MENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION: TEACHING PSYCHIATRIC NURSING STUDENTS THROUGH EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
Nursing programs are continually trying new approaches for enhancing the competence of their graduates. One such approach that gained popularity is experiential learning. The project reported in this paper was a learning assignment for undergraduate psychiatric-mental health nursing practical course carried out by a team of six students. The project serves as an exemplar for a couple of community mini-mental health promotion projects implemented by students. The purpose of the exercise was to engage students in an activity that would equip them with the skill of developing and administering a mental health promotion program. Following needs assessment, a mini-mental health promotion project on promoting self-esteem and generalized self-efficacy was developed and administered to 30 students. The exercise could enhance learning and transfer of learning to the work place upon graduation. The program also helped nursing students to appreciate the mental health promotion role of nurses in the community.