks and private hospitals) can access sessional funding to employ mental health nurses to assist in the provision of coordinated clinical care for people, in the community, with severe mental health disorders.

Keep reading

 

Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program Evaluation

Department of Health, December 2012

The MHNIP evaluation was conducted during 2012 and the final report released on the Department of Health and Ageing website on 24 December 2012.The evaluation notes support for the program from GPs, psychiatrists and mental health nurses with evidence that patients experience improved health outcomes. However, the report highlighted a number of areas for improvement including the need to address the uneven geographic spread of MHNIP services, the lack of control over program expenditure, and the need to strengthen operational guidelines and improve data collection.

Keep reading

Back to top

 

 

Published articles about the MHNIP


Released potential: a qualitative study of the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program in Australia
By John Hurley, Graeme Browne, Richard Lakeman, DoRhen Angking, and Andrew Cashin
In International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Article first published online: 26 March 2013

Mental health nurses in primary care: Qualitative outcomes of the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program
By Richard Lakeman
In International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Article first published online: 25 March 2013

Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program: Facilitating physical health care for people with mental illness?
By Brenda Happell, Chris Platania-Phung, and David Scott
In International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Article first published online: 24 December 2012

Back to top

 

Toolkit

PLEASE NOTE: MENTAL HEALTH REFORMS IN PRIMARY HEALTH CARE ARE CURRENTLY UNDERWAY. SEE OUR MH REFORM PAGE FOR FURTHER DETAILS.

How to guide for mental health nurses - ACMHN Members only

The College has compiled this toolkit to help Credentialed Mental Health Nurses who deliver services under the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP), or those considering working under the program, by providing some information about the experience of others and what is required.

The toolkit is based on information provided by members who have experience delivering services under the MHNIP, in diverse locations and utilising different employment arrangements. The toolkit is constantly being added to and if you have an issue that you would like it to cover, or information that you would like to add, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Toolkit topics:

  • Introduction to the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program
  • Understanding General Practice
  • Role of the Mental Health Nurse
  • Employment or Private Practice?
  • Case Studies

Access the toolkit here

Back to top

 

 

Program Updates

Medicare MHNIP Program Updates

Funding for MHNIP is transferring to PHNs from 1 July 2016. For 2016-17 it will be quarantined and PHNs are required to commission mental health nursing services from the current network of MHNIP providers. From 2017-18 the funding will transition fully to the PHN flexible funding pool and MHNIP as it now exists will change as there will not be defined mental health programs.

There is updated information on the changes to MHNIP on the Department of Health website available at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/work-pr-mhnip. Information is also available on the Department of Human Services website at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/health-professionals/enablers/mental-health-nurse-incentive-programme-guidelines.

The ACMHN also has a Mental Health Reform section in News/events on our website which provides a summary of the key documents regarding the mental health reforms, updates from the ACMH and other relevant information http://www.acmhn.org/news-events/mental-health-reform.

 

Back to top

 

 

 

HoNOS

honosHealth of the Nation Outcome Scales
As a part of the eligibility requirements for the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program, mental health nurses must be trained in the use of the Health of the Nation Outcomes Scale (HoNOS). HoNOS is a tool to measure the health and social functioning of people with severe mental illness. It was developed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK). The most comprehensive site outlining the HoNOS measurement tool is that of the Royal College of Psychiatry (UK).

Click here to access HoNOS training

Back to top

 

 

Links

Australian General Practice Network

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

Australian Government Department of Health

RANZCP Indigenous Mental Health

Occupational Therapy (OT) Australia

Australian Association of Social Workers

The Australian Psychological Society

Mental Health Professionals' Network

Back to top

 

 

Scope

 

Scope of Practice: what do mental health nurses do?

We know what we do (on an individual basis)... but how do we explain this to others? How do we discuss 'what we do' as a profession with each other, with government and other funding bodies, with the media and the community? How do we ensure that others do not dictate to us, as a profession, what we do and how our practice should be limited - particularly in relation to funding and practice models? Development of a 'Mental Health Nursing Scope of Practice' - that's how!!!

The ACMHN Scope of Practice research project was launched by Ms Heloise Waislitz, CEO of the Pratt Foundation and College Patron, at the 2010 Oration and Investiture in Hobart. The Pratt Foundation has funded the Scope of Practice Project.

 

Mental Health Nurses in Australia Scope of Practice 2013 & Standards of Practice 2010

The ACMHN would like to thank the Pratt Foundation for financially supporting the College to enable completion of the Scope of Practice Project; and the mental health nurses, consumers and carers who generously contributed to the project through participation in the Delphi survey process or by providing considered feedback and advice, without whom, this project would not have been possible.

 

Foreword

I am delighted to provide the opening remarks regarding this document. Scope of practice describes what we do as mental health nurses and in the complex and changeable world of health care it has been never more important than now for mental health nurses to define and claim their scope using contemporary benchmarks. Moreover, it is important for mental health nurses to engage with and then determine roles and functions that create opportunities for professional growth and  development.

Given that nurses practice in a variety of contexts and with diverse populations, their scope of practice needs to be flexible and evolving to account for specific demands and to permit the expansion and extension of practice, ultimately leading to advanced practice roles. A clearly defined scope of practice also enables others to understand what it is we do. So as we place the consumer at the heart of care carers, families and communities can observe the varied practice of the mental health nurse. In addition, a scope of practice sustains the development of mental health workforce, and informs health systems, health policy and health regulators.

A scope of practice is not a job description, a task list or an outcomes measure. However, it does provide the extent to which a mental health nurse works. The descriptors depict the array of activities but do not specify the relative importance of any. The Scope of Practice of Mental Health Nurses in Australia 2013 harmonises with the Standards of Practice for Australian Mental Health Nurses 2010, and you will see them together in this manuscript.

We are indebted to the Pratt Foundation, which provided funding to develop the Scope of Practice of Mental Health Nurses in Australia 2013.

I congratulate Dr Catherine Hungerford (Chair, ACMHN Research Committee 2011-2013) who led a small research team in managing this significant project, which involved multiple phases and nearly 2000 participants.

I commend the Scope of Practice of Mental Health Nurses in Australia 2013 to you.

Wendy Cross
President, ACMHN

 

Read the full Scope of Practice 2013 here

 

Please note, the full Scope of Practice is available for download only by ACMHN members. If you're a member, login to view it.

If you're not a member, you may wish to join and enjoy the many benefits membership provides. Click here to find out more about members, and to join.

 

 

Scope

 

Scope of Practice: what do mental health nurses do?

We know what we do (on an individual basis)... but how do we explain this to others? How do we discuss 'what we do' as a profession with each other, with government and other funding bodies, with the media and the community? How do we ensure that others do not dictate to us, as a profession, what we do and how our practice should be limited - particularly in relation to funding and practice models? Development of a 'Mental Health Nursing Scope of Practice' - that's how!!!

The ACMHN Scope of Practice research project was launched by Ms Heloise Waislitz, CEO of the Pratt Foundation and College Patron, at the 2010 Oration and Investiture in Hobart. The Pratt Foundation has funded the Scope of Practice Project.

 

Mental Health Nurses in Australia Scope of Practice 2013 & Standards of Practice 2010

The ACMHN would like to thank the Pratt Foundation for financially supporting the College to enable completion of the Scope of Practice Project; and the mental health nurses, consumers and carers who generously contributed to the project through participation in the Delphi survey process or by providing considered feedback and advice, without whom, this project would not have been possible.

 

Foreword

I am delighted to provide the opening remarks regarding this document. Scope of practice describes what we do as mental health nurses and in the complex and changeable world of health care it has been never more important than now for mental health nurses to define and claim their scope using contemporary benchmarks. Moreover, it is important for mental health nurses to engage with and then determine roles and functions that create opportunities for professional growth and  development.

Given that nurses practice in a variety of contexts and with diverse populations, their scope of practice needs to be flexible and evolving to account for specific demands and to permit the expansion and extension of practice, ultimately leading to advanced practice roles. A clearly defined scope of practice also enables others to understand what it is we do. So as we place the consumer at the heart of care carers, families and communities can observe the varied practice of the mental health nurse. In addition, a scope of practice sustains the development of mental health workforce, and informs health systems, health policy and health regulators.

A scope of practice is not a job description, a task list or an outcomes measure. However, it does provide the extent to which a mental health nurse works. The descriptors depict the array of activities but do not specify the relative importance of any. The Scope of Practice of Mental Health Nurses in Australia 2013 harmonises with the Standards of Practice for Australian Mental Health Nurses 2010, and you will see them together in this manuscript.

We are indebted to the Pratt Foundation, which provided funding to develop the Scope of Practice of Mental Health Nurses in Australia 2013.

I congratulate Dr Catherine Hungerford (Chair, ACMHN Research Committee 2011-2013) who led a small research team in managing this significant project, which involved multiple phases and nearly 2000 participants.

I commend the Scope of Practice of Mental Health Nurses in Australia 2013 to you.

Wendy Cross
President, ACMHN

......................................................................................................

NOTE: ACMHN members are able to download the full document 'Scope of Practice 2013’  from the 'Members Area' as a members benefit.

Go to 'Members Area' and then 'Member Login' in the top horizontal navigation. Login and you will see a link to "Download Scope of Practice" in the left hand navigation menu of the same page.

If you are not a member and would like to purchase a copy, please contact ACMHN National Office on (02) 6285 1078. If you are not a member, you may wish to join to access this and many other benefits. For information about joining – including prices, other benefits and payment options – please go to the ACMHN Home menu, click on "About Us" and then click on the "Join Now" link.

 

MHPNnewrightsize 

 

About Mental Health Professionals' Network

MHPN is a unique government initiative targeted at improving interdisciplinary mental health practice and collaborative care within Australia. MHPN supports primary mental health practitioners through local networks and an online professional development webinar program.

MHPN networks are local forums where interdisciplinary mental health practitioners meet voluntarily to connect and collaborate, and to improve referral pathways and consumer care. Members include mental health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, GPs and OTs.

  

Project partners

The core purpose of MHPN is to improve interdisciplinary and collaborative care practices between mental health professionals. MHPN works with member, partner and other organisations, as well as professional associations.


MHPN is supported by its key partners, including:

 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses
 The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
 Australian Psychological Society
 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.
 Australian Association of Social Workers
 Occupational Therapy Australia

Organisational collaborations

Additionally, MHPN works with a range of organisations to promote collaboration at all levels:

 between practitioners from different disciplines
 with consumers and carers
 between government, organisations and service providers.

 

Visit the website!

Visit www.mhpn.org.au or call 1800 209 031 for more information.