Delivery Method: Combined delivery (online theory and in-person labs and clinicals)
Duration: 120 weeks
Start: March & September
Wages: $36.23-$57.38/hour (BCNU April 2021)
Regulated By: British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM)
Credit Transfer (Articulation): Graduates of our 120-week Psychiatric Nursing program are eligible for advanced entry to Thompson Rivers University’s Bachelor of Health Science.

Graduates are also eligible for advanced entry to Athabasca University’s Bachelor of Science Post Diploma (major in Math, Human Science or Computing Information Systems).

Douglas College’s Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing also grants advanced entry (PLAR).
Access for LPNs: Experienced LPNs are encouraged to apply and may be eligible for advanced standing in the program through Stenberg’s Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition Process (PLAR).

About the Career

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
  • Schools
Psychiatric Nursing Program | Stenberg College
More coming soon.

About the Program

In response to an overwhelming demand for Psychiatric Nurses throughout British Columbia, particularly outside the large urban centres, Stenberg College has offered its online-based Psychiatric Nursing diploma program since 2006. The only program of its kind in Canada, this innovative program allows students to do the majority of their coursework as well as their clinical placements and practicum in their local communities (within BC). 

Theory is instructor-led in a guided online learning platform. Online learning combined with regional clinical placements allow you to pursue your education in your home community. 

You will be taught by working Nurse Educators who are committed to your success. This program is recognized by the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM), and the curriculum focuses on the competencies that are required to successfully complete the Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada Examination (RPNCE). Nursing abilities are based in seven categories: 1. therapeutic relationships and therapeutic use of self, 2. evidence-informed knowledge, 3. collaborative practice, 4. Advocacy, 5. quality care and client safety, 6. health promotion, and 7. ethical, professional, and legal and responsibilities​. The client is the person central to all nursing practice.​​

To learn more about the entry-level competencies of RPNs, click here. To learn more about the requisite skills and abilities of RPNs, click here.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Psychiatric Nursing program must first complete the following:

  1. Attend an information session via webinar
  2. Submit an application form
  3. Successfully complete the online entrance essay assignment/assessment
  4. Provide an up-to-date resume
  5. Provide 2 professional references (must be signed and dated with contact info)

*If English is a Second Language, you will be required to pass one of Stenberg College’s recognized Language Proficiency Assessments (IELTS or CELBAN).

Pre-requisites:

  • Grade 12 English (minimum grade B)*
  • Grade 12 Biology (minimum grade C)
  • Grade 11 Math (Principles, Foundations or Pre-calculus) (minimum grade C)
  • Acceptable Criminal Record Review with Vulnerable Sector Check by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Additional Pre-requisites (under 19 years):

  • Graduation from grade 12 with a C+ average
  • Grade 10 Science (minimum grade C)

*Entrance requirements can be met with evidence of alternate assessments such as Challenge Exams. Evidence of Post-Secondary studies at an equivalent level where English was the first language is acceptable.

Admission:

For applicants applying for a seat outside of the Lower Mainland region, admission is granted to candidates on a first-qualified basis in the next available cohort.

Admission to the Psychiatric Nursing program within the Lower Mainland region is highly competitive. Meeting the minimum pre-requisite requirements does not guarantee a seat. Applications are evaluated based on a multitude of factors, including prior post-secondary education, work/volunteer experience in the healthcare industry, and CASPER assessment score. Waitlists do not carry forward to the following intake and applicants are required to re-compete. For details regarding your specific region, please speak to a Program Registrar, as the intake status of a region can change.

Twelve percent (12%) of Psychiatric Nursing program seats are allocated to self-identified Indigenous applicants who meet program requirements. If the seats are not filled within 12 weeks of the program start, the seats will be offered to other qualified applicants.

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) may be eligible for advanced entry

LPNs are encouraged to apply and may be eligible for advanced standing in the program, resulting in fewer courses and reduced tuition. Pre-requisites for LPNs include:
  • Copy of current licensing as a Practical Nurse
  • Proof of the equivalent of 2 years full-time work experience (3,600 hours) as an LPN
  • Official, sealed copy of LPN program transcripts

Program Courses

Post-Graduation Pathways

Stenberg Psychiatric Nursing graduates have many options available to them after program completion! Read below to learn more about our articulation agreements.

Credit Transfer to Thompson Rivers University (TRU)

Stenberg College Psychiatric Nursing Diploma Program

---------
120 weeks

Thompson Rivers University Bachelor of Health Science

---------
36+ credits (12 courses)

Brandon University Master of Psychiatric Nursing (MPN)

---------
2+ years

Graduates of Stenberg College’s 120-week Psychiatric Nursing diploma program are eligible for admission toward the Bachelor of Health Science degree at Thompson Rivers University. Successful applicants receive up to 84 PLAR credits, leaving 36 credits remaining to be completed at TRU (21 Lower-level; 15 Upper-level). All courses for Thompson Rivers Bachelor of Health Science degree done entirely online from anywhere in Canada.

Articulation to Brandon University

Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) with a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree from TRU meet the admission requirements for Brandon University’s Master of Psychiatric Nursing (MPN) program. All MPN students are required to attend an annual 2-3 day on-campus session each year in order to meet residency requirements but the rest of the coursework is delivered entirely online and practicums can be in a student’s home community. The MPN program can be completed in as little as two years but students have up to six years to complete the program.

Articulation to Athabasca University

Stenberg College Psychiatric Nursing graduates are eligible for advanced entry to Athabasca University’s Bachelor of Science Post Diploma with a major in Math, Human Science or Computing Information Systems.

Articulation to Douglas College

Douglas College’s Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing (BSPN) grants advanced entry (PLAR) to Psychiatric Nursing graduates.

Our Faculty

Accreditation and Recognition

Stenberg College is designated by the BC government’s Ministry of Advanced Education through the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB). This program is approved by PTIB, which is responsible for setting standards of quality and ensuring consumer protection. Stenberg College has also received the BC government’s Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation, which is BC’s brand or “seal” of quality post-secondary education for public and private institutions.

British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives Recognition

Stenberg’s Psychiatric Nursing Diploma Program is recognized by the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM). This full-time, 120-week combined-delivery program is designed to prepare students, upon graduation, to register to write the Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada Examination (RPNCE).

Have Questions?

Ask a Program Advisor!

Do you live outside of Canada? Inquire on our international website!

I understand that by submitting this form, I agree to receive periodic emails, phone calls and text messages (SMS) from Stenberg College. My consent can be withdrawn at any time using the links provided in every email. See our Privacy Policy

Student and Grad
Reviews

Stories from Our Grads

Menu
We noticed you’re visiting from outside of Canada.Please visit our website for international students.