Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
Background: The goal of psychiatric nursing interventions is to enhance people’s ability to
cope with feelings of futility, to get control of their lives and to learn coping strategies in
order to manage their mental illness and its consequences. Specialist nurses in psychiatric care
coordinate and direct nursing care based on evidence-based knowledge.
Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate what kind of nursing acts specialist nurses use
in the psychiatric inpatient unit and investigate how they perceive their professional role.
Method: The design used was a descriptive qualitative interview study. Nine specialist nurses
working in psychiatric inpatient units were interviewed. Six of the participants were women
and three were men aged 28-53 years. Qualitative content analysis was used as the analytical
Results: The main results of the study were summarized in two broad areas: Nursing
treatments specialist nurses use in the psychiatric inpatient unit and Specialist nurse’s
perception of their professional role. The following six categories were placed in the two
areas; planning nursing care, prevention and health promotion nursing, care of the
environment significance, nursing in compulsory psychiatric care, broader knowledge and
experiences of colleagues ' view of specialist nurses' role. Five of the categories contain two
to three subcategories. The result shows that the difference between the basic nurses and
specialist nurses perceived as diffuse in practical nursing.
Conclusion: The findings show that specialist nurses in this study work in accordance to the
national psychiatric association’s competence description. Specialist nurses are nursing
experts and with their broad knowledge about psychiatric nursing give them a holistic
approach to the psychiatric care.
Keywords: Psychiatric nursing, Specialist nurse, Inpatient unit
2015. , 32 p.