The Network Manager for the Northern NSW Local Health District’s (NNSW LHD) Richmond/Clarence Mental Health Services, Warren Shaw, said the TMHNP had been running in Lismore since 2012.
“During this period, 17 Registered Nurses have taken part in the 12-month program which aims to introduce nursing staff to the specific skill set required to work within Mental Health,” Mr Shaw said.
“In Lismore, the TMHNP employs two first year Registered Nurses (RNs) and three second year RNs each year. These five staff shared clinical rotations in the Child and Adolescent Inpatient Unit (CAIPU), the Acute Care Service (ACS), and the Lismore Adult Mental Health Unit (LAMHU).
“Participants also attended four-hour fortnightly education session that incorporated senior clinicians across the Network presenting a wide variety of topics, including subjects such as evidence-based practice and research, psychoanalytic theories, and Mental State Exams to assess current functioning.”
The 12-month rotation also requires participants to complete a range of academic studies including oral projects, online learning commitments, and three major written assignments that critically examine aspects of Mental Health Nursing including: risk assessment, models of care, legislation, and contemporary mental health care. It is expected that these assignments are produced at a Post-Graduate level.
“Mental Health nursing is an incredibly rewarding career pathway and we welcome the five new TMHNP participants to the Lismore Mental Health Campus,” Mr Shaw said.
Mr Shaw acknowledged that the success of the TMHNP program each year was largely due to the hard work and enthusiasm of the coordinating Nurse Educators Ryan Rooney and Shane Scofield and their ability to elicit support and input from senior clinicians across the Mental Health Campus.
The TMHNP program currently runs both in the Tweed Hospital and Lismore Mental Health Campuses. In 2016 the program has been expanded to include participation from Grafton Mental Health Services with plans to include in Byron Bay Services in the future.