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Informal role expansion in Australian mental health nursing
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by S Elsom, Brenda Happell, E Manias
PURPOSE. This study aims to determine the extent to which community mental health nurses are currently practicing beyond the traditional scope of nursing practice. DESIGN AND METHODS. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to community mental health nurses in Victoria, Australia. FINDINGS. The majority of participants reported routine involvement in practices that would normally be considered beyond the scope of nursing practice, such as prescribing, ordering diagnostic tests, and referral to specialists. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS. The extent to which the current mental health service system is dependent upon nurses transgressing professional and legal boundaries warrants further study. Psychiatrists and community mental health nurses need to work collaboratively to understand their respective knowledge and skills and to be clear about how they take responsibility for client care.