Psychiatric Nursing of Children and Adolescents

Health Sciences
Nursing - Psychiatric
Course Code
PNUR 4573
Semester Length
Max Class Size
40 (in class) or 25 (online)
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
In this course the learner will understand the roles and responsibilities of the psychiatric nurse working with children and adolescents. Learners will continue to develop their understanding and application of the Douglas College Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework and the curricular threads (wellness-illness continuum, professional values, professional caring & health care delivery system). Additionally, within the context of the environment, health and psychiatric nursing domains, learners will integrate the care of the person domain (client system, psychological, physiological, sociocultural, spiritual & developmental variables) for children and adolescents experiencing severe emotional disturbances. The course is designed to develop student knowledge and skill in prevention, assessment and treatment of mental health issues experienced by children and adolescents and their families. Topics will include several classifications of mental disorders seen in children and youth including anxiety disorders, trauma and stress related disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, conduct disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders. Clinical symptoms, classification, epidemiology, the developmental progression of a disorder, causal hypotheses, risk factors and prevention and pharmacology will be considered. Evidenced-informed preventions and interventions will be discussed for each disorder as well as skills in assessing and interviewing the child and adolescent.
Course Content

Normal Child and Youth Development

Theoretical Perspectives

  • Developmental Theory
  • Neuman System’s Theory and the Douglas College Conceptual Framework
  • Leininger’s Theory on Cultural Care Diversity and Universality
  • Family Theory
  • Attachment Theory

Nurse’s Role in Child and Youth Mental Health and Ethical Considerations

  • Mental Health Act
  • Infant’s Act
  • Youth Criminal Justice Act
  • Trauma Informed Care and Engagement Model

Classification, Assessment and Treatment

  • Risk and Resilience
  • The Impact of Labels
  • The Child and Parent Interview

Specific Learning Disorder

Intellectual Disability (Intellectual Developmental Disorder) (formerly Mental Retardation)

  • Mild, moderate, severe profound

Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE) (formerly FASD)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (formerly Pervasive developmental Disorders)

Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents

  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Specific Phobia
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive and related disorders

Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders

  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Adjustment Disorders

Psychosis in Children and Adolescents

  • Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders
  • Substance/Medication –Induced Psychotic Disorder
  • Early Psychosis Intervention (EPI)

 Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents

  • Depressive Disorders
  • Bipolar and Related Disorders

Self Injury

Youth Suicide

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder 

Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder
  • Conduct Disorder 
Methods Of Instruction

Students will acquire knowledge and skill and learn to apply concepts through a variety of means of instruction and activities, including: lecture, online discussions, audio-visual aids, case studies, critical thinking exercises and teamwork.

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation is consistent with Douglas College evaluation policy.  An evaluation schedule is presented at the beginning of the course.

This is a graded course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course the learner will be able to:

  • assess attitudes, knowledge & skills needed in clinical psychiatric nursing practice to care for the children and adolescents experiencing mental health challenges and/or disorders
  • assess attitudes, knowledge & skills needed in clinical psychiatric nursing practice to care for the children and adolescents experiencing neurodevelopmental challenges and/or disorders.
  • explain the theory and principles related to identification, screening and assessment of challenges specific to children and adolescents utilizing the Douglas College Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework

 Apply Systems Theory to Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing

  • analyze key concepts of the Douglas College Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework in relation to child and adolescent mental health challenges/disorders.
  • analyze the developmental variable as it relates to children and adolescents through a review of the individual and family systems.
  • integrate common theories related to growth and development of children and adolescents into the Douglas College Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework
  • identify theories and causes of child and adolescent mental health challenges /disorders.
  • identify contributing factors and etiology of selected mental health disorders in children and adolescents.
  • identify theories and causes of child and adolescent neurodevelopmental challenges/disorders.
  • identify contributing factors and etiology of selected neurodevelopmental challenges/disorders in children and adolescents.
  • formulate psychiatric nursing diagnoses and goal statements based on nursing analysis
  • develop psychiatric nursing interventions focused on primary, secondary and tertiary intervention levels of prevention

Systematically Assess and Analyze a Child and Adolescent at Risk for Mental Health Disorders

  • Explore the differences in conducting assessment for children/adolescents in comparison to the adult individual based on the Douglas College Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework
  • describe selected standardized tools for child and adolescent assessment.
  • describe and define selected mental health and developmental disorders challenges/disorders in children and adolescents.

Analyze the Psychiatric Nurse’s Role in Family Assessment Strategies

  • analyze personal characteristics, skills, and readiness for providing comprehensive mental health care for children and adolescents experiencing mental health and developmental challenges/disorders.
  • identify key principles and techniques related to child and adolescent assessment and intervention strategies.
  • analyze the role of psychiatric nursing in child and adolescent mental health interventions.
Textbook Materials

All assigned readings and materials are provided online.

A list of required and optional textbooks and materials is provided for students at the beginning of each semester.



No prerequisite courses.


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Requisite for

This course is not required for any other course.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
There are no applicable transfer credits for this course.

Course Offerings

Winter 2021

Start Date
End Date
- 12-Apr-2021
PNUR 4573 001 is restricted to BSPN students.

This course will include some synchronous on-line activities. Students should plan to be available on-line at scheduled course times. Synchronous on-line activities may include lecture, or they may not. In some courses, synchronous class time may be used instead for active learning components (e.g. discussions, labs).
12:30 - 16:20