Master of Mental Health Nursing

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Making the move into the specialised field of mental health nursing can help you develop a rewarding and challenging career. As a mental health nurse, you work with people who suffer from a wide range of mental health disorders and psychological distress.

Designed to equip you with the latest research and theory in contemporary mental health nursing and clinical practice, the Master of Mental Health Nursing at the University of Newcastle will build your knowledge in key areas of nursing and health. At the end of your studies you will be eligible to apply  for accreditation with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.

As this area of expertise continues to develop, new models of care are established. A postgraduate qualification will equip you with the latest models of care. This program is particularly suited to those looking to specialise in the area of mental health and is delivered predominantly online.

With one in four Australians with a mental health problem, there is increasing demand for skilled nurses. Helping people deal with the challenges associated with managing mental health issues can provide a very rewarding career as you work to help patients manage their illness and medication, set and achieve life goals and care for their wellbeing.

Our advanced online learning system provides you with the flexibility and support to study anytime, anywhere to balance work, life and study. You can work towards completing the Master of Mental Health Nursing at a time that suits you.

Explore this page and find out if the Master of Mental Health Nursing is for you, what you will study and the career opportunities it can provide you.

Clinical Supervision Requirement

Clinical Supervision is a core component of contemporary professional mental health nursing practice and central to practicing within the ACMHN Standards of Practice for Australian Mental Health Nurses: 2010.

Applicants for the Master of Mental Health Nursing program must be currently employed in a mental health position, or able to access this type of position for the purposes of accessing relevant clinical experiences.

Students must be able to provide evidence that they have a formal clinical supervision agreement in place at the time of applying for admission. Throughout the Master of Mental Health Nursing program, students will be required to reflect on their experience and utilisation of clinical supervision, and this reflection will form part of formal assessment items.

Students must provide the following supervision documents at the time of application:

Students should also review the additional information on the importance of clinical supervision, which has been prepared by the Master of Mental Health Nursing program convenor (Dr Rachel Rossiter).

Is it for you?

If you are a registered nurse looking to specialise in mental health care, the Master of Mental Health Nursing at the University of Newcastle will provide you with the theoretical foundation and clinical knowledge and skills to see you succeed.

As an effective communicator and team player wanting to better understand the human mind, the Master of Mental Health Nursing may be the program for you.

As a dedicated and passionate mental health nurse you will work with people who are living with mental health issues including anxiety, depression, addiction, eating disorders and psychosis. You will undertake a number of pivotal patient services such as:

  • identifying patient goals and interventions required to achieve them
  • contributing to care plans and conferences
  • assessing mental health status and providing support and information to patients’ families and carers
  • educating, counselling and providing psychological interventions.

The University of Newcastle has developed a program offering you a quality clinically focused education that can see you progress as a mental health nurse.

For more information on what you will study throughout this advanced program, visit the ‘Study’ page.


This year long course (full-time) will see you emerge as a well-rounded nurse in the area of mental health, with the ability to apply your knowledge and skills in a variety of mental health care areas in the public or private sector.

To successfully complete the Master of Mental Health Nursing, you must undertake an ongoing arrangement for mentoring/clinical supervision by a suitably qualified and experienced registered nurse.

The program not only focuses on foundation studies in mental health nursing, but offers you the opportunity to strengthen your clinical practice in areas such as:

  • the delivery of psycho-social and psycho-educational interventions
  • mental health care for older people
  • illness management and recovery
  • mental health in primary care
  • forensic mental health.

You will also learn how and where the mental health nurse can play a role in a clinical context, including the provision of services such as:

  • medication education, management and compliance monitoring
  • liaising between GPs and psychiatrists
  • supporting and providing interventions post discharge from a mental health service
  • monitoring of mood, suicide and self-harm tendencies
  • counselling to manage and contain psychological distress

All of this can be studied via specialised courses such as mental health emergency care, managing challenging behaviour, therapeutic engagement and psychosocial interventions, aged and acute care, forensic mental health and symptom management in clinical practice.

The program has been developed to provide you with a balanced and effective theoretical and practical knowledge applicable to real world environments and situations.

To find out more about where the Master of Mental Health Nursing can lead you, visit the 'Careers' tab.


The University of Newcastle’s Master of Mental Health Nursing will qualify you to work collaboratively with a range of other health professionals in a variety of settings including general and psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse treatment programs, home healthcare services, community mental health agencies, primary care and private practice.

A career as a mental health nurse can be a very satisfying. With an increasing demand for qualified and experienced people in this field, long term employment and career progression will be possible in areas such as rural mental health, child and adolescent mental health, mental health nursing in emergency departments, forensic mental health and mental health nursing in primary care (general practice). You will be responsible for undertaking activities including mental health promotion and screening, prevention, teaching, specialist counselling and psychotherapy, medication management and direct nursing care.

For more detailed information on eligibility, courses and requirements of the Master of Mental Health Nursing visit the ‘Details’ tab.

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