Psychiatric Nursing Diploma
Faculty of Nursing
MacEwan University’s Psychiatric Nursing diploma prepares graduates for a professional career as a registered psychiatric nurse (RPN). This 28-month program is designed for full-time studies and comprises 89 credits of coursework distributed over 2.5 academic years. The program has intakes at two sites: City Centre Campus in Edmonton and the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury in Ponoka.
The curriculum helps students develop the professional competencies they need to care for people experiencing mental and physical health problems. Graduates are ready to promote optimal wellness for patients/clients and provide holistic, client-centred nursing care across the lifespan. The program of study incorporates extensive theory, laboratory and clinical practice. It builds on knowledge from nursing and psychiatric nursing, as well as the biological, health and social sciences. Concentrated blocks of nursing practice experiences, scheduled in a variety of settings, are strategically positioned within each academic year.
Graduates of this program receive a diploma in Psychiatric Nursing and are eligible to write the Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada Examination (RPNCE), which is required for registration as an RPN. Program graduates who wish to further their studies in their chosen field may apply for admission to MacEwan University’s 45-credit Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing degree.
RPNs play an integral role as members of the inter-professional health care team. They are employed in such areas as community mental health, acute and sub-acute psychiatry, palliative care, rehabilitation, continuing care, correctional services, crisis intervention, mental health and addictions, education, research and private practice. Psychiatric nurses bring an important mental health perspective to the delivery of health services through their employment in such roles as staff psychiatric nurses, addictions counsellors, therapists, community mental health workers, case managers, educators, administrators, researchers and self-employed practitioners. Psychiatric nursing is recognized as a distinct profession in the Yukon, throughout the Western Canadian provinces and in numerous other countries.
T: 780-497-5874 (Edmonton site)
T: 403-783-7801 (Ponoka site)
Program of Study
|HLSC 120||Human Anatomy 1||3|
|HLSC 126||Human Physiology I 1||3|
|HLST 154||Professional Communication 1||3|
|HLST 159||Health Foundations 1||3|
|NURS 150||The Discipline of Psychiatric Nursing 1||3|
|PSYC 104||Introductory Psychology I 1||3|
|ENGL||University Level English1,2||3|
|HLSC 124||Microbiology for Health Professionals 1||3|
|HLSC 128||Human Physiology II 1||3|
|PNRS 152||Foundations in Nursing Practice 1||6|
|PSYC 105||Introductory Psychology II 1||3|
|PNRS 155||Mental Health Nursing I 1||4|
|HLSC 220||Pharmacotherapeutics for Health Professionals 1||3|
|HLSC 222||Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan 1||3|
|NURS 251||Nursing Care, Diverse Populations 1||4|
|NURS 252||Health Assessment Across the Lifespan 1||4|
|PNRS 252||Mental Health Nursing II 1||4|
|NURS 253||Nursing Practice, Diverse Populations I 1||5|
|NURS 255||Nursing Practice, Diverse Populations II 1||5|
|PNRS 255||Psychiatric Nursing Practice, Adult Populations 1||5|
|PNRS 259||Psychiatric Nursing Practice, Special Populations 1||5|
|PNRS 352||Mental Health Nursing III 1||4|
|PNRS 355||Clinical Preceptorship 1||7|
The minimum passing grade for this course is a C-.
Excluding ENGL 111
The minimum passing grade for a course at MacEwan University is a D unless otherwise noted next to the appropriate course in the program of study.
|Credit Earned in:||May Be Substituted for Credit in Program Course:|
|HLSC 122||HLSC 126 & HLSC 128|
|NURS 105||HLSC 120|
|NURS 108||HLSC 126 & HLSC 128|
|NURS 118 & NURS 228||HLSC 126 & HLSC 128|
|NURS 152||HLST 159|
|NURS 170||NURS 150|
|NURS 270||NURS 251|
|NURS 275 & NURS 277||NURS 253 & NURS 255|
|PEDS 100||HLSC 120|
|PEDS 101||HLSC 126|
|PEDS 102||HLSC 126 & HLSC 128|
|PEDS 103||HLSC 128|
|PHSL 162||HLSC 126 & HLSC 128|
Program Time Limit - Exemption
A student in Psychiatric Nursing has four years from the first day of the term of acceptance to complete all requirements to be eligible for a credential (C2075 Program Time Limits).
A three-credit university-level English course at the 100, 200, 300, or 400 level is required as a prerequisite for program completion; ENGL 102 is recommended. ENGL 111, Communications, cannot be used to meet the English course requirement for this program.
Progression of Studies
Course registration is required for attendance in all program courses. Students who have had a break in the continuity of their program may have additional course requirements to establish course currency.
Program regulations also require all transfer credit(s) meet currency requirements. To be considered for credit all NURS and HLST equivalent courses must have been completed within the five years immediately preceding a student’s program start date. All other courses being considered for transfer credit must be completed within the 10 years immediately preceding a student’s program start date.
The decision to award transfer credit rests with the program and cannot be appealed.
Students are responsible for ensuring they meet the prerequisite and/or co-requisite requirements as noted on program courses. In accordance with the Academic Standing policy, a student who fails to complete a pre or co-requisite course designated as being required for progression in the program (or for program completion) may be Required to Withdraw from the program.
Professional Code of Conduct
Students must adhere to the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta (CRPNA) Code of Ethics & Standards of Psychiatric Nursing Practice, the professional code of conduct and the confidentiality agreements signed with MacEwan University and clinical placement/other agencies.
Regulations Governing Clinical Courses
Students must achieve satisfactory performance in all clinical courses in accordance with the course/clinical criteria. Clinical course hours may include days, evenings, nights and weekends. Students are to arrange their own transportation for required program activities and any costs incurred for meals, travel and accommodation are the student’s responsibility. Students will require daily access to a vehicle for any practice experience not accessible through public transportation. Required nursing practice placements will generally be within a 150 kilometer radius of the program site.
Students must have completed all prerequisite courses as well as all program and agency pre-clinical requirements prior to the start of any clinical course. Students cannot be in attendance at clinical agencies as a MacEwan University psychiatric nursing student except at times and locations authorized by the clinical course instructor for the course in which the student is currently enrolled. Students must comply with the Work Integrated Learning policy regarding clinical and/or nursing practice placements.
In accordance with the Work Integrated Learning policy, the university reserves the right, at any point during the clinical placement, to remove a student from the clinical placement for serious performance issues (i.e., engaging in behaviour that places the client and/or others at risk or that is contrary to the professional or safety requirements of the placement). In such cases the Department Chair, through consultation with the Dean, will assign a grade of F in the course. Although the decision may be appealed according to the Student Appeals policy, the student will not be permitted to remain in the clinical placement during the appeal.
Police Information Check
A current, clear Police Information Check (PIC) that includes a Vulnerable Sector Search is required for program admission. This check must be completed no earlier than 90 days prior to the program start date and submitted no later than the published document deadline. Having a pardon in progress does not meet the admission requirement for a clear PIC.
Students are responsible for obtaining, retaining, and submitting the original security clearance /PIC including vulnerable sector check, as requested by clinical agencies throughout the duration of the program. Students may also be required to obtain child welfare checks for some clinical placements.
Students whose PIC changes following admission MUST self-report this to the Department Chair, who will identify the process for initiating an assessment by AHS, and/or Covenant Health (and other agencies as applicable) of their ability to accommodate the students’ clinical course placement(s). As this assessment process may take four to six weeks for completion, self-reporting of this information MUST be done in a timely manner. A change in the student’s PIC may compromise their ability to complete the program requirements as they may be denied required clinical placements and, therefore, be unable to meet graduation requirements.
Students admitted to this program are presumed to be capable of fulfilling the academic requirements of their program with, if applicable, provision of reasonable accommodation. The reasonable accommodation of students with disabilities shall not require the University to lower its standards, academic or otherwise, nor shall it relieve a student of the responsibility to develop and demonstrate the essential skills and competencies expected of all students pursuing this program (Students with Disabilities policy).
Students require the requisite skills and abilities necessary for entry to practice as Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) in Alberta, as the CRPNA outlines in their document entitled Requisite Skills and Abilities for Becoming a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in Alberta. All students must meet the physical and mental health attributes that will support success in a psychiatric nursing education program. Students must participate in clinical practice courses requiring performance of physically and mentally challenging activities such as cognitive, behavioural, communication, interpersonal, physical, sensory perceptual, and environmental requirements.
Program students are exposed to high risk/vulnerable populations, exposing themselves, staff, and patients/clients to infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B and those with other blood-borne pathogens when assigned to their care. Students must be able to meet agency requirements for immunizations prior to the start of all clinical or practice placement courses. Current immunization against specified communicable diseases is required as a prerequisite for practice placements and thus for continued enrolment in the program.
Program students must be fitted for an N95 mask as a prerequisite for clinical experiences, and refitted in accordance with health authority requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to meet the required timelines for mask fitting.
Basic Life Support Certification
A current Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider certificate obtained through the Heart and Stroke Foundation is required prior to the start of all clinical courses. The BLS Provider certification must be for Health Care Providers and include one and two person rescuers (adult, infant, child), bag-valve-masks (BVM), and automated external defibrillation (AED). BLS certification must be updated every 12 months to meet this requirement, with no grace period provided for the clinical courses.
Standard First Aid
Students entering year 1 clinical must complete Heart and Stroke Standard First Aid & BLS Provider.
Program students may be required to complete additional agency-specific certifications as a prerequisite for clinical experiences.