Mental health nurses (MHN) in the UK currently occupy a challenging position. This positioning is one that offers a view of expanding roles and responsibilities in both mental health act legislation and the delivery of psychological therapies, while simultaneously generic pre-registration training is being considered. Clearly, the view from this position, although not without challenge and internal discipline dispute, can also offer growing professional prestige, influence and respect from other health disciplines, as well as the wider public. Conversely, if the training, education and strategic enactment for new MHN roles is formulated and delivered from predominantly non-MHN axiomatic and epistemological stances, MHN identity can be seriously and potentially permanently diminished. This paper offers the construct of emotional intelligence as a framework to respond to these future challenges through making individual MHN enablement a primacy. This enablement of MHNs through enhanced emotional intelligence competencies is argued as requiring priority over the standard approach of enhancing strategies alone.
Hurley, J & Rankin, R 2008, 'As mental health nursing roles expand, is education expanding mental health nurses? an emotionally intelligent view towards preparation for psychological therapies and relatedness', Nursing Inquiry, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 199-205.
The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1800.2008.00412.x