Emergency Mental Health Nursing

Health Sciences
Nursing - Psychiatric
Course Code
PNUR 4574
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
The Emergency Mental Health Nursing course provides an overview of emergency mental health practices. The professional psychiatric nursing scope of practice, within a continuum of emergency mental health nursing interventions from supportive to crisis, is explored. Legislation applicable to emergency mental health, triaging referrals, as well as, creating safe working environments within facilities and community settings is addressed. Frameworks for mental health nursing assessments, mental status assessments, and risk assessments (suicide, violence, homicide, domestic violence, and older adult abuse) are examined. Emergency mental health practices including episodic health variances (e.g. psychosis, delirium, and mood disturbances), nursing diagnosis and interventions, dispositions in the community (e.g. telephone crisis lines), and hospital settings are explored. Throughout the course, there is a focus on developing advanced psychiatric nursing interviewing skills.
Course Content

Unit 1   Scope of Practice in Emergency Mental Health Nursing Practice:

  • Deinstitutionalization
  • Best Practices in Emergency Mental Health Services
  • Resource Allocation
  • Ethics and Emergency Mental Health
  • Advocacy
  • Inter-disciplinary Practice
  • Leadership and Emergency Mental Health Nursing Practices
  • Critical Thinking
  • Psychiatric Interviewing Skills
  • Scope of Practice and Responsibility

Unit 2   Crisis Intervention, Triage and Referrals:

  • Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework in Emergency Mental Health Nursing
  • Mental Health Crisis and Mental Health Emergencies
  • Crisis and  Emergency Interventions
  • Maturational and Situational Stressors
  • Triaging & Crisis Triage Rating Scale
  • Referrals, Baseline and Collateral information
  • Telephone, and Mobile Outreach Triage
  • Hospital Triage

Unit 3   Application of legislation to emergency mental health nursing practice:

  • Mental Health Act: Definitions
  • MHA related to Emergency Mental Health 
  • MHA Emergency Procedures
  • Extended Leave
  • Duty to Warn
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Related to Emergency Mental Health 
  • Consent and Emergency Mental Health Practice
  • Adult Guardianship Act Related to Emergency Mental Health

Unit 4   Emergency Mental Health Nursing Assessments, Risk Assessments and Documentation:

  • Assessment Tools
  • Homicide and Violence Risk Assessments
  • Documentation

Unit 5   Episodic Health Variances in Emergency Mental Health nursing:

  • Variation in Thought and Perceptual Disturbance
  • Variation in Neurosensory and Cognition
  • Variation in Emotions
  • Variation in Coping Patterns
Learning Activities

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

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:

  • understand the scope of practice for emergency mental health nursing;
  • develop advanced psychiatric nursing interviewing skills to facilitate assessment and intervention;
  • explore legal and ethical issues related to emergency mental health nursing practices;
  • develop competency when completing mental health assessments, risk assessments, and triaging emergency mental health crisis phone calls;
  • examine a variety of mental health variances, in relation to emergency mental health nursing practices and;
  • recognize dispositions and plan follow-up care for individuals experiencing mental health crisis or emergency.


Textbook Materials

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.

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

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for PNUR 4574
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) No credit

Course Offerings

Summer 2023