Critical musings on the well-being of mental health nursing: embracing talk based therapies to empower the profession and enlighten others
Hurley, J 2012, 'Critical musings on the well-being of mental health nursing: embracing talk based therapies to empower the profession and enlighten others', paper presented to 8th Annual Mental Health Conference Greater Western Sydney Regional Branch: Professional wellbeing: embrace, enlighten, empower, Parramatta, NSW, 30 March.
Our profession has an experienced and aging workforce, with the shameful paucity of MHN content within the nurse undergraduate programmes doing little to respond to this challenge. Simultaneously, the scope of MHN practice is expanding to cover a life span from peri-natal to older persons and the complexities of advanced practice that dwells within the needs and aspirations of those service users and carers. Key questions (amongst many) in assessing the future wellbeing of mental health nursing include: - How can mental health nursing advance its professional standing? - How can MHNs diversify their practice across a lifespan and yet still hold a common identity in the absence of specialist education? - Can this common identity offer service users and carers pragmatic benefits? A greater uptake of talk based psychological interventions is forwarded as one means to respond to these questions and better meet the needs of users and carers. While MHNs can be seen as being perfectly placed to transition into more advanced talk based interventions, barriers exist both within and outside of our profession. Arguably, unless these barriers are addressed, the long term wellbeing of mental health nursing has a very poor prognosis.