In 2014 the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) partnered with the Canadian Federation of Mental Health Nurses (CFMHN) to develop a national, consensus-based framework of essential discipline-specific, entry-to-practice mental health and addiction competencies and indicators. The purpose of the framework is to promote the integration of core content related to mental health and addictions in undergraduate nursing education in Canada.
Nurses provide care to people experiencing issues related to mental health and addictions in all service sectors. The competencies and indicators, therefore, delineate the essential knowledge, attitudes, and skills all new nurses should possess related to mental health and addictions regardless of where they are employed following graduation. The ensuing CASN/CFMHN competencies reflect the regulatory bodies’ entry-to-practice competencies relevant to mental health and addictions that schools of nursing are required to integrate into curricula. However, they are more detailed and specific in order to offer greater guidance to educators. The competencies also reflect the standards for Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurses in Canada (CFMHN, 2014) for entry-level nurses, with a generalist nurse in view, who may or may not enter this specialty field of the profession following graduation.