The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is a nation-wide, charitable organization that promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness.
Douglas College offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing degree. They have been B.C.’s primary school for psychiatric nursing education for more than 30 years. Instructors are professionals in their fields and are passionate about training the next generation of psychiatric nurses.
The British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) is a health regulator who has a legal obligation is to protect the public through the regulation of five distinct professions— licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, and midwives. Regulation allows BCCNM to set standards for nurses and midwives. These standards ensure the public receives safe, competent, and ethical care.
The College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta (CRPNA) regulates psychiatric nursing as a distinct profession in Alberta under the Health Professions Act.As a College, CRPNA provides direction to and regulates the practice of psychiatric nurses. The College establishes, maintains and enforces the requirements for licensure/registration, standards for registration, code of ethics, standards of practice and continued competence of the Profession in a manner that serves and protects public safety.
The core of psychiatric nursing practice is therapeutic communication and the therapeutic relationship. Emotion, behaviour and cognition are a major focus in psychiatric nursing practice. Many psychotherapeutic interventions are performed through the psychiatric nurse’s interaction with the client. Psychiatric nursing is committed to the prevention of illness and to the promotion and maintenance of optimal health, rehabilitation and recovery.
Currently in Canada the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba regulate and educate psychiatric nurses as a profession distinct from Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Nurse Practitioners. The Yukon Territory also regulates RPNs.
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A Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) directly cares for those with mental illness, physical and developmental disabilities, and addictions. Registered Psychiatric Nurses also promote optimal mental health across community and health care settings. RPNs work in challenging clinical and treatment environments and in interdisciplinary team settings.
Registered Psychiatric Nurses possess specialized skills in providing psychiatric patient assessments, determining patient needs, offering therapeutic support and expert counselling, and implementing treatment plans. They must possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills to be effective as primary nurses, and capable of extending compassion, empathy and diplomacy.
RPNs are employed in a broad range of settings that provide challenging and exciting opportunities. As a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, you could find work in:
- Health authorities – hospitals and community agencies
- Mental health and addiction/recovery programs
- Forensic service departments
- Prisons and penitentiaries
- Inpatient and community services
- Group homes and clubhouses
- Not-for-profit organizations
- Nursing education programs