Catalog: 2014–2015 Catalog Year

NURS 149: Mental Health and Illness Theory

General Information

  • Name: Mental Health and Illness Theory
  • Discipline: Nursing (NURS)
  • Units (Credits): 3
  • Transfer Information: Courses with numbers 100 to 299: This course is designed to apply toward a WNC degree and/or transfer to other schools within the Nevada System of Higher Education, depending on the degree chosen and other courses completed. It may transfer to colleges and universities outside Nevada. For information about how this course can transfer and apply to your program of study, please contact a counselor.
  • Academic Division: Nursing and Allied Health

Prerequisites and Recommended Courses

  • Prerequisites: admission to the nursing program
  • Corequisites: NURS 151

Course Outline

I: Catalog Course Description

Helps students gain knowledge of nursing care for the patient experiencing primary threats to psychosocial integrity. Examines the principles and practice of psychiatric nursing through a variety of theoretical frameworks and legal and ethical values that guide its practice. Emphasis is placed on the use of culturally relevant therapeutic communication skills, development of therapeutic nurse/patient relationships, and interventions that are grounded in evidence based practice to achieve best practice outcomes. Formerly NURS 236.

II: Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • Discuss a variety of theoretical frameworks used in the provision of care for patients experiencing disruptions in psycho/social integrity.
  • Utilize knowledge grounded in evidence-based practice to conceptualize and utilize the nursing process in a classroom setting for patients experiencing: anxiety disorders, mood disorders; personality disorders; substance abuse, aggression and violence; thought disorders, disorders of self-regulation, psychosomatic disorders; and psychiatric emergencies.
  • Prioritize appropriate therapeutic modalities that are designed to promote health bio/psycho/social/cultural/spiritual functioning while maintaining patient safety.
  • Explain how the ethical and legal rights of patients guide the practice of psychiatric nursing.
  • Identify the psychopharmacological issues that are important for providing safe care of patients.
  • Demonstrate college level reading and writing skills through comprehension of text assignments, quizzes and examinations.

III: Course Linkage

Linkage of course to educational program mission and at least one educational program outcome.

The purpose of the Associate of Applied Science degree is to provide employment-related knowledge and the skills necessary to succeed in a chosen field of study.

The mission of the nursing program at Western Nevada College is to meet the nursing educational needs of the service area. The program prepares qualified students to function as entry-level registered nurses and transfer to higher degree programs.

Graduates are prepared to function in a variety of health care settings, providing culturally sensitive, holistic nursing care to individuals and families across the lifespan. The nursing faculty supports graduate competency in an evolving and complex health care environment by facilitating the students' development of clinical judgement, promoting professional behaviors, and fostering the value of lifelong learning.

The Nursing Program Educational Objectives ensure that students who successfully complete the Nursing Program are expected to demonstrate that they can:

  • Utilize the nursing process in a competent and caring manner to safely meet the bio/psycho/social/cultural and spiritual needs of patients across the lifespan in a variety of health care settings.
  • Integrate knowledge derived from the bio/psycho/social sciences, humanities, and nursing to achieve deliberative and competent decision-making that is grounded in evidence based practice to achieve best practice outcomes.
  • Apply concepts of cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity and respect for persons when working with diverse populations.
  • Provide care that reflects the ethical values of nursing within the professional practice standards as well as the legal parameters of the profession
  • Use therapeutic communication skills when interacting with patients and their families

Additionally, the General Education Student Learning Objectives ensure that students who complete programs in occupational areas are expected to demonstrate that they:

  • Have college-level skills in reading, writing, and oral communication appropriate to their degree and/or emphasis
  • Posses suitable technological skills, including computer skills
  • Know the subject matter of their degree to a level that is acceptable to their area of study
  • Are able to acquire the skills and perform the tasks necessary for their employment or career enhancement
  • Have adequate college level mathematical skills


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