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Psychiatric Nursing

Diploma
Psychiatric Nursing

Program Overview

If you want to play a role in advancing the mental health and well-being of individuals, families and communities, Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Psychiatric Nursing program will appeal to you.

Psychiatric nursing is a distinct field of practice in Western Canada. There are about 5,000 registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) working in hospitals, community clinics, care facilities and correctional institutions across Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia … and demand is growing.

This high-demand program is open for application from 8:00 a.m., October 1, to 4:30 p.m., February 15 (Saskatchewan time), each academic year. Additional selection criteria is applicable (see Admission Information below). All supporting documentation is required by 4:30 p.m., February 28(29) (Saskatchewan time).

International applicants are not currently considered for admission to this high-demand program.

Psychiatric Nursing is a two-and-a-half-year diploma program delivered through blended learning via on-campus classes, video conferencing, onsite labs and clinical practicums to help you transfer your skills into real world practice. Experienced faculty will help you link theory with practice to help clients with mental illness, psychiatric disorders and developmental and/or cognitive difficulties function at their maximum potential. You will build a strong foundation in psychiatric nursing practice, including:

  • health assessment and interventions;
  • mental health challenges;
  • counselling models and therapeutic relationships;
  • family and community partnerships;
  • psychotropic pharmacology; and
  • addictions and forensics.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic Is a Nursing Education Leader

Saskatchewan Polytechnic is one of the most respected providers of nursing education in Canada. Our Psychiatric Nursing program is recognized by the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan, as well as the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta (CRPNA), College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of British Columbia (CRPNABC), and College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba (CRPNM).

Earn Your Professional Credentials

On graduation, you’ll be eligible to write the Canadian Registered Psychiatric Nurses exam, register with the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan (RPNAS) and apply for designation as a registered psychiatric nurse (RPN).

Refer to Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

As a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, you’ll be actively involved in assessing needs and planning, implementing and evaluating programs that meet the needs of clients affected by mental illness, psychiatric disorders, developmental and/or cognitive difficulties. 

RPNs work in a variety of settings. You could work in a hospital, long-term care facility, correctional institution, community mental health setting or youth centre. Laddering into Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing (BPN) can open the door to careers in education, research, management and leadership.

For more information, contact the Student Employment Services at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus nearest you or visit www.healthcareersinsask.ca.

Potential Careers

Sample Job TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN)Registered Nurses (3152)$58,300 - $95,700

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s): September

Length: 86 weeks (7 terms over 2.5 years)

Locations

  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic Regina campus

Admissions

Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 with a minimum overall average of 70% in the following five subjects (or their equivalents): English Language Arts A30, English Language Arts B30, Foundations of Math 30 or Pre-Calculus 30*, Biology 30 and Chemistry 30
  • English Language Requirement

 

Note

  • All successful applicants must provide proof of Standard First Aid and CPR Health Care Provider 'C' AED or equivalent, and submit the results of a Criminal Record Check, prior to commencement of the program. (When you are accepted to the program, you will be further advised of the required timelines for submission of the related documents. Please await further notice.).
  • You will need access to a computer for the entire program.

 

*Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirement also accepted: 

  • one 30-level math (one of Math A30, Math B30, Math C30, Calculus 30, or General Math 30)

Admission Method

High Demand

High-demand programs consistently have more applicants than spaces available at each Saskatchewan Polytechnic location at which they are offered. High-demand programs have admission requirements plus additional selection criteria. The application period for high-demand programs is 8:00 a.m., October 1, to 4:30 p.m., February 15 (Saskatchewan times), each academic year. All supporting documentation is required by 4:30 p.m. (Saskatchewan time), February 28(29).

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Selection Criteria

  • Phase I for High School Graduates: The admission average is calculated from final marks in high school courses required for admission to the program. The high school average will be compared to any grade point average(s) (UGPA) presented for a minimum of 30 passed post-secondary credits from a recognized post-secondary institution - and the highest average considered for admission. Such applicants must be in good academic standing with the institution. If transcripts from more than one post-secondary institution are submitted, the highest UGPA will be considered against the high school average. Applicants are then ranked in the order of the highest averages.
  • Phase I for Current High School Students: The admission average is calculated from final marks provided by February 28(29). Conditional admission may be granted on this basis. Current high school students must order transcripts to be sent directly to Saskatchewan Polytechnic at the end of Semester 1 and the end of Semester 2 of the grade 12 year. The final grade 12 mark will be used where the course is completed. The final grade 11 mark will be used only in the absence of the grade 12 mark in the same subject.
  • Additional points will be awarded for specific relevant Saskatchewan Polytechnic courses or post-secondary courses determined by the program head

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as books and supplies. For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program, click here to access the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus Tuition and Fee Schedules.

 

Year 1 - $6,200
Year 2 - $7,000
Year 3 - $3,300

Courses

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Year 1

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
APHY 162
Anatomy and Physiology 1
4
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You will study the human body, how it is constructed and how it functions to maintain homeostasis. You will focus on the interaction between the structures of the body cells, tissues, organs and organ systems. The course content includes levels of organization of the human body, cells, tissues, integument and the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. You will apply your theoretical knowledge in practical setting by performing dissections of specimens as part of the mandatory lab component.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 62.0
Equivalent Course(s): ANAT 160, NURS 111
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab, Print Distance Group
APHY 262
Anatomy and Physiology 2
4
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You will study the human body, how it is constructed and how it functions to maintain homeostasis. The course builds on the information you learned in APHY 162 (Anatomy and Physiology 1). You will focus on the study of systems involved with integration, control, absorption, excretion and reproduction. You will apply your theoretical knowledge in practical setting by performing dissections of specimens as part of the mandatory lab component.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 62.0
Prerequisites(s): APHY 162
Equivalent Course(s): ANAT 265, NURS 111
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab, Print Distance Group
CLIN 213
Clinical 1
10
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You will have the opportunity to apply theory and concepts learned from Term 1 to Term 3 of the Psychiatric Nursing program. You will use critical reflection, critical thinking and clinical judgment to apply wholistic psychiatric nursing care in a psycho-geriatric setting with assigned clients.
Credit Units: 10
Course Hours: 150.0
Prerequisites(s): NRSG 233, NRSG 234, NRSG 235, (NEPS 119 or APHY 262), (NEPS 216 or PSYC 163), NRSG 236(concurrent), NRSG 237(concurrent)
Equivalent Course(s): NEPS 292, NURS 238
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
MICR 159
Microbiology
1
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You will study the various types of microorganisms, their characteristics and their role in the spread of infection. You will be introduced to the principles of health care epidemiology and the commonly used agents to control microbial growth. You will acquire knowledge of the major viral, bacterial and fungal diseases. Using group work, independent learning as well as laboratory activities you will study how the major diseases affect the immune system and the organs of the body. You will study the responsibilities and roles of health care workers in the chain of infection.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 22.0
Prerequisites(s): APHY 162(concurrent)
Equivalent Course(s): MICR 160
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Lecture/Lab
MICR 161
Medical/Surgical Nursing Skills
1
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You will explore the concepts of microbiology in relation to infection control and patient care. You will demonstrate these concepts in the performance of select psychomotor skills in a simulated situation.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 22.0
Prerequisites(s): MICR 159(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Lab/Practical
NRSG 100
Promotion of Psychiatric Nursing Praxis
3
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You will be introduced to concepts of self that are central to the profession of psychiatric nursing. You will use critical reflection and synthesis to focus on developing the skills and attitudes expected of effective registered psychiatric nurses.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 39.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
NRSG 101
Introduction to Psychiatric Nursing Concepts
3
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You will be introduced to the Psychiatric Nursing curriculum framework, professional regulation, leadership concepts, and writing and research process. You will examine the concepts of mental health promotion and primary health care. You will review past, present and future influences that contribute to the psychiatric nursing profession.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 52.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
NRSG 102
Foundations of Psychiatric Nursing Practice
6
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You will focus on the theory of wholistic psychiatric nursing care related to specific health challenges of the older adult. You will be introduced to concepts of mental health promotion, illness prevention, safety, clinical decision-making, documentation and self-care. You will have an opportunity to apply fundamental psychiatric nursing skills in a practice setting.
Credit Units: 6
Course Hours: 91.0
Equivalent Course(s): NEPS 115, NURS 238
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
NRSG 233
Interpersonal Partnerships
3
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You will acquire the knowledge to develop the skills needed to establish therapeutic relationships and to conduct effective individual interviews. You will have an opportunity to practice communication skills, essential interpersonal elements, critical thinking and critical reflection in a practice setting.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 52.0
Prerequisites(s): NRSG 100, NRSG 101, NRSG 102, (NEPS 118 or APHY 162), (NEPS 212 or MICR 159, MICR 161)
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
NRSG 234
Physical Assessment
3
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You will establish a foundation for the development of physical health assessment skills. You will be introduced to theory related to psychological, sociocultural and spiritual assessment. You will learn to adapt engagement skills, interviewing techniques, history taking and head-to-toe physical assessment to special populations. You will have an opportunity to practice comprehensive physical health assessments.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 39.0
Prerequisites(s): NRSG 100, NRSG 101, NRSG 102, (NEPS 118 or APHY 162), (NEPS 212 or MICR 159, MICR 161)
Equivalent Course(s): NEPS 221
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
NRSG 235
Aboriginal Studies 1
3
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You will be introduced to Aboriginal history and culture. You will explore the origins of Aboriginal populations, historical perspectives, Indian treaties, Indian policy, and the impact of these developments. Upon completion of this course, you will have gained an understanding of the Aboriginal culture.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 39.0
Prerequisites(s): NRSG 100, NRSG 101, NRSG 102, (NEPS 118 or APHY 162), (NEPS 212 or MICR 159, MICR 161)
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 200, SOCI 261
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab
NRSG 236
Introduction to Pharmacology
1
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You will develop knowledge of medications, the medication research process and patient safety. You will examine the history and future of psychopharmacology.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 15.0
Prerequisites(s): NRSG 233, NRSG 234, NRSG 235, (NEPS 119 or APHY 262), (NEPS 216 or PSYC 163)
Equivalent Course(s): NEPS 222, PHAR 160
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
NRSG 237
Health and Healthcare Concepts
3
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You will be introduced to selected physical illnesses and psychiatric disorders of the older adult, concepts of psychiatric co-morbidity with medical diagnosis and selected interpersonal interventions. You will have the opportunity to explore concepts of wholistic psychiatric nursing care related to selected health challenges.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 48.0
Prerequisites(s): NRSG 233, NRSG 234, NRSG 235, (NEPS 119 or APHY 262), (NEPS 216 or PSYC 163)
Equivalent Course(s): NEPS 291, NURS 293
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
PSYC 163
Healthy Life Span Development
3
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You will be introduced to the study of human development over the life span from conception to death. You will examine selected theories and processes of the growth and development of individuals throughout the life span within the context of family and community. You will discuss health promotion and selected prevalent health issues for each domain of the life span in relation to psychiatric nursing practice.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 38.0
Equivalent Course(s): NEPS 216
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab

Year 2

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
CLIN 214
Clinical 2
11
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You will have the opportunity to apply concepts learned from Term 1 to Term 4 of the Psychiatric Nursing program. You will use critical reflection, critical thinking and clinical judgment to apply wholistic psychiatric nursing care in acute psychiatry with assigned clients.
Credit Units: 11
Course Hours: 168.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 213, NRSG 238(concurrent), NRSG 239(concurrent), NRSG 240(concurrent), NRSG 241(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
CLIN 215
Clinical 3
11
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You will have the opportunity to apply theory and concepts learned during Term 1 to Term 5 of the Psychiatric Nursing program. You will use critical reflection, critical thinking and clinical judgment to apply wholistic psychiatric nursing care in a child and/or adolescent practice setting. You will apply the new theory you are learning in Term 5 to the clinical setting.
Credit Units: 11
Course Hours: 168.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 214, NRSG 242(concurrent), NRSG 243(concurrent), NRSG 244(concurrent), NRSG 245(concurrent), NRSG 246(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
CLIN 216
Clinical 4
11
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You will have the opportunity to apply concepts learned during Term 1 to Term 5 of the Psychiatric Nursing program and apply new concepts learned during Term 6. You will use critical reflection, critical thinking and clinical judgment to apply wholistic psychiatric nursing care to assigned clients in a selected setting.
Credit Units: 11
Course Hours: 168.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 215, NRSG 247(concurrent), NRSG 248(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
NRSG 238
Individual Partnerships
3
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Your studies will focus on concepts of effective professional helping with individuals. You will be introduced to evidence-based psychological interventions, selected theories of counseling, several counseling approaches and strategies. You will have opportunity to apply this theory in a practice setting.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 39.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 213
Potential Learning Method(s): Print Distance Group
NRSG 239
Addictions
3
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You will learn about selected addiction assessment tools, types of addictions, psychiatric nursing interventions and concepts in health promotion, prevention and harm reduction. You will examine theories and models including medical, disease and biopsychosocial and the various treatment options available.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 213
Potential Learning Method(s): Print Distance Group
NRSG 240
Psychotropic Pharmacology
3
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You will build on the basic concepts from the NRSG 236 (Introduction to Pharmacology) course. You will learn to assess pharmacotherapeutics and provide safe administration of psychotropic agents and psychiatric nursing interventions.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 213
Potential Learning Method(s): Print Distance Group
NRSG 241
Psychiatric Nursing Assessment, Responses and Interventions
5
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Your studies will focus on the assessment and continuum of client responses to mental illness and mental health assessment. You will be introduced to standard tests, rating scales for mental health assessment, concepts of relapse, recovery and co-morbidity. You will have the opportunity to design interventions for individuals experiencing psychiatric disorders.
Credit Units: 5
Course Hours: 69.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 213
Potential Learning Method(s): Print Distance Group
NRSG 242
Group Partnerships
3
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You will be introduced to the foundations of group work. Your studies will focus on group theory, group process and mental health promotion. You will have the opportunity to participate in groups and develop practical skills in group facilitation.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 38.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 214
Potential Learning Method(s): Print Distance Group
NRSG 243
Children and Adolescents
3
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You will be introduced to selected theory of common psychiatric, developmental and social disorders of children and adolescents. You will be provided the opportunity to explore selected models of assessment and psychiatric nursing interventions.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 38.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 214
Potential Learning Method(s): Print Distance Group
NRSG 244
General Pharmacology
2
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You will build upon the pharmacology concepts from Term 3 and Term 4 of the Psychiatric Nursing program. You will be provided with further opportunity to explore and assess selected pharmacotherapeutics and other related nursing interventions.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 37.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 214
Equivalent Course(s): NEPS 223, PHAR 264
Potential Learning Method(s): Print Distance Group
NRSG 245
Health and Mental Health Literacy
2
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You will be introduced to concepts of teaching and learning. You will examine a literacy model and develop strategies to support mental health literacy across selected populations.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 26.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 214
Potential Learning Method(s): Online
NRSG 246
Family Partnerships
3
Show course details
You will learn about selected family theory, selected family assessment tools and psychiatric nursing interventions that will prepare you to work with individuals within diverse families. You will learn about various forms of family violence and explore the issues and challenges of families. You will develop strategies to improve an individual’s functioning within the context of a family and have the opportunity for experiential learning through practice working with families.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 38.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 214
Potential Learning Method(s): Print Distance Group
NRSG 247
Forensics
3
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You will gain an understanding of the role of the psychiatric nurse in secure environments. You will examine professionalism, prison culture and subculture, psychiatric nursing assessment and protocols for interventions. You will learn about selected theory of care, custody and control in forensic settings.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 38.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 215
Potential Learning Method(s): Print Distance Group
NRSG 248
Community Partnerships
3
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You will learn about selected community theory and community assessment tools as well as psychiatric nursing roles and interventions that will prepare you to work with diverse communities. You will develop strategies to improve community function and have the opportunity for experiential learning through practice working with individuals within the context of communities.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 39.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 215
Potential Learning Method(s): Print Distance Group

Year 3

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
CLIN 217
Consolidated Clinical 5
9
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You will have the opportunity to consolidate concepts learned during Term 1 to Term 6 of the Psychiatric Nursing program and apply new concepts learned during Term 7. You will use critical reflection, critical thinking and clinical judgment to apply wholistic psychiatric nursing care to assigned clients in a clinical setting.
Credit Units: 9
Course Hours: 140.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 216, NRSG 249(concurrent), NRSG 250(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
CLIN 218
Preceptored Clinical 6
16
Show course details
During your selected preceptored experience, you will be given the opportunity to demonstrate integration, synthesis and application of the theoretical concepts of the Psychiatric Nursing program. You will use critical reflection, critical thinking and clinical judgment to demonstrate your ability to model professional practice roles and functions.
Credit Units: 16
Course Hours: 245.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 217
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
NRSG 249
Professional Development
1
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You will examine the concepts of interdisciplinary practice, leadership, professional practice transition issues and professional self-care. You will be introduced to the theory of portfolio development and be afforded the opportunity to create an E-Portfolio.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 15.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 216
Potential Learning Method(s): Online
NRSG 250
E-mentoring
1
Show course details
You will be introduced to mentorship and have the opportunity to collaboratively partner with a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) mentor. You will use enhanced technology to reflect upon and document your mentorship experience.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 15.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 216
Potential Learning Method(s): Online

PLAR & Transfer Credit

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training. A detailed Candidate Guide, which includes a self-audit for all PLAR-ready courses, has been developed for this program. This information guides a candidate through all steps in the PLAR process.


Transfer Credit

Many Saskatchewan Polytechnic students benefit from transferring credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit from or to another college or university. To learn more, visit our transfer credit web page.

 

Student Awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. You don't have to be a brainiac to receive a student award. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships

Accreditation

Registered Psychiatric Nurses' Association of Saskatchewan (RPNAS) valid for 5 years until September 2015.

Additional Information

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