Mental Health Nursing with Practicum

General Course Information

Course Lecturer Name(s):  Cassandra Godzik, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, CNE

Course Director Name:  Jennifer Solomon, PhD, RN 

Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information:; +1-802-5583439

Course Director Contact Information:                 ext. 3758 

Course Lecturer(s) Office Hours:  Wednesday 6 PM - 7 PM AST; and as needed by appointment 

Course Director Office Hours:  N/A

Course Lecturer(s) Office Location:  Virtual via Zoom Room - See SAKAI Course Director Office Location: Virtual via Zoom Room - See SAKAI   

Course Support:  Cecilia George-McSween,

Course Management tool: To learn to use Sakai, the Course management tool, access the link

Course Curriculum Information

Course Description: 

This course focuses on the basic psychopathology of mental disorders and the theories and principles underlying nursing care of patients with alterations in mental health status. An historical perspective on the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, including a discussion of the predominant theoretical frameworks for treatment will be presented. The major psychiatric diagnoses will be defined, described, and discussed in terms of their etiology, clinical manifestations, and approaches to treatment. Psychiatric nursing as a specialty area of practice and the application of psychiatric principles across clinical populations will be emphasized. Health promotion, crisis intervention, and family and community concepts related to mental illness will be addressed. Contemporary concerns will be presented related to the impact of mental illness on family stress and burden, substance abuse, and family violence. Personal, family, societal, political, legal, and ethical considerations pertaining to mental illness will be explored. Examples of evidence-based practice will be utilized throughout. The practicum will allow students the opportunity to observe and under supervision experience the work of the psychiatric nurse within the hospital and community.

Course Objectives: 

  1. Demonstrate the basic concepts of psychiatric-mental health nursing in the community and hospital setting.
  2. Discuss culture and spirituality as they pertain to psychiatric-mental health nursing.
  3. Discuss the role of the psychiatric-mental health nurse.
  4. Implement appropriate and safe care directed toward various client populations in the mental health care setting.
  5. Identify the major psychiatric diagnoses and approaches to treatments.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Evaluate the theoretical bases for nursing as they support organizations in achievement of adaptation and culturally competent care for mental health care delivery (Course Objective 5).
  2. Synthesize evidence from research and theory to enhance delivery of quality mental health care (Course Objectives 1, 2, 3).
  3. Evaluate ethical, legal, and professional standards of practice (Course Objectives 4 and 5).
  4. Evaluate the leadership and management roles of the registered nurse in creating a quality mental health care delivery system (Course Objectives 1, 2, 3).
  5. Evaluate the dynamic forces and issues influencing mental health care delivery to initiate interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary change that affects the quality of mental health systems (Course Objective 5).

Program Outcomes Met By This Course:

NPO - 1 Integrates nursing and health care knowledge, skills, and attitudes to provide safe, ethical, and effective patient centered nursing care, representing the patients’ preferences, values, and needs within the context of their families, communities, and the health care delivery system. (Nursing practice)

NPO – 2 Demonstrate a level of professionalism that is congruent with the inherent values, ethics, and behaviors of the discipline of nursing. (Professional conduct)

NPO -3 Engages the patient to understand the link between health promotion strategies and health outcomes across the life cycle. (Health promotion and maintenance of wellness)

NPO – 6 Utilizes appropriate communication and interpersonal skills to engage in, develop and disengage from therapeutic relationships with individuals and groups. (Communication)

NPO – 7 Utilizes critical thinking skills and professional judgment to inform decisionmaking in the delivery of health care. (Clinical decision making and intervention) NPO – 8 Identifies one’s own professional development needs by engaging in reflective practice in the context of lifelong learning and to participate in processes to shape the health care delivery systems and advance the profession. (Professional reflection and visioning)

SAS Grading Scale: Grades will be assigned as follows:

A  = 89.5% or better

B+ = 84.5 - 89.4%

B  = 79.5 - 84.4%

C+ = 74.5 - 79.4%

C = 69.5 - 74.4%

D = 64.5 - 69.4%

F = 64.4% or less 

Course Materials:

Text:  Morgan, K. & Townsend, M. (2021). Psychiatric mental health nursing. (10th ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis. ISBN-13: 978-0-8036-9967-0

Purchase online electronic textbook, or hard copy. Library has limited copies available.

Supplementary Readings/Resources: 

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Course Grading Requirement:

Exams (x2) – mid-term and final via Exam Soft: 80%. Each exam has 75 questions.

Quizzes (x5) – 15%. Each quiz has 10 questions.

Self-Reflection Submissions (a few times throughout the semester, during class) – 5%


Total Grade = 100%

Course Requirements:

Attend all live courses (virtual and in-person as specified in the course schedule) and actively engage in live course discussion as well as the online classroom activities.  

Course Schedule


Classroom Times (Recorded, Live Virtual or In -Person




(Recorded, Live Virtual or InPerson)

Learning Materials (Read PRIOR to the scheduled class)

Homework Assignment(s)

Week 1





Dr. Godzik via Zoom

The Concept of Stress Adaptation (Ch. 1)

Mental Health and Mental Illness: Historical and Theoretical Concepts (Ch. 2)

 Ethical and Legal  Issues (Ch. 5)

Lectures on Chapters: 1, 2, 5

Textbook Readings: 1, 2, 5



Week 2



Dr. Godzik via Zoom

The Nursing Process in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing (Ch. 8)

 Psychopharmacology (Ch. 4)  

Lectures on Chapter: 4, 8

Textbook Readings: 4, 8


Week 3





Recorded Lectures

Relationship Development (Ch. 6)


Therapeutic Groups (Ch. 9)     

Lectures on Chapters: 6, 9

 Videos: Therapy Sessions


Textbook Readings: 6, 9



Quiz 1 Due

Week 4





Recorded Lectures

Intervention with Families (Ch. 10)

 Crisis Intervention (Ch. 12)

 Promoting Self-Esteem (Ch. 14)

Lectures on

Chapters: 10, 12, 14


Textbook Readings: 10, 12, 14



Week 5





Dr. Godzik via Zoom

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (Ch. 18)

The Recovery Model (Ch. 20)

 The Psychiatric-Mental Health Client in Nonpsychiatric Settings (Ch. 21)


Lectures on Chapters: 18, 20, 21


Textbook Readings: 18, 20, 21


Week 6 





Dr. Godzik via Zoom

Suicide Prevention (Ch. 16)

 Electroconvulsive Therapy (Ch. 19)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Ketamine Therapy, Psychedelic Treatments, DNS, and VNS – not in textbook

 Relaxation Therapy (Ch. 41)

Activity: David Weene from McLean Hospital (guest lecturer)

 Lectures on Chapters: 16, 19,


Textbook Readings: 16, 19, 41



Quiz 2 Due

Week 7





Dr. Godzik via Zoom

Schizophrenia Spectrum & Other

Psychotic Disorders (Ch. 24)

 Bipolar and Related Disorders (Ch. 26)

 Mid-Term Exam Review   

Lectures on

Chapters: 24, 26


Videos: Ted Talk ( Elyn Saks) 

Textbook Readings: 24, 26


Week 8





Dr. Godzik via Zoom

Depressive Disorders (Ch. 25) 

 Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive, and Related Disorders (Ch. 27)

Lectures on Chapters: 25, 27



Textbook Readings: 25, 27

Videos: Eating Disorder Film


Mid-Term Exam


1 via Exam Soft covers materials through Week 7


Week 9





Dr. Godzik Live, InPerson in Grenada

Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders (Ch. 28)


Eating Disorders (Ch. 30)




Lectures on Chapter: 28, 30


Videos: Eating Disorders Film  Activity: Tour at Mount Gay Psychiatric Hospital and Nurse Lecture (time and date to be determined)            

Textbook Reading: 28, 30


Quiz 3 Due



Week 10






Dr. Godzik Live, InPerson in Grenada


Somatic Symptom and Dissociative Disorders (Ch. 29)


Personality Disorders (Ch. 31)


Lectures on Chapter: 29, 31


Videos: “Girl, Interrupted” – Personality Disorders        



Textbook Readings: 29, 31




Week 11





Dr. Godzik via Zoom

The Aging Individual (Ch. 33)

 Survivors of Abuse or Neglect (Ch. 34)

 The Bereaved Individual (Ch. 36)

Lectures on Chapter: 33, 34, 36

Textbook Readings: 33, 34, 36



Week 12





Dr. Godzik via Zoom

Children and Adolescents (Ch. 32)


Military Families (Ch. 37)


Lectures on Chapters: 32, 37

Textbook Readings: 32, 37



Quiz 4 Due

Week 13





Dr. Godzik via Zoom

Issues Related to Human Sexuality and Gender Dysphoria (Ch. 42)



Lectures on Chapters: 42

Textbook Readings: 42


Week 14





Dr. Godzik via Zoom

Cultural and Spiritual Concepts Relevant to Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing (Ch. 39)

 Complementary and Psychosocial Therapies (Ch. 40)

Lectures on Chapters: 39, 40

Textbook Readings: 39, 40


Week 15





Dr. Godzik via Zoom

Forensic Nursing (Ch. 43)

 Wrap-up (catch up) on prior lectures

Final Exams Review 

Lectures on Chapters: 43

Textbook Readings: 43



Quiz 5 Due

Week 16




Dr. Godzik via Zoom

Finals Week 




Final Exam 2 in Exam Soft. Covers content wince Term (Week 8 through Week 16). 

Final Course & Faculty Evaluations

School of Arts and Sciences Master Syllabi — Info for All Sections

Plagiarism Policy

Academic Integrity

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Plagiarism is regarded as a cardinal offense in academia because it constitutes theft of the work of someone else, which is then purported as the original work of the plagiarist. Plagiarism draws into disrepute the credibility of the Institution, its faculty, and students; therefore, it is not tolerated” (p. 48).

Plagiarism also includes the unintentional copying or false accreditation of work, so double check your assignments BEFORE you hand them in.

Be sure to do good, honest work, credit your sources and reference accordingly and adhere to the University’s Honor Code. Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with very seriously following the university’s policies on Plagiarism as outlined in the Student Manual.

Your work may be subject to submission to plagiarism detection software, submission to this system means that your work automatically becomes part of that database and can be compared with the work of your classmates.

Attendance Requirement

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Students are expected to attend all classes and or clinical rotations for which they have registered. Although attendance may not be recorded at every academic activity, attendance may be taken randomly. Students’ absence may adversely affect their academic status as specified in the grading policy. If absence from individual classes, examinations, and activities, or from the University itself is anticipated, or occurs spontaneously due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, proper notification procedures must be followed. A particular course may define additional policies regarding specific attendance or participation” (p. 9).

Examination Attendance

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

All matriculated students are expected to attend all assigned academic activities for each course currently registered. Medical excuses will be based on self-reporting by students. Students who feel they are too sick to take an examination or other required activity on a specific day must submit the online SAS medical excuse, which is available on Carenage. Students are only allowed two such excuses a year. Upon consultation with the Director of University Health Service, the third excuse will result in a mandatory medical leave of absence. The policies regarding make-up examinations are at the option of the Course Director” (p.46).

For additional specific examination policies and procedures, refer to the St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020), pages 31 through 37.

Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services Policy

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

A student with a disability or disabling condition that affects one or more major life activities, who would like to request an accommodation, must submit a completed application form and supporting documentation to the Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services (SAAS) located in the Dean of Students Office. It is highly recommended that students applying for accommodations do so at least one month before classes begin to allow for a more efficient and timely consideration of the request. If a fully completed application is not submitted in a timely fashion, an eligibility determination may not be made, and accommodations, where applicable, may not be granted prior to the commencement of classes and/or examinations” (p. 8).


It is the responsibility of the student to read and understand the policies, laws, rules and procedures that while they could affect your grade for a course, have not been specifically outlined in the course syllabus. These are contained in the St. George’s University Student Manual.