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    Review of international standards for mental health nursing: review of current and future trends in international nursing standards of education and practice

    Webb, Lucy ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2580-3654, Miller, Eula ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0609-2634, Croston, Michelle and Marks, Stephen ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0832-853X (2021) Review of international standards for mental health nursing: review of current and future trends in international nursing standards of education and practice. Other. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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    Development of the global nursing workforce is the vital element in order to achieve the UN health related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (UN, 2015) for universal coverage, mental health and non-communicable diseases, emergency response readiness, patient safety and person-centred care (WHO, 2020). Nurses make up more than half of the health workforce around the world, and, in Uganda, make up nearly 80% of the country’s healthcare workforce (WHO, 2020), but have a per capita density of below 20 (20 nurses for every 100,000 people); one of the lowest densities in the world. Currently, only 70% of that global nursing workforce are termed ‘professional’, that is, are accredited by a regulation framework for nurses within their country of practice that provides standards of training, conduct and an examination process. Despite a move towards degree-level entry to professional nursing accreditation (WHO, 2021), many registered nurses may be admitted to the nursing registration at certificate or diploma level (WHO, 2021). This is currently the status of many mental health nurses in Uganda, where few if any schools of nursing or universities offer UNMC-recognised (Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council) degree level mental health nurse training (UNMC, n.d.). Butabika School of Psychiatric Nursing is attached to Butabika National Mental Health Referral Hospital (the only dedicated state mental health hospital in Uganda), but currently can only offer diploma or certificate training in mental health nursing as they lack the status of a university. Our current project to develop pilot practice placements in community settings for mental health nurse training is part of a larger project to develop the Butabika School curriculum towards international standards for nurse education, in recognition of the identified development needs for the nurse workforce, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (WHO, 2020). The curriculum development recognises also the wider role in universal health coverage and need for flexible nursing responses and a wider range of skills for leadership and change management, and in delivering health promotion and basic stepped care skills to meet local needs (UKPHS, 2018). There is currently identified a deficit in community coverage for health promotion and skills specifically in maternal and adolescent health, in addition to mental health coverage (UKPHS, 2018), which indicates a need to address both pre-registration and continuing professional development needs among practitioners and educators.

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