Mental health nursing in Australia: resilience as a means of sustaining the specialty
Cleary, M and Jackson, D and Hungerford, CL, Mental health nursing in Australia: resilience as a means of sustaining the specialty, Issues in mental health nursing, 35, (1) pp. 33-40. ISSN 0161-2840 (2014) [Refereed Article]
As a concept, resilience is continuing to attract considerable attention and its importance across various life domains is increasingly recognised. Few studies, however, have defined or considered the notion of the group or collective resilience of a profession, including the capacity of that profession to withstand adversity and continue to develop positively in the face of change. This article considers the notion of resilience from the perspective of the specialty of mental health nursing, including the ways the specialty has adapted--and continues to develop--to changes experienced since deinstitutionalisation. Insights are drawn from a national Delphi study undertaken in Australia to develop a Scope of Practice for Mental Health Nurses, with responses used as a springboard to consider the impact of the perceived loss of professional identity on the collective resilience of the profession. Recommendations for a way forward for the profession are considered, including the ways in which a collective professional resilience could be developed to sustain and strengthen the professional identity of mental health nursing in Australia and across the globe.