Rural Nursing Organisation of America
Faculty of Regional Professional Studies
Regional Professional Studies
The lived experiences of five registered mental health nurses employed in community settings in the southwest region of Western Australia were examined in this study. The study was generated in response to concerns of clinicians working in the area about their scope of practice. Study participants were interviewed concerning their everyday “lived experience.” Interviews were audio taped, transcribed and coded numerically to ensure participant confidentiality. Data was analysed using van Manen’s hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Five essential themes were identified. They were holistic care of clients; isolation, autonomy and advanced practice; professional development and status recognition; educational support; and caseload numbers and caseload composition. The purpose of the study was to determine whether Community Mental Health Nurses (CMHN) employed in the southwest region of Western Australia encountered similar problems and role demands to those of generalist nurses working in rural Australia.
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