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Identify key aspects of professional, legal and ethical that underpin Mental Health Nursing practice

MODULE TITLE:                             

Introductions to Professional values for Mental Health Nurses 









132 hours lectures, group work   

100 hours guided learning  

168 self-directed learning  










This module introduces you to the experience of higher education and your preparation for clinical practice.  A key focus will be on application of core values in the care of the service user, across the life span and a range of settings. The module will also facilitate opportunities for personal and professional development, including self-awareness, resilience, and working within teams. 


  1. To enable you to understand the therapeutic value of a nursing relationship and your contribution to compassionate, non-discriminatory and dignified care. 
  2. To develop your understanding of the care needs of service users through an engagement with the theoretical and professional basis of nursing 
  3. To provide you with a range of opportunities to apply theory to practice 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module you will be able to 

  1. Identify key aspects of professional, legal and ethical that underpin Mental Health Nursing practice 
  2. Develop increased self-awareness and emotional intelligence and formulate strategies for personal and professional development   
  3. Understand multi-professional working in the care of the service-user across a variety of settings 
  4. Consider, apply and evaluate the research and evidence base in the care of the service-user across the lifespan and across a variety of settings.
  5. Demonstrate emerging abilities to present academic work at level 4.   

Indicative module content

Historical perspectives of Mental Health 

The role of the nurse and professional identity across a range of settings 

Professional values and behaviours  

NMC Code/ NHS Constitution 

Introduction to legal and ethical aspects of nursing. 



Supporting people who across all stages of life who are physically and emotionally vulnerable 

Advocacy/ Raising Concerns/ Duty of Candour 

The rights and autonomy of service-users  

Introduction to person-centred care and partnership working including families and carers 

Culture, equality and diversity, reasonable adjustments  

Holistic care and spirituality/ Nursing models and activities of living 

Communication, team-working and professional relationships 

Record keeping, policy and documentation  

Fostering research-awareness and application of evidence-based practice to make informed decisions  

Professional curiosity, critical analysis and thinking 

Introduction to risk management and clinical governance 

Reflective practice, self-awareness, resilience, self-care (both physical and mental health) and emotional intelligence 

Study skills including time management, developing academic writing and critical thinking 

Recovery principles and The Mental Health Continuum 

Inclusive communities, social inclusion and stigma and challenging discriminatory behaviour. 

Therapeutic relationships 

Effective use of self 

Common mental health conditions  

Learning and Teaching Methods 

To ensure that there is a successful, inclusive and productive experience for you, the learning and teaching strategy for this module includes the use of lectures, group activities, and tutorials to facilitate your development and to provide a strong foundation on which to build a deeper knowledge base.  

The virtual learning environment will be used as part of blended learning to facilitate your journey along the continuum from directed to independent learner. Careful consideration will be given to the clarity and range of learning and teaching materials provided. 



  1. Develop a draft copy of the SWOT analysis for discussion with your personal tutor.
  2. Present a plan for case study and critique of research paper in a learning community for facilitator and peer review 

Summative assessment  

The summative assessment for this module consists of the following; 

Summative 1is a SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis and formation of a Personal and Professional Development plan, using SMART objectives.  1000 words 20% weighting

Assessment criteria

  1. Demonstrate insight into your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  2. Identify SMART strategies for development and any resources you may need
  3. Presentation, structure, grammar and referencing consistent with level 4 academic study.

Summative 2 is a critique of a research article

Search for and select a journal article or research study, related to module content. Evaluate the study using the provided framework 1,500 words 40% weighting

Assessment criteria

  1. Demonstrate the ability to search for primary research
  2. Identify key elements of the research process within the chosen paper
  3. Critically appraise the research methods
  4. Demonstrate emerging abilities to present academic work.

Summative 3 is an essay based on a case study

Drawing on module content, explore the professional, legal and ethical aspects of care for a given service-user and demonstrate an understanding of the core values that underpin mental health nursing practice.  2,500 words 40% weighting

 Assessment criteria

  1. Drawing on the information in the case study, discuss the relevant professional, legal and ethical aspects of the nurse’s role
  2. Identify the relevance of the multi-professional working in relation to your chosen area
  3. Drawing on the information in the case study, discuss the core values that underpin mental health nursing practice
  4. Presentation, structure, grammar and referencing consistent with level 4 academic writing.

Component number  

Form of assessment  

Assessment size  

Weighting %  

Learning outcomes assessed  

Core or non-core  


SWOT analysis and Personal Development Plan  

1000 words  


2, 5 



Critique of article or research paper   

1500 words  






2500 words  





Essential Reading 

Beauchamp, T.L. & Childress, J.F. (2009), Principles of biomedical ethics, 6th edn, Oxford University Press, New York; Oxford. 

Ellis, P. (2017), Understanding ethics for nursing students, 2nd edn, SAGE : Learning Matters, London. 

Ellis, P. (2016), Understanding research for nursing students, Third. edn, SAGE/Learning Matters, Los Angeles. 

Hogston, R. and Marjoram, B. (2011) Foundations of nursing practice: Themes, concepts and frameworks. 4th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Peate, Wild and Nair (2014) Nursing Practice: Knowledge and Care. Wiley-Blackwell: Hoboken 

Sellman, D. and Snelling, P. (eds.) (2017) Becoming a nurse: fundamentals of professional practice for nursing. 2nd edn. Abingdon: Routledge.

Recommended Reading 

Bloch, S. & Green, S.A. (2009), Psychiatric ethics, 4th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford. 

Dimond, B. (2015) Legal Aspects of Nursing 7th edn. Harlow. Pearson Education Ltd. 

Gribben, M. (2012) The study skills toolkit for students with dyslexia. Los Angeles, [Calif.].; London: SAGE 

Further Reading 

Arnold, E.C. and Underman Boggs, K. (2016) Interpersonal Relationships: Professional Communication Skills for Nurses. 7th edn. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders. 

Baughan, J. and Smith, A. (2013) Compassion, caring and communication skills for nursing practice. 2nd edn. Abingdon: Routledge. 

Davidson B and Barker P (1997), Psychiatric Nursing: Ethical Strife, London, Taylor and Francis. 

Rolfe G, Jasper M and Freshwater D (2011) Critical reflection in practice; generating knowledge for care. 2nd edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Additional Resources


British Journal of Nursing

Journal of Advanced Nursing

Nursing Standard

Mental Health Practice

Journal of Mental Health


Department of Health http://www.dh.gov.uk/

NHS Evidence http://www.evidence.nhs.uk/

Nursing and Midwifery Council http://www.nmc-uk.org/

Rethink https://www.rethink.org/

Mental Health Foundation https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

MIND https://www.mind.org.uk/

Royal College of Psychiatry https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/

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