Working as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in B.C.

What is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse?

Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) are nurses whose education and practice have a focus on psychosocial, mental or emotional health. They care for people of all ages experiencing issues related to mental health, substance use or behavioural addictions.

RPNs have additional education and experience to address the complex relationships among mental, emotional, and physical health, as well as the influence of social factors, culture and spirituality. RPNs also have advanced mental health assessment and intervention skills.

RPNs are regulated as a separate profession in the four western provinces and Yukon.

For more information about the RPN scope of practice and standards please visit the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of B.C.

Where do RPNs work?

RPNs work in direct care, research, education, and management in collaborative partnerships with other health care providers.

How many RPNs are there in B.C.?

There are over 2 800 RPNs in B.C. (CRPNBC 2016)

What are the steps to becoming an RPN?

Successfully complete RPN education program
Successfully complete the Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada Examination
Apply for registration with CRPNBC

RPN Education Programs in B.C.:

Douglas College

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing
  • Psychiatric Nursing Refresher (Certificate Program)- This program is for previously-registered RPNs wishing to re-register as a Practicing registrant with CRPNBC, but do not meet the continuing competence requirements

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

  • Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing

Stenberg College

  • Regional Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing

Please refer to the CRPNBC website for information on education programs outside of BC.

Resources for RPNs

Association of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of B.C.

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