Spring 2018

NURS 6312-001 Advanced Mental Health Concepts

All students are responsible for checking their UTHSCSA Livemail account regularly (i.e., daily or several times every week) to obtain Official University Communication regarding their courses, program and student status.

NOTE: Our campus has enabled the CANVAS MOBILE LEARN application. CANVAS tools such as discussions, quizzes or videos May or May NOT function on all mobile devices. This is because mobile devices are available with rapidly changing and different configurations. Hence, students must not depend on only a mobile device to access course materials. Students must have access to a laptop or desktop device to access course materials and complete assignments.

This course is Web Enhanced with WebCT icon
Please be sure to check the Current Computer Requirements

Link to Graduate Clinical Experiences and Typhon guidelines: http://nursing.uthscsa.edu/gradclinical/



Gail B. Williams, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC

Office Phone: (210) 567-3811
Office Fax: (210) 567-5822
Office Room: NS 2.146
Office Hours: By Appointment
Office of Faculty Affairs and Diversity


Mark D. Soucy, PhD, RN, APRN, FAAN
E-Mail: soucy@uthscsa.edu

Office Phone: (210) 567-5893
Office Fax: (210) 567-5822
Office Room: NS 2.134
Office Hours: By Appointment
Office of Faculty Affairs and Diversity



This course develops the theoretical basis for advanced practice nursing in mental health.  Students use a holistic perspective to examine the etiology, meaning and consequences of human behavior.  Biological, cultural, psychological and social aspects of mental health and mental health care are considered. 


Credit Hour Allocations: 3 semester credit hours
Clock Hour Allocations: 45 hours class


Graduate standing


Upon completion of the Master of Science in Nursing Program (MSN) students will:

  1. Integrate scientific findings from nursing and related sciences, including genetics and genomics, into the delivery of advanced nursing care to populations in diverse settings.
  2. Demonstrate organizational and systems leadership to assure ethical and critical decision-making at all systems’ levels for quality and patient safety.
  3. Incorporate performance improvement strategies for quality, safety, and patient-centered care delivery.
  4. Use improvement science to achieve optimal patient care and care environment outcomes.
  5. Integrate meaningful and usable information systems and healthcare technologies to support safe, quality patient care and healthcare systems effectiveness.
  6. Advocate for policy changes that influence healthcare at appropriate levels.
  7. Lead interprofessional teams using collaborative strategies to effect quality patient care and population health outcomes.
  8. Analyze and incorporate broad ecological and social health determinants to design and deliver evidence-based clinical prevention and population healthcare and services to individuals, families, and aggregates/identified populations.
  9. Integrate the advanced competencies expected of a master’s prepared nurse to design, deliver, and evaluate outcomes of systems of care for individuals, families, and diverse populations.


  1. Discuss therapeutic use of self in management of clients with actual and potential mental health problems.
  2. Apply knowledge about the structure and function of the brain to patients with mental health problems.
  3. Describe the process of a comprehensive mental health assessment which includes but is not limited to mental status examination, laboratory testing, neuropsychological testing and imaging techniques.
  4. Generate appropriate diagnoses for persons with mental disorders using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
  5. Discuss the application of crisis intervention to patients experiencing psychiatric emergencies as well as those experiencing maturation and situational crises.
  6. Plan appropriate pharmacologic management to people with mental disorders across the lifespan.
  7. Evaluate the evidence base for use of complementary and alternative therapies for persons with mental disorders.
  8. Analyze the use and efficacy of various somatic therapies with persons with mental disorders.
  9. Apply teaching and learning strategies to the overall management of persons with mental disorders.
  10. Apply research findings to the overall management of persons with mental disorders.
  11. Relate ethical standards and decision making to the care of patients with mental health problems.
  12. Appraise clinical and preventive mental health services in light of evidence.
  13. Describe cultural proficiency in the clinical management of patients with mental health problems.
  14. Critique how mental health care services and funding effect impact care of persons with mental disorders.


A = 4 points (90-100)
B = 3 points (80-89)
C = 2 points (75-79)
D = 1 point (66-74)
F = 0 points (65 or below)


Grade Percentages:
20%     Written Mental Health Assessment (Group Assignment)
20%     Written Midterm Case Studies (Group Assignment)
20%     Written Patient Management Paper (Group Assignment)
20%     2 Reflective Journals (10% each)
10%     Class Participation
10 %    Group Participation (Written Self Evaluation/Group Evaluation)
100% - Total

Grading Scale:
A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
F = Below 60%


  1. If written assignments are made in a course they are required.
  2. Students are expected to submit written work on the scheduled date and time.
  3. The student must notify the course coordinator prior to the scheduled due date and time if they are unable to submit the written work as scheduled. Failure to make this notification in advance will result in a "zero" for that written work.
  4. If the excuse is accepted as reasonable and necessary, arrangements will be made for an alternative due date and time.
  5. Each student is responsible for making sure that he or she has completed the written work prior to submission.
  6. Late work will be accepted with consequences as outlined per course syllabi.


The APA Publication Manual 6th edition is required for use in all nursing school programs. 


Students are expected to be above reproach in all scholastic activities. Students who engage in scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from the university. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." Regents Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22.


Students who are nurses or are preparing to enter the profession of nursing are expected to treat others with respect and compassion. “The principle of respect for persons extends to all individuals with whom the nurse interacts. The nurse maintains compassionate and caring relationships with colleagues and others with a commitment to the fair treatment of individuals, to integrity-preserving compromise and to resolving conflict. This standard of conduct precludes any and all prejudicial actions, any form of harassment or threatening behavior, or disregard for the effects of one’s actions on others” (American Nurses Association Code for Nurses, Interpretive Statement 1.5).

The students, faculty, Department Chairs, Associate Deans, and the Dean of the School of Nursing of the University Texas Health Science Center San Antonio subscribe to the highest standards of conduct. Our aim is professional behavior beyond reproach. Failure to abide by the signed code of professional conduct may lead to suspension and/or permanent dismissal from the UTHSCSA SON. In particular, we subscribe to the provisions of the Code of Ethics for Nurses (http://bit.ly/1mtD5p2) and the following points of conduct.


School of Nursing Netiquette Guidelines for Online Interaction

Netiquette guidelines provide information for behaving properly online, when using email, tweets or texts so that you may successfully communicate your thoughts in a manner that is respectful and avoids misunderstandings with others.


Any student seeking reasonable accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact either the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services within the first week of the semester or schedule a meeting with the UTHSCSA ADA Compliance Office so that appropriate accommodations may be arranged. A request for accommodations (Form ADA-100: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/form100-Faculty-student-resident.pdf) must be completed and submitted to the Executive Director of the ADA Compliance Office before accommodations can be provided. Additional information can be provided in the Student Success Center, Room 1.118 or through the ADA Compliance Office website: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/request.asp.


American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretative statements. Washington, DC: Author

American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th Ed. Washington, DC: Author

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5 5th Ed. Washington, DC: Author 
ISBN #97808904256

Sadock, B.J. & Sadock, V.A. (2015). Kaplan & Sadock's synopsis of psychiatry: Behavioral sciences/Clinical psychiatry. 11th Ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Townsend, M. C. (2015). Psychiatric nursing: Assessment, care plans and medications. 9th Ed. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Publishers 
ISBN# 9780803642379  


1.Therapeutic use of self
2.Review of brain anatomy and physiology and behavioral models in

a.Mental processes and symptoms

b.Models of human behavior

3.Assessment of mental health in various age groups

a.Assessment tools

b.Mental Health History

c.Mental Status Examination

d.Laboratory Tests for mental health: Basic screening tests, Neuroendocrine Tests, Blood levels of psychoactive agents, Urine screens for substance abuse

e.Neuropsychological testing

f.Imaging techniques: MRI, PET, SPECT


4.Classification systems for mental health

a.Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

5.Crisis Intervention

a.Psychiatric emergencies

b.Transitional (maturational and situational) Crises across the life span

c.Techniques of crisis intervention

d.Evaluation of outcomes

6.Psychopharmacology & Disease Processes

a.Assessing the need for medication

b.Referral of appropriate clients for medication evaluation

c.Medication teaching and monitoring specific to people with mental disorders

d.Across the lifespan

7.Other biological therapies

a.Light as therapy

8.Other therapies

a.Social support manipulation


c.Stress management techniques

d.Affirmations and visualization

9.Teaching/learning strategies
10.Scholarship in mental health

a.Issues and methodologies

b.Research findings

11.Ethical/Legal Issues: Mental Health Code, Human/Patient Bill of Rights specific to protected populations
12.Delivery of evidence-based clinical and preventive mental health services.
13.Cultural components of care
14.Mental health care services and funding

CALENDAR - 1st Day Only

Please check the schedule for recent updates on Class Dates & Room.

January 12,2018

Course Overview

Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse & Primary Care Issues of Mental Health


Therapeutic Use of Self


Sadock & Sadock’s Text: pg 124-191

SON 1463

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