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Journal of Nursing Research and Practice

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An analysis of mental health knowledge gaps and learning needs among primary care nurses

Author(s): Daniel Salvatore

The worldwide COVID-19 epidemic has increased the frequency of mental disease in the general population. While expert mental health nurses have advanced training and abilities in mental health care, all nurses play an important role in promoting mental health. Primary health care (PHC) nurses, as front-line health care providers, must be equipped and confident in dealing with mental health issues. Critically review and synthesize international literature on the knowledge gaps and learning needs of PHC nurses who provide mental health care. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used to assess the quality of the publications. Data was retrieved and analyzed using narrative analysis in a summary table. Despite the growing integration of physical and mental health treatment in PHC, there is little evidence of knowledge gaps, skill growth, or PHC nurses' readiness to deliver mental health care. The findings of this analysis, combined with the global increase in mental illness in communities as a result of COVID-19, show the need for PHC nurses to assess their mental health learning requirements and participate in education to prepare them to address rising service demands.