Academic Calendar

Psychiatric Nursing Diploma

Overview

Faculty of Nursing
MacEwan.ca/PsychNursing

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.

Career Potential

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.

Contact Information

E: psychnurseinfo@macewan.ca

Program Requirements

Year 1
HLSC 120Human Anatomy 13
HLSC 124Microbiology for Health Professionals 13
HLSC 126Human Physiology I 13
HLSC 128Human Physiology II 13
HLST 154Professional Communication 13
HLST 159Health Foundations 13
NURS 150The Discipline of Psychiatric Nursing 13
PNRS 152Foundations in Nursing Practice 16
PNRS 155Mental Health Nursing I 14
PSYC 104Introductory Psychology I 13
PSYC 105Introductory Psychology II 13
3 Credits in University Level English 1,23
Year 2
HLSC 220Pharmacotherapeutics for Health Professionals 13
HLSC 222Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan 13
NURS 251Nursing Care, Diverse Populations 14
NURS 252Health Assessment Across the Lifespan 14
NURS 253Nursing Practice, Diverse Populations I 15
NURS 255Nursing Practice, Diverse Populations II 15
PNRS 252Mental Health Nursing II 14
PNRS 255Psychiatric Nursing Practice, Adult Populations 15
PNRS 259Psychiatric Nursing Practice, Special Populations 15
Year 3
PNRS 352Mental Health Nursing III 14
PNRS 355Clinical Preceptorship 17
Total Credits89
1

The minimum passing grade for this course is a C-.

2

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.

Course Substitutions

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 Regulations

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 (Program Time Limits policy). 

English Requirement

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 PNRS, 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 Conduct

Students must adhere to the current College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta (CRPNA) Code of Ethics & Standards of Psychiatric Nursing Practice, and 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, may assign a grade of F in the course.  

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.

Program Standards

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 are required to meet the requisite skills and abilities necessary for entry to practice as Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) in Alberta, as outlined in applicable CRPNA documents. 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.

Immunization Status

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 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.

N95 Mask

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.

Agency-Specific Certifications

Program students may be required to complete additional agency-specific certifications as a prerequisite for clinical experiences.

Student Plan

Year 1
Term 1Credits
HLSC 12013
HLSC 12613
HLST 15413
HLST 15913
NURS 15013
PSYC 10413
 18
Total Credits 18

Admission Requirements

Through a competitive admission process, applicants may be admitted to one of the following:

Regular Admission

To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Applicants must have a minimum overall average of 65 percent, with no course grade lower than 50 percent, in the following high school courses:

  1. ELA 30-1
  2. Biology 30
  3. Chemistry 30 or Science 30
  4. Mathematics 30-1, Mathematics 30-2 or Mathematics 31
  5. One subject from Group A, B, C or D course

Notes:

  • A maximum of one Group D subject may be presented. Group D subjects used for admission must be 5-credit or any credit combination of at least 5 credits (e.g., two 3-credit subjects).
  • Applicants with nine to 23 university-level credits must also present a minimum Admission Grade Point Average (AGPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with 24 or more university-level credits will be considered under Previous Post-Secondary Work.

Mature Admission

To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Applicants must be 20 years of age or older and have been out of full-time high school at least one year by the beginning of the intake term. Applicants must have a minimum overall average of 65 percent, with no course grade lower than 50 percent, in the following high school courses:

  1. ELA 30-1
  2. Biology 30
  3. Chemistry 30 or Science 30
  4. Mathematics 30-1, Mathematics 30-2 or Mathematics 31

Note:

  • For Mature Admission only, another Group C course grade could be used to replace the Mathematics 30-1 or Mathematics 30-2 or Mathematics 31 grade in the calculation of the competitive average.

Applicants with nine to 23 university-level credits must also present a minimum Admission Grade Point Average (AGPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with 24 or more university-level credits will be considered under Previous Post-Secondary Work.

Previous Post-Secondary Work

To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Admission in this category does not imply or guarantee the transfer of any coursework and/or credential unless a block transfer agreement (internal or external) is in effect and published in the calendar by the Office of the University Registrar. In addition, transfer of coursework does not imply or guarantee that an applicant will be admitted.

Applicants must have successfully completed the following from a recognized institution:

  • A minimum of 24 university-level credits with a minimum Admission Grade Point Average (AGPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale and must have completed the required core courses listed under the Regular or Mature Admission category.

Additional Admission Criteria

1. English Language Proficiency


To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Applicable to All Admission Categories

All applicants must meet an acceptable level of English language proficiency. We will require official documents such as high school or post-secondary transcripts or proof of successful completion of standardized language evaluation. Full details are available in MacEwan University’s academic calendar or online at MacEwan.ca/ELP.

Applicants must meet university-level requirements for English language proficiency.

2. Spoken English Proficiency


To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Applicable to All Admission Categories

Applicants who speak English as a second language – regardless of citizenship – are required to submit official documents such as high school, post-secondary transcripts or proof of successful completion of standardized language evaluation. Full details are available in MacEwan University’s academic calendar or online at MacEwan.ca/ELP.

3. Other Admission Criteria


To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Applicable to All Admission Categories

Applicants who have had one or more unsatisfactory academic records from any post-secondary program or institution must meet the admission requirements under the Previous Post-Secondary Work admission category.

Applicants who have two or more unsatisfactory academic records within the past 10 years from any post-secondary program or institution will not be considered for admission or re-admission to the Program until a minimum five years from the date of assignment of the last unsatisfactory record. For the purpose of admission or re-admission, an unsatisfactory record is defined as a transcript with the notation ‘required to withdraw’ or equivalent.

To be evaluated through the Program

Applicable to All Admission Categories

Applicants offered admission to the program are required to present a clear Police Information Check (or equivalent from another policing agency) that includes a Vulnerable Sector Search. The Police Information Check must be submitted by the published document deadline and have been issued within three months of the start of the program intake term.

Conditionally accepted applicants who have had a break in the continuity of their nursing program or who completed a portion of a nursing program through another institution may have to meet additional course requirements to establish course currency and/or course equivalence.

Equity Admissions

The Faculty of Nursing at MacEwan University is committed to facilitating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive educational environment. The Faculty of Nursing recognizes there are underrepresented groups in nursing and nursing education, therefore reserves up to 10% of admission spaces for applicants to the Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing, who self-identify as Indigenous. MacEwan University defines Indigenous as First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples in Canada. 

In order to be considered for admission under the Equity Admission criteria, candidates must still meet the minimum admission criteria for the program.