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NURS 335 Behavioral Health Nursing Lab

NURS 335: Behavioral Health Nursing Lab

Required For: Nursing BS Students

Course Description: Clinical lab focused on applying and implementing concepts related to acute and chronic behavioral health issues within the community and acute care settings. Integrates concepts and theory from NURS 334.

NURS 335 Student Feedback Form

Course Objectives

  1. Clinical application of knowledge and skills from NURS 344 and prior courses. Includes lab, clinical experiences, and simulation.
  2.  Demonstrate the use of therapeutic communication and cultural sensitivity during encounters with behavioral healthcare clients in simulation or in situ.
  3. Apply relevant legal and ethical principles during encounters with behavioral healthcare clients in simulation or in situ.
  4. Demonstrate the use of effective communication techniques to establish and maintain professional relationships with faculty, colleagues, and health care teams in simulation or in situ
  5. Apply appropriate behavioral healthcare resources to client situations in simulation or in situ.
  6. Demonstrate the scope and role of the behavioral health nurse in a variety of health care settings.

Clinical Competencies

What the students should be doing during clinical experiences:

  • Attend unit nurse/staff meetings
  • Review patient population and acuity of the unit
  • Review the daily flow of the unit
  • Review emergency and safety protocols/procedures for the unit
  • Observe medication administration
  • Assist in completion of various assessments**
  • Vital signs
  • Columbia Suicide, GAD, PHQ or other assessments used on unit.
  • Mental Status Exams
  • CIWA
  • Patient rounding
  • Observe nurse/tech patient charting.
  • Observe/attend group and individual therapy sessions.
  • Observe/attend multidisciplinary provider or care planning meetings.
  • Observe Designated Examiner assessments.
  • Observe MD rounds
  • Observe patient intake and/or discharge.
  • Seek out additional learning opportunities with a staff RN/Faculty direction/supervision.

Students will be encouraged to choose 1 patient (with RN assistance) each day to review the chart, observe medication administration and follow through their activities during the day.

If an emergency or crisis situation occurs in the unit in which a student is directly or indirectly involved, faculty should be immediately notified.


  • Students may do these assessments with RNs, LPNs, psych techs.
  • The student will perform all skills and procedures under the direct or indirect supervision of a staff RN and/or faculty. The RN is accountable for assessments made, judgments rendered, and tasks performed by the Student. The expectation is that Students review all procedures/agency policies prior to performing them.
  • Even at the risk of appearing insubordinate, Students should refuse to perform a task that they do not have the skills to perform without supervision. The Student is accountable to ask for help and supervision as needed.

The student may not:

  • Fill in for patient sitters.
  • Take verbal or telephone orders from the physician
  • Co-sign anything that requires nurse signature
  • Witness or sign a consent document of any kind
  • Be left in situations that require him/her to function independently of the RN. For example, the Student will not be the nurse in charge during the RN’s lunch or breaks