Psychiatric Nursing in Addictions and Mental Health

Health Sciences
Nursing - Psychiatric
Course Code
PNUR 4585
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
25 online
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course will provide psychiatric nursing students with knowledge related to working with clients with substance use disorders including concurrent disordered clients. Included in this course are the historical and cultural contexts of addiction, the co-occurrence of mental health disorders with substance abuse, theoretical paradigms and principles of substance use disorders. Identification, screening and assessment techniques are explored using the Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework. Common co-occurring physiological disorders associated with substance use disorders will be presented including the role for Harm Reduction, Recovery Model and the Transtheoretical Change Model when assessing and planning psychiatric nursing care for individuals. The roles and responsibilities of the psychiatric nurse in caring with diverse populations and treatment models will be explored.
Course Content

Part 1: Attitudes, knowledge and skills for Psychiatric Nursing practice in addictions

  • Self assessment related to learner’s attitude towards substance use disorders
  • Identification of myths and stereotypes of substance use disorders
  • Historical and cultural concepts related to substance abuse, addictions and mental health disorders
  • Cultural messages associated with substance use disorders
  • Common terminology associated with substance use disorders
  • Holistic framework for viewing individuals experiencing substance use disorders using the Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework
  • Impact of substance misuse disorders on society
  • The role and responsibilities of the psychiatric nurse in supporting the clients within a interprofessional context of clinical practice 

Part 2: Apply the Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework to clients and families experiencing substance use disorders

  • Utilizing the Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework to assess and provide care to clients and families experiencing substance abuse including specialized populations: adolescent, older adult, health care professionals, history of trauma, Aboriginal community, gay lesbian and transgender community, clients with acute and chronic pain syndromes, homelessness, and concurrent disorders clients
  • Interrelationships of the five variables in the Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework as they apply to the clients with substance use disorders
  • Utilizing the nursing process within the Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework to provide psychiatric care to clients experiencing substance use disorders, including interventions related to intoxication and withdrawal syndromes

 Part 3: Analyze the Psychiatric Nurse’s role in client assessment strategies

  • Developing communication skills and strategies related to intervening and assessing with substance use disorders
  • Principles, techniques and concepts related to working with substance misuse disorder populations for assessment and intervention strategies
  • Moral and ethical duties/responsibilities of the psychiatric nurse related to the rights of individual/family members experiencing substance use disorders
  • Developing assessment techniques related to trauma informed substance use disorder assessmennts and treatment planning

Part 4:  Apply Individual and Family Systems Theory intervention as prevention Strategies

  • Intervention strategies for clients/families experiencing substance use disorders using the Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework
  • Primary, Secondary and Tertiary intervention for psychiatric nurses with individuals/families experiencing substance use disorders
  • Teaching and learning needs of clients/families experiencing substance use disorders
  • Community resources and interdisciplinary nursing care planning for individuals and families living with addictions/concurrent disorders
  • Clinical approaches for specific populations including Aboriginal community and clients with history of trauma
  • Development of a substance abuse reference resource for personal use in individual and family system assessment, prevention and treatment
Learning Activities

It is the intent of faculty to facilitate student learning, to foster ways of knowing and promote critical thinking through a variety of teaching and learning methods including case studies, discussions and team work.  

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation is consistent with the 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 student will be able to:

  • compare and contrast selected theoretical  models for viewing substance use disorders;
  • describe the attitudes, knowledge and skills required in psychiatric nursing clinical practice with individuals experiencing substance use disorders;
  • describe the historical and cultural diversity concepts related to substance abuse and addiction;
  • describe the cultural messages associated with concurrent disorders;
  • explain the theory and principles of identification, screening and assessment using the Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework;
  • identify the needs and approaches working with specific populations with substance use disorders including: adolescent, geriatric, health care professionals, women, families, aboriginal community, clients with history of trauma, clients with acute and chronic pain syndromes, homeless clients, clients who belong to the gay lesbian and transgendered community and concurrent disordered clients;
  • identify and explain common co-occurring physiological disorders associated with substance use disorders;
  • demonstrate knowledge related to Harm Reduction, Recovery Model and the Change Model;
  • describe treatment modalities and basic intervention strategies, including 12 step interventions, groups, residential treatment and pharmacological treatment;
  • explore and analyze the psychiatric nurse’s moral and ethical duties and responsibilities in relation to working with  individuals with substance misuse disorders, including concurrent disorders and other specialized populations;
  • examine the risk and treatment needs associated with health care professionals risk for substance use disorders, including nurses;
  • describe the psychiatric nurses’ role in integrated models of intervention;
  • describe common substances of abuse, its intoxication and withdrawal syndromes and related psychiatric nursing assessment, diagnoses and interventions.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

A list of required and optional resources for students is supplied 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 4585
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) No credit

Course Offerings

Summer 2023