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Accreditation for ACU mental health program

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) has congratulated an Australian university for its work in educating specialist mental health nurses.

The Australian Catholic University (ACU) is the first to achieve National Framework Accreditation for its Master of Mental Health (Nursing) program.

The college developed the National Framework for Postgraduate Mental Health Nursing Education in Australia to improve consistency and clarity for mental health nurses doing postgraduate studies.

Last year, the ACMHN developed an accompanying accreditation process. ACU was one of two universities to participate in a pilot of the process by submitting their Master of Mental Health (Nursing) to scrutiny by a site evaluation team.

ACMHN chief executive Kim Ryan said she hopes that nurses will be able to look for courses that the College has accredited and know that it is a quality course. She added: “I’m hoping that [we will be able to] start to develop mental health nurses in a consistent way in terms of their education.”

Dr Val Goodwin, the course coordinator for the postgraduate mental health nursing courses at ACU and a senior lecturer School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, said the ACU team involved enjoyed the accreditation process. “Most of us talked about what a great collegiate opportunity it was, to get together on site and go through the accreditation process as part of the site visit after we had submitted our documentation to the team.”

For institutions looking at achieving accreditation, Goodwin said: “Identifying what are the key factors within the course that you have which resonate with the framework is absolutely the key.”

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