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  • Nursing
  • Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Psychiatric Technician
Hours: 30 Contact Hours (1.4 Pharm hours)
  • Karen S. Ward, PhD, MSN, RN, COI
  • Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT
Peer Reviewer(s): Laura G. Leahy, DrNP, APRN, PMH-CNS/FNP, CARN-AP, FAANP
Item#: N1758
Contents: 1 Course Book (468 pages)
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Caring for Patients With Mental Health Issues: Strategies for All Nurses, 2nd Edition

Price $74.95
Item # N1758
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: November 30, 2017

Expiration Date: November 30, 2020

All nurses in the general healthcare setting must be prepared to support patients’ mental health care needs. This course is designed as a general review of psychiatric and mental health conditions that nurses in any general-practice or non-psychiatric specialty nursing area may encounter. It provides information about which mental health issues to expect, and possible nursing interventions that can help patients cope with their unique situations.

Patients with a certain medical condition may display common psychiatric symptoms and reactions, or mental health problems related to their condition. Other patients with a current psychiatric illness, or a history of one, may present for treatment of a medical condition. A patient may also require hospitalization because of possible consequences secondary to exacerbation of a psychiatric illness.

Patients who are undergoing emotional issues or crises require nursing interventions that go beyond the routine clinical care regimen. Nurses have a responsibility to help patients cope with these issues because it is part of basic nursing care. However, this situation can present increased challenges for many nurses who do not feel current in caring for patients with mental health issues.

It is essential for nurses to maintain and update skills needed to care for patients who have mental health issues, or psychiatric symptoms or disorders, in order to provide all patients with the best possible care. This course is designed to enhance the skills required by nonpsychiatric nurses when caring for patients with psychiatric and mental health issues in general health care settings. Psychiatric and mental health nurses may also receive new insight into the general medical patient with a psychiatric condition from this course.


This course should not be taken in conjunction with N1885 - Recognizing Mental Health Issues Co-Occurring With Medical Conditions or N1886 - Nursing Management of Patients With Mental Health Conditions.

CCMs - This program has been pre-approved by the Commission for Case Manager Certification to provide continuing education credit (18 hours) to Certified Case Managers (CCMs)

Course Objectives

  • Discuss the communication process, interpersonal skills required in patient care, and strategies used
    to identify and assess mental health problems.
  • Recognize the signs, symptoms, and appropriate nursing care for patients with anxiety, mood disorders,
    suicidal ideation, psychosis, substance-related disorders, eating disorders, and confusion.
  • Identify patients who are potentially aggressive and nursing interventions to prevent workplace violence.
  • Discuss the major risk factors for nonadherent and interventions to increase compliance.
  • Recognize manipulative behaviors by patients and effective interventions.
  • Describe the various types of sleep-wake disorders and their management.
  • Recognize common psychological responses to specific chronic illnesses and their treatment.
  • Recognize common psychological responses to different types of sensory or bodily loss.
  • Recognize common psychological issues related to child and elder abuse.
  • Recognize the nurse’s role in helping patients who face challenges related to death and dying.
  • Discuss the classifications, use, and appropriate administration of psychotropic medications.
  • Recognize ethical and legal concerns in the practice of nursing when dealing with individuals who have
    psychiatric/mental health or psychosocial problems.
Karen S. Ward, PhD, MSN, RN, COI, received BSN and MSN degrees in psychiatric-mental health nursing from Vanderbilt University and a PhD in developmental psychology from Cornell University. She is a professor at the Middle Tennessee State University School of Nursing, where she teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Dr. Ward’s work has been published in journals such as Nurse Educator, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Journal of Emotional Abuse, and Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America. She has also presented her work at local, regional, and international conferences. Her research interests include child and adolescent maltreatment, mental health, and wellness issues (stress and depression), leadership variables, and survivorship.
Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, received an MSN in holistic nursing from Tennessee State University School of Nursing and a PhD in health psychology with a focus in psychoneuroimmunology from Walden University. She has expertise in public health, psychiatric nursing, wellness, and disease prevention. In addition to being a researcher, Dr. Wilson has been editor of the International Journal of Childbirth Education since 2011, and has more than 100 publications with specialties in holistic nursing, psychoneuroimmunology, and grief counseling. Dr. Wilson has a private practice as a holistic nurse and is an internationally known speaker on stress and self-care. Dr. Wilson was named the 2017-2018 American Holistic Nurse of the Year. She is on the faculty at both Austin Peay State University School of Nursing and at Walden University.

Laura G. Leahy, DrNP, APRN, PMH-CNS/FNP, CARN-AP, FAANP, holds a master’s degree in child and family psychiatric/mental health nursing from University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and a doctor of nursing practice degree from Drexel University. Dr. Leahy is on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and is a course
instructor for the postdoctoral master’s degree in psychopharmacology program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is the founder of APNSolutions, LLC, an Advanced Practice Nurse–managed psychiatric and addictions practice in Sewell, New Jersey. Dr. Leahy has held numerous leadership positions with the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and the Society of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses. An invited lecturer at local, regional, and national conferences, she is the psychopharmacology section editor for the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • Laura G. Leahy has disclosed that she is a steering committee member for Alkermes, Inc., and she is a consultant and speaker for Genomind-Personalized Medicine and NEOS Therapeutics. Western Schools ensures that this content is free from bias and commercial influence.