Psychiatric Nursing

Advanced Diploma
Psychiatric Nursing

Program Overview

Psychiatric nurses educated at Saskatchewan Polytechnic are known for their high standards of practice, ethical behaviour, acceptance of diversity and compassion. Expert faculty and staff help prepare students for graduation and gratifying careers as registered psychiatric nurses.

Psychiatric nursing is a respected and distinct field of practice in western Canada. As a Saskatchewan Polytechnic psychiatric nursing student, you will be introduced to foundational knowledge and skills to prepare you to be an integral part of the interdisciplinary health care team. Faculty will guide you as you link theory with practice, demonstrating that caring is the foundation that provides a framework for psychiatric nursing. You will learn the importance of using a holistic approach to help clients reach their maximum potential.

If you want to play a vital role in the advancement of mental health and contribute meaningfully to the well-being of individuals, groups, families and communities, Saskatchewan Polytechnic's two-and-a-half-year Psychiatric Nursing advanced diploma program will appeal to you.

For more information, visit the program’s frequently asked questions.

Year-to-Year Breakdown

Year one of the program is offered in both Regina and Saskatoon which consists of theoretical courses, face-to-face mandatory simulated labs and two clinical practice education components (total 225 hours). Onsite face-to-face simulated labs help build a strong nursing foundation as you prepare to use your knowledge and practice your skills on clients at clinical practice education settings.

At present, theory is delivered virtually to Saskatoon from the Regina campus. Students are encouraged to be present in a classroom at each site, but at times, they have the flexibility to participate in theory virtually from a home office. Regina and Saskatoon have a designated on-campus classroom for those students who wish to learn with their peers. Some courses have mandatory face-to-face components.

Year two of the program consists of courses delivered virtually, face-to-face labs and three clinical practice education components (total 495 hours). You will be placed in an instructor led group at one of the following satellite sites (Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Swift Current, North Battleford, Prince Albert and two more sites to be determined).

Year three (four months in length) of the program is clinical practice education experience with a preceptor (total 375 hours). It is a time that allows students to further hone their skills and explore an area of special interest. Students can identify their preference for the clinical practice education experience. The program will do its best to accommodate student preferences, provided it is in Saskatchewan.

Earn Your Professional Credentials

The Psychiatric Nursing advanced diploma program meets the approval of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan (RPNAS). Graduates are eligible to write the Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada Examination (RPNCE), which is required to become licensed as an RPN.

The program is also recognized by all other regulatory bodies for the profession in Canada. At present RPNs practice in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Students are required to complete 2,145 hours (143 credits) to meet the standards and competencies required of an RPN. Upon program completion, graduates receive an advanced diploma credential. The credential aligns to the Saskatchewan Polytechnic framework and recognizes the length and complexity of the program.

Lighten Your Workload

Many incoming students choose to take courses prior to being accepted to lighten their workload while in the program. You can take any/all the following courses (offered through our School of Continuing Education) and receive credit for them prior to being admitted in the program.

  • Anatomy and Physiology 1 (BIOL-102)
  • Anatomy and Physiology 2 (BIOL-103)
  • Culture/Diversity in Canadian Society (SOCI-171)
  • Critical Reading and Writing (ENGL-101)

Students should ensure courses they take from other post-secondary learning institutions are equivalent prior to starting the program. The program head can assist you with choosing the right courses if you are interested in lightening your workload.

Diploma to Degree

Leverage your diploma into the Bachelor of Applied Management degree at Saskatchewan Polytechnic with only two years of additional study. Remote classes and part-time options are available.  

Program Approval

The program meets provincial and national standards set by the RPNAS.

Below are the key guiding documents for the psychiatric nursing program:

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

Registered psychiatric nurses are in high demand and are qualified to work in a variety of settings.

You could work in a hospital, long-term care facility, correctional institution (forensics), community mental health setting, home care or with children and youth. This program provides you with a strong foundation in psychiatric nursing practice.

Further investigate this program choice as a career:

For more information, visit www.healthcareersinsask.ca.

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s): September
Length: 96 weeks

Locations

  • Regina

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 and Vulnerable Sector Search, 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). The cost of CPR certification, the Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search is your responsibility.
  • Accepted applicants are required to provide evidence of current N95 respirator mask testing prior to entry into the clinical practice education setting. The cost of N95 respirator mask testing is your responsibility.
  • You will need access to a computer for the entire program.
  • Accepted applicants are required to provide evidence of 2015 WHMIS Globally Harmonized System (GHS) certification upon admission into the program. Recertification will be required every three years to remain current. The cost of WHMIS certification is your responsibility.
  • Accepted applicants are required to provide evidence of current (TLR®) certification. The cost of TLR® certification is your responsibility.
  • Accepted applicants are required to provide evidence of current Professional Assault Response Training (PART) - Advanced Level, prior to Clinical 214. The cost of PART certification is your responsibility.

 

*Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirement also accepted: 

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

Alternative Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through an alternative admission assessment. Applicants are automatically considered for alternative admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met.



ACCUPLACER©

Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Alternative Admission using Accuplacer.

  • 250 Arithmetic
  • 253 Reading
  • 247 Writing

Post-secondary

Some programs allow applicants to meet the admission grade level requirement using 15 approved post-secondary credits. Review additional information.

If the program applied to has specific course requirements, they may be met through alternative post-secondary courses. Review already approved courses that may be used for admission purposes for your programs.

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

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

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 approximate cost for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.

 

2022/23 Academic Year

Year 1 - $8,780
Year 2 - $9,250
Year 3 - $4,400

Year 1 - Semester 1

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
BIOL 102
Anatomy and Physiology 1
3
Show course details
In the first of a two-course sequence, you will explore the human body focusing on the interaction between structure and function and the regulation of physiological functions involved in maintaining homeostasis. You will learn how the levels of organization of the body and the components of cells, tissues and organs impact form and function. You will examine the following body systems: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous and special senses.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): BIOL 100, BIOL 100CE, BIOL 102CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning
CLIN 107
Clinical Practice Education 1
5
Show course details
You will provide safe, competent, and holistic client-centred psychiatric nursing care for at least one client while managing self-care. You will apply the nursing process as you demonstrate evidence-informed practice. You will establish a therapeutic relationship as you demonstrate foundational nursing skills in a clinical practice education setting.
Credit Units: 5
Course Hours: 75.0
Prerequisites(s): BIOL 102(concurrent), NRSG 100(concurrent), NRSG 101(concurrent), NRSG 110(concurrent), NRSG 111(concurrent)
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
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: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
NRSG 101
Introduction to Psychiatric Nursing Concepts
3
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You will be introduced to core concepts of the psychiatric nursing profession. You will study the governing legislation and the curriculum framework as well as major influences and trends that contribute to the psychiatric nursing profession. You will learn about health and mental health literacy and the importance of health teaching and learning strategies for all populations across the lifespan.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
NRSG 110
Foundations of Nursing Practice
3
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You will be introduced to theories and foundations of holistic nursing practice across the lifespan. You will learn how health interrelates with disease, illness, and wellness. You will become familiar with the nursing process as you study concepts of health promotion, illness prevention, illness detection, safety, and clinical decision-making.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): NRSG 102
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
NRSG 111
Medical/Surgical Nursing Skills 1
3
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You will study types of microorganisms, their characteristics, and the relationship between the chain of infection, transmission of infection, and agents used to control microbial growth. You will describe differences between prions, viroids, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. You will demonstrate fundamental psychomotor nursing skills in a simulated lab setting.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): NRSG 110(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
Total semester credits: 20

Year 1 - Semester 2

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
BIOL 103
Anatomy and Physiology 2
3
Show course details
In the second of a two-course sequence, you will continue to explore the human body focusing on the interaction between structure and function and the regulation of physiological functions involved in maintaining homeostasis. You will examine how the levels of organization of the body and the components of cells, tissues and organs impact the form and function for the following body systems: endocrine, blood, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance and reproductive.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): BIOL 102
Equivalent Course(s): BIOL 101, BIOL 101CE, BIOL 103CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning
NRSG 109
Interpersonal Partnerships
3
Show course details
You will establish therapeutic relationships and apply therapeutic use of self. You will practice communication, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and critical reflection in a practice setting.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Corequisites(s):
Equivalent Course(s): NRSG 233
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
NRSG 112
Pathophysiology
3
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You will be introduced to physiological illnesses across the lifespan. You will study organ system dysfunction and homeostatic imbalance, and the importance of nutrition. You will study hemodynamic monitoring, lab value analysis, and surgical principles.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
NRSG 113
Medical/Surgical Nursing Skills 2
3
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You will integrate the relationship between the chain of infection, the transmission of infection, and agents used to control microbial growth while practicing psychomotor skills. You will demonstrate intermediate and advanced psychomotor skills in a simulated lab setting.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): BIOL 102, CLIN 107, NRSG 110, NRSG 111
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
NRSG 114
General Pharmacology
4
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You will focus on the principles of safe medication administration. You will study pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and related nursing interventions.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): BIOL 102, NRSG 110, NRSG 113(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
NRSG 234
Physical Assessment
3
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You will be introduced to cultural, ethnic, social, and spiritual considerations in health assessment. You will perform holistic health and mental health assessments. You will collect and document subjective and objective data.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): BIOL 102, CLIN 107, NRSG 100, NRSG 101, NRSG 110, NRSG 111, BIOL 103(concurrent), NRSG 109(concurrent)
Equivalent Course(s): NEPS 221
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Prior Learning
Total semester credits: 19

Year 1 - Semester 3

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
CLIN 108
Clinical Practice Education 2
10
Show course details
You will focus on safe, competent, and holistic client-centred psychiatric nursing care for a minimum of two clients in a clinical practice education setting. You will recognize the importance of health and mental health promotion, as well as illness prevention and detection. You will develop therapeutic relationships and demonstrate therapeutic use of self. You will critically evaluate evidence-informed nursing care while managing self-care. You will also demonstrate the ability to safely administer medications.
Credit Units: 10
Course Hours: 150.0
Prerequisites(s): BIOL 102, BIOL 103, CLIN 107, NRSG 100, NRSG 101, NRSG 109, NRSG 110, NRSG 111, NRSG 112, NRSG 113, NRSG 114, NRSG 234
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
SOCI 171
Culture and Diversity in Canadian Society
3
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You will explore culture and diversity in Canada and the challenges they present. You will discuss the impacts of oppression, multiculturalism, immigration, social inequalities, and social justice at both personal and professional levels. You will discuss the historical and contemporary challenges of Indigenous peoples. You will also examine tools to foster social change and diversity competencies.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning
Total semester credits: 13

Year 2 - Semester 4

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
CLIN 214
Clinical Practice Education 3
11
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You will demonstrate psychiatric nursing assessments and interventions. You will provide safe, competent, and holistic client-centred psychiatric nursing care to a minimum of three clients. You will counsel individuals, and critically evaluate evidence-informed nursing care while demonstrating self-care concepts. You will also demonstrate safe medication administration.
Credit Units: 11
Course Hours: 165.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 108, SOCI 171, NRSG 238(concurrent), NRSG 240(concurrent), NRSG 241(concurrent), PSYC 163(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
ENGL 101
Critical Reading and Writing
3
Show course details
You will develop basic skills in critical analysis and effective reading by analyzing and evaluating materials from various disciplines. You will also refine your understanding and practice of the structures of composition by writing a research paper on a topic of your choice using APA-style.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 101CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning
NRSG 238
Individual Partnerships
3
Show course details
You will study effective professional helping skills with individuals. You will be introduced to evidence-based psychological interventions, selected theories of counselling, and several counselling approaches and strategies. You will apply this theory in a practice setting.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 108, SOCI 171
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
NRSG 240
Psychotropic Pharmacology
3
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You will be introduced to the concepts of psychopharmacology. You will study pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of psychotropic medications and related nursing interventions.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 108, SOCI 171
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Web Assisted Delivery Group
NRSG 241
Psychiatric Nursing Assessment and Interventions 1
3
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You will focus on the psychiatric nursing assessment and interventions of psychiatric disorders across the lifespan. You will be introduced to the concepts of psychological and spiritual health, as well as sociocultural components of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 108, SOCI 171, NRSG 240(concurrent), PSYC 163(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Web Assisted Delivery Group
PSYC 163
Healthy Lifespan Development
3
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You will study human development from conception to death and examine theories and processes of human growth and development. You will discuss health promotion and health issues for each domain of development in relation to psychiatric nursing practice. You will explore physical, cognitive, social, and personality development across the lifespan.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): NEPS 216
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning
Total semester credits: 26

Year 2 - Semester 5

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
CLIN 215
Clinical Practice Education 4
11
Show course details
You will demonstrate psychiatric nursing assessments and interventions for individuals, groups, and/or families under faculty supervision. You will critically evaluate evidence-informed nursing care while demonstrating self-care concepts.
Credit Units: 11
Course Hours: 165.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 214, NRSG 238, NRSG 240, NRSG 241, PSYC 163, NRSG 239(concurrent), NRSG 242(concurrent), NRSG 246(concurrent), NRSG 259(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
NRSG 239
Addictions
3
Show course details
You will study addictions across the lifespan and be introduced to bio-psychosocial theories, the Four Pillars strategy, and assessment, screening, and diagnostic tools. You will examine psychiatric nursing interventions, treatments, and concepts in health promotion with diverse cultures.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 214, NRSG 238, NRSG 240, NRSG 241, PSYC 163
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Web Assisted Delivery Group
NRSG 242
Group Partnerships
3
Show course details
You will be introduced to the foundations of group counselling. You will study group theory and group process. You will demonstrate group facilitation skills in a practice setting.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 214, NRSG 238, NRSG 240, NRSG 241, PSYC 163
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Web Assisted Delivery Group
NRSG 246
Family Partnerships
3
Show course details
You will learn family theory, family assessment tools, and psychiatric nursing interventions that will prepare you to work with diverse families. You will learn about forms of family violence along with other issues that affect 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.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 214, NRSG 238, NRSG 240, NRSG 241, PSYC 163
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Web Assisted Delivery Group
NRSG 259
Psychiatric Nursing Assessment and Interventions 2
3
Show course details
You will focus on psychiatric nursing assessment and interventions of psychiatric disorders across the lifespan. You will be introduced to comorbidity, relapse, and recovery concepts and will formulate plans of care.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 214, NRSG 238, NRSG 240, NRSG 241, PSYC 163
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
Total semester credits: 23

Year 2 - Semester 6

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
CLIN 216
Clinical Practice Education 5
11
Show course details
You will demonstrate guided psychiatric nursing assessments and interventions for individuals, groups, and/or families. You will study current and emerging health issues for marginalized and vulnerable populations. You will critically evaluate evidence-informed nursing care. You will demonstrate increased autonomy as you engage in personal and professional developmental activities to enhance your learning while you manage self-care.
Credit Units: 11
Course Hours: 165.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 215, NRSG 239, NRSG 242, NRSG 246, NRSG 259, NRSG 247(concurrent), NRSG 248(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
NRSG 247
Forensics
3
Show course details
You will study the role of the psychiatric nurse in a forensic environment. You will examine professionalism, forensic culture and subculture, psychiatric nursing assessment, and intervention protocols. You will study the theory of care, custody, and control in forensic settings.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Online
NRSG 248
Community Partnerships
3
Show course details
You will study community theory and assessment tools. You will examine psychiatric nursing roles and interventions that will prepare you to work with individuals in diverse communities. You will also develop strategies for community improvement.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 215, NRSG 238, NRSG 239, NRSG 240, NRSG 241
Potential Learning Method(s): Online
Total semester credits: 17

Year 3 - Semester 7

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
CLIN 243
Clinical Practice Education 6
25
Show course details
You will demonstrate integration, synthesis, and application of theoretical concepts. You will critically evaluate evidence-informed nursing practice as you care for high acuity clients with comorbidities. During a preceptored clinical practice education experience, you will demonstrate autonomy and leadership principles. You will model roles and responsibilities of a graduate psychiatric nurse and engage in professional development opportunities as you manage self-care.
Credit Units: 25
Course Hours: 375.0
Prerequisites(s): CLIN 216, NRSG 247, NRSG 248
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
Total semester credits: 25

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