Diagnostic Studies in Mental Health Practice

Course Details

Course Number
NURS 5322
Summer I 2015
Classroom Number
Days & Times


Dr. Kimberly Mercer (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

1. Accomplish a comprehensive psycho-social history with individuals, families, groups and communities.

2. Perform a thorough mental status examination.

3. Select and use diagnostic tools relevant to the clinical situation in expanding the holistic assessment of mental health of individuals.

4. Assess the socio-cultural and spiritual needs of individuals, families, groups and communities experiencing serious / persistent mental health problems.

5. Uses assessment data unique to psychiatric mental health to formulate diagnoses based on criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Course Expectations

This course provides foundational tools unique to the evaluation of psychiatric and mental health problems and the assessment of cognitive / intellectual, emotional, socio-cultural and spiritual health of individuals, families, groups and communities across the life-span. Focus is on understanding the process of interdisciplinary collaboration in the comprehensive assessment of the client experiencing serious / persistent mental health problems. The student will begin to integrate assessment findings into the formulation of diagnoses based on criteria set forth in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

You must pass BOTH the didactic and clinical aspects of this course in order to PASS the course.

 *As this is an online course you will need access to a computer and be able to scan paperwork electronically.  

Grading Standards

Student Responsibilities and Class Requirements

Students are accountable for policies regarding graduate nursing programs and completion of requirements for all graduate students as stated in the Graduate Catalog and Graduate Student Handbook. Students are responsible for making appointments with faculty concerning assignments as necessary. This is an online class and students are expected to have adequate access to a computer and check the course via D2L on a regular basis for updates and information. Work will be submitted ELECTRONICALLY by dates due. All course requirements (this includes didactic and clinicals) must be met in order to pass the course. Reading assignments should be completed as outlined in the course calendar. All written assignments should be in APA, 6th edition, format.

Grading Scale











64 and below


Submission Format Policy

 Assignment File Naming

All assignments will be submitted through D2L ASSIGNMENT SECTION. 

E-mailing assignments may not be considered for grading.  When uploading an assignment to the assignment section of D2L, please use the following guidelines for naming of the files. Your last name, assignment name:  Example: Smith-SoapNote3Revised.doc


Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

 Late Assignments

Late assignments (excluding discussion assignments, quizzes and tests) will be accepted with a deduction of 10 points for each day, up to three days total, the assignment is late.  After the third day late, the student will be awarded a 0. All assignments must be uploaded to D2L in the Assignment section by the due date and time.  ***If the student has computer problems, then the assignment may be submitted on time in the D2L course webmail section WITH prior notice to faculty and subsequent approval.  This is to be used in emergency situations only.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Online course

Other Policies

Beginning Clinicals

Students must meet all requirements of the compliance packet before beginning clinical. 

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at