International Mental Health Nursing Research Conference

Thinking ahead: new futures for mental health nursing

09 Jun 2021 - 10 Jun


Online booking is now closed. Please contact Events Registration on 029 2054 6460 to register

In association with Mental Health Nursing Academics UK, an exciting and informative programme of talks, debates and presentations about transforming mental health care services.

Join us online for this premier international conference as we explore the past, present and imagined future of mental health nursing. Discover how nurse-led initiatives are influencing the provision of mental health services and improving quality of life for people living with mental health illness.

This two-day conference provides an opportunity to:

  • share your research, critical thinking, practice development or education initiative with an international audience
  • hear from renowned keynote speakers, leading researchers, and both practice and education developers
  • network with like-minded colleagues, including those starting out in their careers through to experts in the field
  • engage in constructive debate amongst an inclusive, supportive audience and discuss the evidence that is transforming mental health practice
  • contribute to your professional development and revalidation requirements.


What’s more, the move to a virtual conference means you will now enjoy additional benefits including:

  • A 50% discount on the standard two-day conference rate
  • Extended access to the conference recording
  • Additional CPD hours with all presentations available to view on demand to inform your reflective account for revalidation

This international conference is open to all health professionals, educators, practice developers, researchers, service users and carers who share an interest in mental health
Follow us on twitter: #MHNR2021 @theRCN @MHNRconf @MHNAUK

In association with



View the provisional programme here

Please note these programme details and timings are subject to change.

Presenter registration – deadline: TUESDAY 18 MAY 2021

The outcome of the reviews will be available to submitters week commencing 1 March 2021 via the abstract management system.

In order to be eligible to present, all presenters must register for the conference by Tuesday 18 May 2021. Failure to do so may result in your abstract being removed from the final conference programme. As the main presenter you are responsible for co-ordinating the registration of your co-presenters (if applicable) in addition to yourself.

Please note there will be no presenter rate for this conference as the standard conference fee has been heavily discounted.

To book your place, please download and complete the booking form from our website or call +44 (0)29 2054 6460. Note you will need to quote your abstract reference number upon booking.


Types of conference presentation

Concurrent paper

A concurrent paper is presented orally. Sessions will be facilitated by a chair and 20 minutes in length (including 5 minutes for Q&A). Presenters are encouraged to present live though the option to pre-record can be made available if preferred. Presenters that opt to pre-record their session will be expected to participate in a 5-minute live Q&A session with delegates following their presentation.


Posters will visible on the conference platform for the duration of the conference for delegates to view. Posters will also be presented as part of a poster tour during the breaks and facilitated by a chair. Presenters will have a 5-minute slot to present their poster live and take any questions from delegates. Posters should be visually stimulating in design and convey clear aims and outcomes.


Symposia will be facilitated by a chair and one-hour in length (including 15 minutes for Q&A). Presenters are encouraged to present live though the option to pre-record can be made available if preferred. Presenters that opt to pre-record their symposium will be expected to participate in a 15-minute live Q&A session with delegates following their presentation.


Workshops will be one-hour in length and must allow time for Q&A. Presenters will be expected to present the workshop live to delegates to allow for integrated workshop activities.

Programme slot

Alterations may be made to the programme in the run up to the conference affecting the timing of sessions. To keep up-to-date with any developments affecting the conference programme, we suggest checking the conference website regularly.

More details coming soon.

Our virtual venue

The International Mental Health Nursing Research Conference will be hosted on the world leading all-in one virtual conference platform, which offers:

  • One-on-one networking with peers over live video from the comfort of your home
  • informal chat rooms
  • poster exhibition
  • extended access to the conference recordings for a limited period after the event.

This conference is open to all nurses, student nurses, health care assistants and allied healthcare professionals working in the academic, clinical and professional setting in the UK and overseas. This includes those working in NHS, private and voluntary sectors, universities and colleges. By attending this conference, you will have unrivalled opportunity to learn latest developments, share good practice and network with colleagues.


Benefits of attending

  • Accrue over 30 hours of CPD to count towards your revalidation
  • Discover the latest developments and research in the field of mental health
  • Hear from colleagues on their projects. Reflect on their findings and explore how you can use this knowledge to improve your practice.
  • Hear from eminent keynote speakers on contemporary nursing issues.
  • Attend themed sessions, participate, and contribute to the discussions and debate.
  • Use this opportunity to network with your peers, mentor and support colleagues and showcase the work of your employer
  • Use the opportunity to ask those questions you want answers to

Need a helping hand with securing time off or funding to attend? Please download these helpful hints and tips.

With over 5000 subscribers working across the NHS and independent sector, Mental Health Practice is the most widely read journal in its field, and only publication to cover all areas of mental health and patient care.

We are encouraging presenters who may have practice-focused research to consider submitting to Mental Health Practice. We’re particularly keen on research that reflects our clinical themes:
• Therapeutic practice. Keeping mental health nurses up to date with the latest developments in practice nationally and internationally.
• Education. Improving newly qualified and experienced mental health nurses’ skills and knowledge and encouraging their reflective practice to enable regular revalidation.
• Workforce. Addressing issues related to recruitment and retention, career progression and fitness to practise
• Communication. Exploring how mental health nurses can work collaboratively within and across multidisciplinary teams to improve services.
• Service users. Ensuring people with lived experience of mental illness are at the heart of healthcare provision.
• Policy. Making sure everyday practice and professional experience are informed by guidance and guidelines.

If you are presenting and interested in submitting an article to the journal, please email

 Our virtual venue

This event is hosted on Hopin, the world leading, all-in-one virtual conference platform that enables attendees to connect, learn and interact live with people anywhere.

Please note this is a private event for registered delegates who have a valid conference booking. Registered delegates will also be able to view recorded content after the event.

For best results:

  • use a computer if possible, preferably not more than 3 years old
  • if using a tablet, please ensure you download Google Chrome and use this browser to enter Hopin
  • using a personal device reduces the risk of organisational firewalls blocking access
  •  if using a work device with firewall protection, share this network guide with your IT department with the list of sites to whitelist (the link will open as the Network Connectivity Settings tab)
  • close any programmes you do not need, and which also use your camera ex: Teams
  • use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your browser and open in an incognito window
  • if something goes wrong try refreshing your browser.

Access to the event

All delegates will be emailed a unique link and details of the Hopin verification process in the two weeks before to the conference.

If you’re unable to locate this email, check it hasn’t landed in your Spam/Junk folder, or gone to another email address you might have used to register with.

If you are still unable to locate the email or have any other queries, please email the Events Team at or contact 020 7647 3577

When you’ve arrived on the Hopin Registration page, you’ll be directed to sign in and complete your profile. The ‘Join the event button’ will be visible on when the event’s live.

Updating your profile

When you first access the Hopin platform you’ll be prompted to set up your profile.

You can upload a photo, add your place of work, job title, social media contacts and a brief biography to give you more presence and support networking at the event.

Supporting information

You can view our conference guide to support your experience of Hopin 

You can view a short video introduction to help you navigate around our virtual venue.

The book of abstracts is available to download prior to the conference.


After the event:

Don’t forget to take a few minutes to complete the evaluation at the end of the conference. All answers will be treated in the strictest confidence and will help us to shape future events, both online and face to face.

You can download your self-learning certificate from this web-page following the event. In order to validate the learning gained we recommend that a reflection is completed and submitted with the certificate as part of any review. 

Click here for the recordings of the conference 


Dr Frances Hughes

Since August 2019 Dr Frances Hughes has held the position of General Manager of Nursing and Clinical Strategy at Oceania Healthcare Limited. In Dec 2019 she was recognised for her services to mental health and nursing as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. She has also been the executive director of Cutting Edge Oceania since 2018. Prior to this, for 2 years, she held the position of the CEO of the International Council of Nursing (ICN) in Geneva Switzerland. She was appointed to transform the organisation post review by PWC. In two years she successfully increased the financial viability of the organisation, instituted and implemented systems process and managed successful delivery of the largest nursing congress in the history of ICN. 2012 – 2016 Dr Hughes was the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer for the Department of Health, Queensland Australia. Prior to moving to Australia she held position in Mental Health in MOH Nursing and Chair of MH Nursing for Auckland University from 2004 – 2006. Frances has extensive knowledge and networks in relation to health policy, particularly in the field of
nursing and mental health, research and global health issues. Frances held the position, Chief Nurse for New Zealand, for 8 years and during this time played a major leadership role in health care policy and nursing.

In 2001 she was the first nurse to be awarded the Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy (US equivalent to Rhode Scholar) from the Commonwealth Fund in New York. Frances was awarded a Senior Fulbright in 2013 and studied the resilience of health systems at times of natural disasters. She has received an ONZM and distinguished alumni awards from both Massey University and UTS Sydney in recognition of her leadership. Frances served as the Commandant Colonel for the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corp for 7 years, providing strategic nursing leadership to the New Zealand Army.


Kate Hull Rodgers is managing director of HumourUs Limited, Europe’s leading specialists on Humour in the Workplace. Kate is an international pioneer in the field of Humour and health, Humour and the bottom line. Her work focuses on teams and leaders where enjoyment in employment is encouraged. For the past 20 years she has advised governments, health organizations and businesses in 29 countries on 5 continents. She is a BBC radio presenter, business journalist, member of the Professional Speakers Association, an award winning comedienne and subject of the ITV documentary “Laughter is the Best Medicine”. Her first book, Pearls of Bizdom, teaches businesses how to go from grit to great. It has become a UK business book best seller.

“Kate’s work is insightful and very inspiring.” Jenny Shipley, former Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Visit Kate’s website to find out more.


Dean is a lecturer in mental health nursing and a veteran. He specialises in psychological therapies delivered either in person or via the internet. The two therapies that he uses are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), which are goals focussed, brief interventions underpinned by research and recommended by national clinical guidelines. Dean has extensive experience of delivering these therapies within occupational settings aimed at supporting people to either remain in or return to employment. Dean has won awards for his clinical work, is published in his field and has presented at national and international conferences.


Conference fees


RCN member £125.00 £25.00 £150.00 (Previously £300)
Non-RCN member £185.00 £37.00 £222.00 (Previously £450)

RCN member pre-reg student, retired, health practitioner (40% discount)

only available to book over the phone.

£75.00 £15.00 £90.00
RCN representatives (25% discount) £93.75 £18.75 £112.50

Please note as the conference fees are discounted by 50% there will be no presenter rate for the 2021 conference.

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate of 20%. When making payment please remember to add 20% VAT.

Discounts - conditions and exclusions

  • 10% group discount is applicable on 3 or more conference places
  • Discount offers cannot be combined. Only one discount can be used for each booking whether it is an individual or group booking
  •  RCN member: pre-reg student, retired, health practitioner (40% discount) - this discount is strictly for RCN members.
  •  Only students that are enrolled in a pre-registration nursing programme will qualify for a 40% discount
  •  RCN Representative: 25% discount
  • Service user rate is strictly for non-health professionals

For group bookings, please ring our RCN Events Registration phone line or download and complete a booking form.

Payment methods

Online bookings are the easiest and fastest way to book 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Bookings can be made by phone with payment by credit card/Maestro, by calling: 02920546460. Lines are open from 9.30am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Bookings can also be made by post with a downloaded booking form with credit card details or payment/remittance advice posted to: Event registrations, PO Box 2329, Cardiff CF23 8YZ.

A booking form with credit card details or payment/remittance advice can also be faxed to: 02920546489.

Payment by invoice is available on request. A Purchase Order and booking form are required.

All bookings will be confirmed in writing.

The RCN reserves the right to refuse any booking at any time.

To book your place call RCN Event Registrations on 029 2054 6460 (Monday to Friday 9am – 4.30pm).

For any other queries please contact:
RCN Events
Tel: 0207 647 3577

Building a Mental Health Nurse Doctoral Theses Repository

The Library and Archive Service at the Royal College of Nursing has collaborated with the RCN Mental Health Forum and Mental Health Nurse Academics UK to bring together a selection of PhD/EdD level theses, all of which have been completed by mental health nurses. We hope it will give other mental health nurses interested in this area an idea of the range of research that can be carried out and encourage more nurses to consider undertaking a PhD or equivalent.

Conference delegates are invited to cast a vote to name the repository after one of the following mental health nurse pioneers in recognition of their contribution to the profession:”


Peter Nolan

Professor Peter Nolan spent most of his working life participating in different mental health services, after training as a psychiatric nurse in the 1960s. While he found the content of training courses, the stated aims of therapies and the language of policies and management beguiling, he felt that the reality of the lives and experiences of nurses and patients lay elsewhere. His first book, A History of Mental Health Nursing (1991), sought to show that mental health nursing had not only a history, but a fascinating one. Now in retirement, Peter continues to research and write so that the voices of mental health nurses from previous centuries and decades can be heard.


Annie Altschul

Annie T. Altschul was born in Austria in 1919 and arrived in Britain with her mother in 1938, after the Anschluss. The Altschuls were a Jewish family. She trained as a nurse in London in the 1940s, and although qualifying as a general nurse and as a midwife, she found her niche in psychiatric nursing. After training at Mill Hill Emergency Hospital, she moved to the merged Bethlem and Maudsley Hospitals and, while progressing from staff nurse to sister to Principal tutor, she also took a first-class honours degree in Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London. In 1964 she was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Nursing Studies at Edinburgh University. She then became a Senior Lecturer before being appointed to the Chair of Nursing Studies in 1976-77. Her publications include Psychiatric Nursing (1957), and Psychology for Nurses (1962). Altschul retired from the University in 1983, and on her retirement, she was awarded the CBE and given the status of Professor Emeritus of Nursing Studies. Annie T. Altschul died on 24 December 2001.


Hildegard Peplau

Born in 1909, in Reading, Pennsylvania, Peplau obtained an educational training based on psychology, nursing and psychiatry at institutes such as the Hospital School of Nursing, Bennington College and Teachers College, Columbia University. Later, her professional development led her to be a supervisor at the Pottstown Hospital; Chief of Nursing in Bennington and worked in the Army Nurses Corps. She also became the executive director of the American Nurses Association, where one year later she assumed the presidency, and carried out activities in various psychiatric nursing centers while also carrying out theoretical investigations and teaching. "The nurse of the century" passed away on March 17, 1990 in Sherman Oaks, California. It was added to the Hall of Fame of the American Academy of Nursing in 1994. Later, in 1995, she was included in the list of 50 great American personalities and in 1997 she was awarded at the ICN Quadrennial Congress with the Christiane Reimann prize, considered the highest honour in nursing.


Phil Barker

In 1992 he was appointed the first Professor of Psychiatric Nursing Practice at the University of Newcastle in England. Phil was awarded the RCN Fellowship in 1995 and received the Distinguished Professors Award (Red Gate Award) from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo in 2000. He was made a Doctor of the University at Oxford Brookes University in 2001 and in 2006 received the Inaugural Eileen Skellern Lifetime Achievement Award in London in 2006. Phil was one of the founding editors of the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing in 1994 and has published 20 books, over 60 book chapters and more than 300 academic and clinical papers. He was among the first to promote the concept of ‘recovery’ in mental health. He developed the Tidal Model of mental health recovery and reclamation. This remains one of few models of recovery with a formal research evidence base. In 2010 he was voted one of the most influential nurses of the past 60 years, in Nursing Times poll of nursing champions - the ‘Diamond Twenty’.

Page last updated - 17/06/2021