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Why study the SCU Online Master of Mental Health Nursing?


Pathway to becoming a credentialled Mental Health Nurse


Receive a high level of student support


Learn from clinically experienced academics


Gain immediately implementable skills 


Online study seamlessly fits into shiftwork


Course is accredited by the ACMHN


Dedicated one-on-one support

Download a course guide

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  • Full course information and entry requirements
  • Tips for online study success
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Quick facts


2 years part-time

Study mode

100% online


Jan, Mar, Apr, July, Sep, Nov




$2,500 per unit, FEE-HELP available

SCU Professor, John Hurley talks about the unique mental health nursing degree from Southern Cross University Online. 

John Hurley: "For those who are undertaking the Masters of Mental Health Nursing, these graduates will be undertaking the first course that's been worked out from the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing national standards. They'll be undertaking a course that has provisional accreditation by the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing and they'll be on the pathway to become a credentialed mental health nurse as long as they fill in the other requirements for that. It's quite an exciting option for those who are thinking about undertaking mental health nursing as a career."

Be a mental health expert.

Deliver better outcomes.

Our Master of Mental Health Nursing is developed against the latest mental health industry standards as set by the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing (ACMHN). You can use your qualification upon completion as part of the pathway to becoming a credentialed mental health nurse. When you study your mental health nursing course online, you will be learning from highly-skilled, clinically active mental health academics. Our degree equips you with the skills and knowledge to forge a successful career as a mental health nurse, ensuring you are prepared to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the healthcare industry.

Studying your mental health nursing degree online will give you advanced knowledge to help people with a lived experience of mental illness. With one in six Australians currently experiencing depression or anxiety or both, and support-seeking rapidly growing, there is a great need for highly qualified mental health professionals.

Learning outcomes

Holistic mental health treatment

Gain the skills to be well-rounded mental health professional with the ability to work in a variety of mental health roles. 


Contemporary mental health focus

Learn from clinically active academics and gain a contemporary understanding of emerging trends in mental health care. 


Develop an evidence-based practice

Develop skills through evidence-based theories and knowledge that can be applied immediately in practice or hospital setting. 

What you will study

To gain your online Master of Mental Health Nursing degree, the study includes 11 core units and 1 elective unit. 

This unit will expose you to critical exploration and practical application of the core contexts of mental health within the Australian healthcare system. 

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This unit emphasises the life stage and bio-psycho-social contexts specifically related to providing effective engagement and interventions with children, adolescents and older persons. 

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This unit explores the varied roles of a mental health professional in the 21st century. 

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This unit explores the experiences of people with complex mental health presentations, co-morbidity and risk behaviours. 

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This unit introduces you to an evidence-based approach to health practice. 

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Enhance understanding and capability of mental health to ensure patient physical health needs are being addressed within holistic mental health assessment, diagnosis and interventions.

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Develop a deeper knowledge of psychological approaches and models of understanding that influence a consumer taking constructive change that supports recovery. 

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In this unit, you will reflect on your own professional practice and learning, planning strategies to collect, select and reflect on evidence to include in a professional portfolio.

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This unit emphasises on leading the translation and application of knowledge to clinical practice settings.

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Develop knowledge and capabilities in evidence-based and effective talk-based interventions, through a critical analysis of key therapies from behaviourist theory perspectives. 

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Broaden and deepen your understanding of literature analysis and research design in relation to an area relevant to professional practice.

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Analyse the current state of healthcare, while exploring the private and public sectors as well as their social and economic implications

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This unit looks at problem-solving challenges in the private and public sectors, as well as regulated and deregulated systems, comparing Australian review systems against the rest of the world. 

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This unit will guide you to evaluate and critically reflect on leadership to apply that knowledge to drive change and innovation within health and social care. 

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Analyse the role of accountability, as well as evaluate the concepts of professional accountability within organisations.

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This unit will extend theoretical knowledge, in addition to social and emotional skills to improve communication, teamwork and client safety. 

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This unit hones your leadership skills in a clinical learning environment. 

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Explore a diverse range of leadership styles, preparing you for a bright future in leadership or management.

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Explore digital marketing tools and techniques to develop well-structured digital marketing plans and undertake a digital marketing campaign.

In this unit, you will research and develop change strategies, and learn how to adapt.

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This unit looks at the aims and goals of HR and its role in business.

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In this unit, you will study organisations and the individual, interpersonal and group processes and the organisational system.

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This unit covers the foundation elements of managing business projects.

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This unit covers important accounting principles that make up the core of business management.

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Develop effective written and verbal communication skills for business and management.

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Early exit option

We know that plans change, which is why we’ve built A flexible completion option into the online Master of Mental Health Nursing. If you need to exit early, you could still receive a Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing or a Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing

Graduate Certificate
+ 4 units

Or continue studying

Graduate Diploma
+ 4 Units

Or continue studying

Masters Degree
+ 4 Units

A typical study period at SCU Online
Typical study period timeline

Next study period


Applications close in

30 days

Speak to an Enrolment Advisor to find out more.

Our study periods: Jan, Mar, Apr, July, Sep, Nov

Late applications may be considered under special circumstances up until the start of O'Week. For more information please speak with a Student Enrolment Advisor.

Entry requirements

To qualify for entry into the Master of Mental Health Nursing, all applicants must:

  • Be a Registered Nurse (Division 1) and have access to mental health nurse practice or to mental health nurse practitioners during their course of study, and;
  • Be proficient in English.

If you are not a registered nurse, you could also be eligible for the Master of Mental Health degree. Find out more about Rules Relating to Awards and Specific Award Rules.

We may recognise and grant credit for past education, qualifications and/or work experience in a process called advanced standing. If you're eligible for advanced standing, this can impact the number of units you need to study, reducing the time and cost of your overall degree. 

Find out more about applying for advanced standing

Ready to take the next step in your career? It's your time.

At Southern Cross University Online, we've helped thousands of people with real lives and real ambition to realise their goals and dreams by supporting them every step of the way.
We provide affordable courses, flexible learning and excellent student support, so you can achieve the impossible and make the most out of your time. 
It’s time to put yourself first. Follow your ambition. 

When you study online with SCU, you're not on your own. We're connected, together. 

Our teachers, academics and education designers have built these courses for people like you. Before commencing study, your dedicated Student Success Advisor will be in touch by phone, email or chat to help you plan your schedule. As you work towards your dream of achieving your degree, your advisor works like an extra pair of eyes and ears with support, advice and motivation throughout your study journey. 


scu ssa at his desk.

Our Accreditations & Endorsements

Australian Qualifications Framework

SCU’s online programs meet all of the AQF guidelines, ensuring you a quality education.

Good Universities Guide Logo

5-STAR Rating for Institutional Student Support and Social Equity, Business and Management Teaching Quality, Teacher Education Learning Resources, Nursing Learning Resources and Skills Development. 

The World Universities Rankings

SCU is one of the Asia-Pacific’s Top 100 Universities and one of the world’s Top 50 Generation Y Universities.

Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.

Accreditation by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (Diploma and Master's level).

What our students say
Cassandra -MMHN - testimonial 1
Master of Mental Health Nursing student Cassandra.

I believe I now have more skills needed in the contemporary health age, for example I have greater critical thinking skills in mental health, and I feel much more confident to work online within the community.

Cassandra Plesman

Master of Mental Health Nursing Student and Registered Nurse

What our students do

Despite needing to be a registered nurse for entry into the course, our students work in a wide variety of healthcare settings that focus on delivering better mental health care to the patients. To give you an idea of some of the roles our mental health nursing students currently work in, see below for a snapshot.

  • Registered Nurse
  • Mental Health Nurse
  • Case Worker
  • Liaison Clinician
  • Acute Mental Health Nurse
  • Nurse Coordinator
  • Midwife
  • Health Services Manager
  • School Nurse
Course Coordinator

Meet our Course Coordinator

Dr Richard Lakeman is the course coordinator for the Master of Mental Health and Master of Mental Health Nursing programmes, and a Associate Professor at Southern Cross University’s Internationally recognised School of Health and Human Sciences. He has 30 years’ experience working in the mental health field as a mental health nurse, psychotherapist, researcher and teacher in New Zealand, Ireland and Australia.

Clinically he has focused on working with people with complex mental health needs. He has worked as a senior clinician in acute care settings, a mobile Intensive Treatment Team, managed a homeless out-reach service, worked in an Emergency Department, as a nurse navigator and in private practice. He has a wide-range of research interests in mental health and has published extensively on a range of topics including vicarious trauma, suicide, mental health recovery, hearing voices and other extraordinary experience and has a particular interest in psychotherapy for people with complex needs.

richard lakeman course coordinator