Masters in Nursing (Mental Health Nursing Stream)


Welcome to our stream


Welcome to the mental health stream of the masters in nursing programme at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences University of KwaZulu-Natal. We hope 2012 is a challenging, stimulating and personally inspiring year for you and that you develop academically, professionally and interpersonally during this time.


The goal of a master’s degree in nursing


Our goal is to produce graduates who are critical thinkers that effectively use available evidence and reflective practices to enhance their clinical, consultation, knowledge-generating and management effectiveness in diverse health settings and systems (NURS822). The mental health nursing stream aims to prepare clinical psychiatric nurse specialists to provide a focused range of evidence-based services to adults and their families in primary, secondary and tertiary settings.


The mental health stream focus


This stream focuses on developing specific clinical and academic skills and is designed to meet the needs of the changing public health care environment. Our clinical focus areas include supervised clinical and academic practice in family and narrative therapies (NURS803), psychosocial rehabilitation counseling (NURS 835) and advanced assessment, diagnostic and prescriptive practices for mental health in the primary health care context (NURS809) and knowledge-generating and research utilization skills (NURS831; NURS850 and 851 and NURS809; NURS822).Underlying these clinical foci are the dynamics of the changing mental health care environment. These dynamics and their impact on advanced practice are explored through the seminar methodology (NURS809; NURS822). The ability to find, to evaluate and to use current research-based evidence and knowledge-generating strategies (research methods) to explore, manage and evaluate clinical issues in practice is the hallmark of a masters degree prepared nurse.



The lecturers in mental health


Ms Charlotte Engelbrecht (Room 513)  Tel: 031 2602513 E-mail:


Ms Amanda Smith (Room 537) Tel: 0312603578 E-Mail:


Our interest areas in mental health


We hope to offer you a diverse and interesting programme stream in 2012. We share a passion for mental health and mental health nursing but have different research foci and clinical interests. Ms Charlotte Engelbrecht has a passion for family work and specifically, for family therapy in the local context. Charlotte is presently immersed in her PhD which she hopes to complete within the year. She is concentrating on families in the community context and family therapy and narrative therapy are her areas of clinical interest and expertise (NURS 803). Ms Amanda Smith completed her MN (mental health) cum laude the focus of her research dissertation was in the area of stigma, employment and the person with mental illness. Her primary area of interest and expertise is collaboration between practitioners and consumers to achieve psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery, the focus of her PhD research, and she brings a wealth of clinical experience and on-going community involvement in this area, to this module (NURS835). Professor Lies Korevaar (Professor in Psychosocial Rehabilitation in the Netherlands and an honorary associate professor in the school of Nursing, University of KwaZulu-Natal) has assisted in developing this PSR module and continues to be interested in our students’ through e-consultation.


Masters in Nursing (Mental Health Stream) Degree Structure (160 credits)


The master’s in nursing (mental health stream) runs over a minimum period of one year for full time students and one year for full time students (Faculty Handbook NURS 19 Degree Structure [b] pages 68-69; Rule NURS17 Duration, page 68). During the first year, both full time and part-time students will complete the taught modules. Full time students will complete their research project in the first year, and part time students in the second year. Please see the FHSHB Nurs 21 Progression 1 (page 69); Nursing: DP Requirement (page 70); and the Rules for Masters Degrees by Coursework (page 22-25).


Core Modules in Mental Health/psychiatric Nursing 48 Credits

NURS 835       Psychosocial rehabilitation Ms Amanda Smith (Semester 1) 16 credits

NURS 803       Advanced psychiatric nursing skills Ms Charlotte Engelbrecht (Semester 1) 16 credits

NURS 809       Critical issues in psychiatric care Ms Amanda Smith (Semester 2) 16 credits


Core modules (all streams) 112 Credits

NURS 831       Nursing Research and Methods (Semester 1) 16 credits

NURS 822       Advanced Practice Nurse Role (Semester 2) 16 credits

NURS 850 & 852 Research Project Research Supervisor (Semester 1 & 2) 80 credits


The teaching dates for the mental health nursing stream and the core all stream modules, are indicated on the year planner. Some teaching for the mental health modules may take place on a Saturday. This is to allow the part time students to complete the taught modules in one year, and to devote their subsequent year to the dissertation.


NURS831 Is generally ALL day, from 8:30 – 15:00 pm unless you are informed otherwise.


NURS835 Is generally ALL day, from 8:30 – 15:00 pm unless you are informed otherwise. Some teaching might take place on a Saturday for this module and attendance is compulsory.


NURS803 Is generally ALL day, from 8:30 15:00 pm unless indicated otherwise. Some teaching might takes place of a Saturday for this module and attendance is compulsory.


NURS809 is on ALTERNATE Fridays. Both are generally ALL day from 8:30 – 15:00 unless otherwise Attendance is compulsory.


In Addition there is an optional qualitative research module NURS816H2 .



We are committed to improving mental health care and passionate about psychiatric / mental health nursing and look forward to interacting and mentoring students who share our passio

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