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ISRN Nursing
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 184024, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/184024
Review Article

An Analysis of Canadian Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing through the Junctures of History, Gender, Nursing Education, and Quality of Work Life in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan

1Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6
2School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M3J 1P3

Received 22 February 2013; Accepted 7 April 2013

Academic Editors: N. M. C. Alexandre and R. Northway

Copyright © 2013 Mary Smith and Nazilla Khanlou. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A society that values mental health and helps people live enjoyable and meaningful lives is a clear aspiration echoed throughout our Canadian health care system. The Mental Health Commission of Canada has put forth a framework for a mental health strategy with goals that reflect the virtue of optimal mental health for all Canadians (Mental Health Commission Canada, 2009). Canadian nurses, the largest group of health care workers, have a vital role in achieving these goals. In Canada, two-thirds of those who experience mental health problems do not receive mental health services (Statistics Canada, 2003). Through a gendered, critical, and sociological perspective the goal of this paper is to further understand how the past has shaped the present state of psychiatric mental health nursing (PMHN). This integrative literature review offers a depiction of Canadian PMHN in light of the intersections of history, gender, education, and quality of nursing work life. Fourteen articles were selected, which provide a partial reflection of contemporary Canadian PMHN. Findings include the association between gender and professional status, inconsistencies in psychiatric nursing education, and the limitations for Canadian nurse practitioners to advance the role of the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.