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Program Description

This Ontario College Graduate Certificate program will prepare Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses to promote mental health across multiple healthcare contexts and settings. The program includes: the evolution of mental health nursing in Canada, safe spaces and safety practices, community mental health nursing, mental health law and ethics, mental health promotion across the lifespan and with diverse aggregates, psychopharmacology, therapeutic modalities, the global contexts of mental health nursing, and an integrative practicum. Program delivery is flexible through a course-based enrolment model to accommodate the needs of nurses work schedules. This program aligns with the Canadian Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Competencies and Standards of Practice.


**Applicants from health professions other than nursing may be granted special permission to enroll in specific courses.


Program Requirements

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
Expected Availability
CreditsFall Winter Summer
Mental Health Nursing Asylum LegacyNRSG-60564YesNo
This course is designed to foster understanding and critical thinking in relation to historical and contemporary approaches to mental health nursing and caring for clients with mental health challenges. Frameworks pertaining to mental health, mental illness, addiction, relational practice, psychosocial rehabilitation, and recovery are explored. Opportunities to critique and apply current mental health assessment techniques are provided. Advocacy and client-centeredness are key concepts integrated throughout this course and applied to practice contexts.
Concepts of Mental Health PromotionNRSG-60573YesNoNo
Framed within the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (1986), this course provides opportunities to explore concepts of community health nursing within the context of mental health. Students critique Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Levels of Prevention, with a course emphasis on Primary Prevention and "upstream" approaches. Community development and strengths-based approaches are applied to the promotion and maintenance of the mental health of individuals, families, and communities. This course is about creating health and exploring how communities contribute to positive mental well-being.
Mental Hlth Promotion Across Lifespan 1NRSG-60583NoYesNo
Building on Foundational Concepts in Mental Health Promotion in Communities, this course critiques how social determinants of health, health equity, public policy, and stigma shape mental health. The focus will be on viewing mental illness from a socio-environmental lens and considering what is needed to promote and maintain mental well-being across the life span.
Mental Hlth Promotion Across Lifespan 2NRSG-60593YesNoNo
Building on Mental health promotion across the lifespan I, students have opportunities to deepen their understanding of selected populations of complex aggregates through critical application of social justice-based health promotion. Attention to public policy and systems-level advocacy are critiqued, explored, and applied to practice with selected populations.
Safe Spaces in Practice SettingsSFTY-60073NoYes
This course provides the opportunity to deconstruct the concept of safety as it relates to self and others in the context of nursing, specifically with clients experiencing mental health challenges. Topics include peer-support, trauma-informed care, as well as vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. Safety practices of risk assessment and crisis intervention across community and institutional settings are explored and critiqued. Completion of NRSG-6056 Mental Health Nursing in Canada: The Legacy of the Asylum is strongly recommended before registering in this course.
Global Context of Mental Health NursingNRSG-60603NoNoYes
This course provides opportunities to develop an understanding of how diverse contexts shape the mental health of individuals, families, and communities. Similarities and differences in mental health nursing and standards of care across diverse global contexts are explored. Students will explore and critique how values, culture, policies, and models of care shape practice within and across countries. This systems-level analysis provides students with opportunities to identify, compare, and critique best practices to envision possibilities for change within the Canadian health care system.
This course will explore the physiological principles of pharmacotherapy and will review a range of medications as well as complementary and alternative medicines used in the care of individuals experiencing mental health challenges. The course will cover the assessment and safe, ethical administration and management of medications used to treat mental illness conditions of clients across the lifespan.
Addictions, Substance Use & MisuseBSCI-60303YesNo
This course explores historical, contemporary, and cultural contexts of addiction and substance use and misuse. The psychological and physiological effects of addiction and substance use and misuse are examined in the context of mental health and mental illness. The course explores the personal, family, and system effects of addiction and substance use and misuse and current treatment and harm reduction strategies.
Mental Health Law & EthicsLAWS-60414NoNo
This course reviews the Mental Health Act and Criminal Code of Canada and their influence on the delivery of mental health services to individuals and families across the lifespan. Concepts explored include legal responsibilities of organizations and nurses, use of detention/restraint, consent and capacity, substitute decision-making, community treatment orders, the forensic system, advocacy, rights advice, risk assessment, confidentiality, stigma, and the culturally safe, ethical care of individuals in a variety of settings.
Therapeutic ModalitiesNRSG-60614NoYesNo
Students have opportunities to develop an understanding of nursing interventions within the scope of nursing practice in Ontario, including crisis intervention, motivational interviewing, solution-focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. In addition, the course reviews common physical therapies, both historic and contemporary including psychosurgery, electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, phototherapy, and vagus nerve stimulation with each. Experiential learning in individual counselling and group facilitation is provided in case simulation and course assignments.
Mental Health Nursing PracticumFLDP-60253.2YesNoNo
This 120 hour practicum and synthesis course is designed to support and enrich students' learning experiences and increase their counselling competence. The practicum takes place within a mutually agreed upon practice setting with an appropriate preceptor. Students have opportunities to integrate mental health concepts with practice by developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships, and conceptualizing and planning care in a holistic, culturally safe manner. Working as a member of a health care team within the context of mental health care, students are expected to assume leadership roles. A synthesis paper will be completed by the end of the course. Students are required to meet all pre-practice placement requirements prior to the start of the course.

Program Residency
Students Must Complete a Minimum of 10 credits in the
Program at Fanshawe to meet the Program Residency
requirement and Graduate from this Program.

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Learning outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Employ a social determinants of health and client-centered framework to inform nurse-client relationships to improve mental health care outcomes;
  2. Collaborate as a member of the inter-professional health care team to apply treatment modalities that best address the client’s mental health needs;
  3. Engage in reflective practice that recognizes the impact of personal and societal stigma and discrimination on health and health care outcomes and advocate accordingly;
  4. Advocate for individuals, groups and communities on optimal client outcomes based on relevant mental health legislation, policy and ethical frameworks;
  5. Develop and apply strategies to enhance professional growth and workplace competence;
  6. Assess, utilize, and advocate for safety practices for self and others in the context of mental health nursing to improve mental health care and client outcomes;
  7. Apply contemporary mental health strategies to conduct a person-focused health assessment and develop a plan of care in collaboration with the client to promote recovery;
  8. Working collaboratively with partners, facilitate improvements in health services and community supports to promote mental health;
  9. Use research results to design and implement client care and services with the participation and contribution of the client, their family and community.

Program Details

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Program Details

Program Code
Topic Area
Health and Nursing
Ontario College Graduate Certificate