Psychiatric Nursing (Bachelor of Science)

Faculty
Health Sciences
Credits
120.50
Length of Program
Eight semesters
Credential Type
Bachelor's Degree
Campus
Coquitlam
Learning Format
Full-time
Admission Type
Limited Enrolment
Offered
Fall
Winter

Overview

Are you empathic, adaptable and looking for a career that makes a difference? Get started on your path to a rewarding career as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) with the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing program at Douglas College.

As an RPN, you’ll work with a team of health care professionals to assess patient needs, develop treatment plans and address the complex relationship between a patient’s mental, emotional and physical health in the context of their social, cultural and religious situation. Psychiatric nurses are currently in demand, and as a Douglas grad your prospects will be particularly good: Douglas College has been the primary school for psychiatric nursing education in B.C. for over 30 years.

Ready to work

You’ll get hands-on practical experience through clinically-focused practicums throughout the program, plus a full-time 11-week preceptorship experience at the end. Practicums take place in a variety of health care settings to give you the best well-rounded training prior to graduation.

Upon completion of your degree, you will be eligible to apply to the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP). You will graduate fully prepared to write the licensure exam to be certified as an RPN.

Excellent job prospects

The B.C. Ministry of Health has identified RPNs as a high demand priority occupation. RPNs are qualified for employment in many areas of health care, from psychiatric units in hospitals, to community mental health and addiction care settings. The mid-range salary for an RPN is $38 per hour, according to the B.C. 2025 Labour Market Outlook, and RPNs who become members of the B.C. Nurses’ Union can expect a minimum hourly wage of $32.94 (effective April 2017).

 

Program Requirements

Curriculum Framework

 

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 120.50 credits
    • Completion of the program within seven (7) years once admitted to the BSPN program
    • 45 Upper Level (3000-4000) credits required
  • A minimum of 70% of upper level credits must be completed at Douglas College
  • A minimum GPA of 2.00 is required 
  • A minimum grade of C+ in all BSPN graded courses including PHIL 3125 is required
  • Mastery of all clinical practice and preceptorship courses is required
  • A student who has withdrawn from or failed a letter graded or mastery-graded course must exit the program. A student may request re-entry and take a course for a second time.

PHIL 3125

Ethics for Psychiatric Nursing

3.0

PNUR 2101

Psychiatric Nursing Concepts I  

4.5

PNUR 2121

Therapeutic Relations I

1.5

PNUR 2130

Clinical Procedures I

1.5

PNUR 2170 

Trauma Informed Practices I

1.5

PNUR 2171

Family Health Promotion

3.0

PNUR 2175

Psychiatric Nursing Research

3.0

PNUR 2201

Psychiatric Nursing Concepts II

3.0

PNUR 2221

Therapeutic Relations II

1.5

PNUR 2230

Clinical Procedures II

1.5

PNUR 2261

Psychiatric Nursing Clinical Practice I

5.0

PNUR 2285

Psychiatric Nursing in Addictions and Mental Health 

3.0

PNUR 3301

Psychiatric Nursing Concepts III

4.5

PNUR 3321

Therapeutic Relations III

1.5

PNUR 3330

Clinical Procedures III

1.5

PNUR 3350

Psychiatric Nursing Pharmacology

3.0

PNUR 3361

Psychiatric Nursing Clinical Practice II  

5.0

PNUR 3401

Psychiatric Nursing Concepts IV

4.5

PNUR 3403

Psychiatric Nursing and the Older Adult

3.0

PNUR 3421

Therapeutic Relations IV

1.5

PNUR 3430

Clinical Procedures IV

1.5

PNUR 3441

Group Theory

1.5

PNUR 3462

Psychiatric Nursing Clinical Practice III  

5.0

PNUR 4501

Psychiatric Nursing Leadership and Management 

3.0

PNUR 4521

Therapeutic Relations V

1.5

PNUR 4562

Psychiatric Nursing Clinical Practice IV

5.0

PNUR 4572

Psychiatric Nursing Community Concepts

3.0

PNUR 4573

Psychiatric Nursing of Children and Adolescents

3.0

PNUR 4661

Psychiatric Nursing Clinical Practice V: Preceptorship

9.0

PNUR 4670

Trauma Informed Practices II

1.5

Admissions Requirements

I. Academic Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing (BSPN) program, students must complete the following required 30 university transfer (UT) credits, with a minimum grade of C+ (65%) in each 3 credit course:

Students may apply to the BSPN program for the Fall or Winter semester following completion of the required 30 credits listed above. Students are accepted to the BSPN program on a first qualified, first admitted basis. In the event where students qualify for admission at the same time, but there are fewer program seats available than demand dictates, offers will be given to those students with a higher GPA on the required courses for admission to BSPN.

Priority admission will be given to applicants who are in the Academic Foundations for Potential Psychiatric Nursing Applicants program.

Priority Admission for Potential Psychiatric Nursing Applicants

As the above courses are in high demand, students do have the option of applying for priority admission.  To receive priority admission, students are recommended to apply to Academic Foundations (for potential Psychiatric Nursing applicants)

Students who are approved for priority admission under the Academic Foundations (for potential Psychiatric Nursing applicants) category are not guaranteed admission to the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing program.  However, priority preference will be given to students who have completed the Academic Foundation (for potential Psychiatric Nursing applicants) certificate program.

II. Non-Academic Admission Requirements

After successful completion of the required Academic Foundation 30 credits, and with an offer of admission to the second year of the BSPN program, applicants will be required to satisfy the following criteria (appropriate forms will be provided):

  • Admission interview - An admission interview may be required
  • Medical assessment - A medical health assessment indicating satisfactory mental and physical health.  All costs for the medical assessment are the responsibility of the applicant. 
  • Immunizations - A current record of immunizations.  All costs related to required immunizations and/or testing are the responsibility of the applicant.
  • Criminal Record Check (CRC) (within one year prior to the start of the program) - Students practice in environments that require individuals to provide proof of satisfactory, current CRC for the protection of clients.  To meet this requirement, prospective students must submit a current CRC as a condition of entry to the program.  All costs related to the completion of the CRC are the responsibility of the applicant.
  • Deposit - A non-refundable deposit of $350.00 (applied to tuition) upon acceptance into the Degree program is required.

Cost

You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

Career Pathways

The BSPN Degree Program will expand your future career opportunities to include leadership roles. You will also be able to continue your education in a variety of graduate programs.     The program is approved by the Provincial Government and the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP). Graduates are eligible to apply to the BCCNP to write the licensure exam and on successful completion apply for a provincial nursing license.

Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

FAQs

Testimonials

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Special academic requirements

Students in the BSPN program can only register in the same required associated studies courses or PNUR courses a maximum of twice (this includes “W” withdrawals that appear on a student’s transcript). Students in the degree program are required to obtain a passing grade of "C" or higher in all PNUR and associated studies courses in order to progress in the program.

Beginning in Fall 2017, students admitted to Semester 1 of the BSPN program are required to obtain a passing grade of “C+” or higher in all PNUR courses and PHIL 3125 in order to progress in the program.

It is recommended that potential applicants refer to the Requisite Skills and Abilities to Become a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in BC document for information about required basic skills and abilities for a career in psychiatric nursing.


Tuition deposit

When offered a full-time seat in this program a non-refundable, non-transferable $350 tuition deposit is required. 


Degree Completion

Faculty: Health Sciences

Department: Nursing – Psychiatric

Credits: 33

Length: Students are required to complete program requirements within six years of enrollment into the first post-diploma course.

Campuses: Online

Credential: Bachelor’s Degree

Learning Format: online, Part-time studies

Offered: Fall, Winter

Program Overview

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

After review, the Degree Completion Pathway will continue to be offered. However PNUR courses will only be offered in the Fall and Winter semesters. Please contact Fran Barlow, the Program Support and Services Specialist at barlowf@douglascollege.ca for details. 

Douglas College offers a part-time post-diploma baccalaureate program for Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPN) leading to a Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing (BSPN). The BSPN Degree Completion Pathway has 33 credits that prepares students as generalists in the field of psychiatric nursing. The program combines education in advanced psychiatric nursing concepts and professional areas with Associated Studies in Arts and Science. Graduates will be able to practice in various professional practice contexts from a broad perspective.  In addition, the BSPN Degree Completion Pathway prepares students for further education such as graduate studies. The study format for the BSPN Degree Completion Pathway is online learning for required Psychiatric Nursing courses. Students are expected to have sufficient computer skills to manage online learning. 

 

The Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing Degree Completion Pathway will increase the graduation requirement grade to a C+ (currently C grade) in all Degree Completion courses starting with new admissions and re-admissions from September, 2017 and beyond.

Student who entered the program prior to Fall 2017 are required to obtain a passing grade of C or higher in all PNUR and associated studies courses in order to meet graduation requirements.

If a student is not registered in a course at Douglas College for three consecutive semesters (Fall/Winter/Summer), the student must re-apply to the program. For students who re-apply to the program after September 2017, please note the increased grade requirement.

Admission Documents

The following documents are required for admission and to allow us to properly assess and advise you on your elective choices in the Degree Completion program:

  • Current practicing RPN license
  • Transcripts from ALL post-secondary institutions attended
  • An attestation letter from the institution that granted your Psychiatric Nursing Diploma. The letter must indicate if any transfer credit was granted by the institution and used towards the diploma, along with a listing of those courses. The letter must also state which (if any) courses on the transcript were NOT used to fulfill the requirements of the diploma.

If a student is not registered in a course at Douglas College for three consecutive semesters (Fall/Winter/Summer), the student must re-apply to the program. For students who re-apply to the program after September 2017, please note the increased grade requirement.

Curriculum

BSPN Degree Completion Program requirements are listed for the following three categories: 

1. Douglas College Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing Graduates from 2009 and Beyond
(Diploma program completed in the Winter 2009 semester or later)

2. Douglas College Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing Graduates Prior to 2009 and Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing Graduates from Other Institutions
(Douglas diploma program completed in the Fall 2008 semester or prior)

3. Douglas College Advanced Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing Program Graduates

IMPORTANT:

1. Some courses listed in each category have prerequisites. Please check each course in the course catalogue prior to registration.

2. Courses used towards a student's previous diploma may not be duplicated or used towards the BSPN degree.

3. If a student is admitted into the BSPN Degree Completion programand does not have high school credit for Foundations of Math 11 (or equivalent) with a minimum grade of C, Math upgrading may be required to meet the prerequisite for PSYC 2300 or MATH 1160 (or equivalent).  If wanting to take BUSN 2429, BC Principles of Math 12 or Pre-calculus 12 with a minimum grade of C is required, or FINC 1231
 
Category One
Douglas College Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing Graduates from 2009 to date.
(Diploma program completed in the Winter 2009 semester or later)

PNUR Required Courses     (no course substitutions) Credit
PNUR 3171 Family Health Promotion in Psychiatric Nursing Practice 3
PNUR 4575 Psychiatric Nursing Research  3
PNUR Electives (Choose one PNUR course from below list - no course substitutions Credit 
PNUR 4710 Psychiatric Nursing Therapeutic Modalities  3
PNUR 4724 Psychiatric Nursing Within the Criminal Justice System  3
PNUR 4574 Emergency Mental Health Nursing  3
PNUR 4576 Trauma Informed Practices  3
Associated Studies Required Courses  Credit
ENGLISH Elective (UT)  3
BIOL 2401 Introductory Microbiology for Health Sciences
(or other 3 - credit UT Science course)
3

MATH 1160 Introduction to Statistics    or 
PSYC 2300 Data Analysis in Psychology 

3
PSYC 2341 Abnormal Psychology 3
PSYC 1100 An Introduction to Psychology I   or 
PSYC 1130 Lifespan Human Development (if not used in diploma)
3
PSYC 1200 An Introduction to Psychology II 3
Open Elective (UT)  (See FAQ below) 3
Open Elective (UT)  (See FAQ below) 3
Total: 33

Category Two

Douglas College Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing Graduates Prior to 2009 and Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing Graduates from Other Institutions (Douglas College diploma program completed in Fall 2008 semester or prior).
Important: It is strongly recommended that PNUR 3700 be taken prior to all other PNUR courses when beginning BSPN Degree Completion
 
PNUR Required Courses   (no course substitutions) Credit
PNUR 3700 Professional Psychiatric Nursing Concepts
it is strongly recommended that this course is taken first
3
PNUR 3171 Family Health Promotion in Psychiatric Nursing Practice 3
PNUR 4575 Psychiatric Nursing Research  3
PNUR Electives (Choose two PNUR courses from below list - no course substitutions) Credit 
PNUR 4710 Psychiatric Nursing Therapeutic Modalities 
PNUR 4573 Psychiatric Nursing of Children and Adolescents 
PNUR 4724 Psychiatric Nursing Within the Criminal Justice System 
PNUR 4503 Comprehensive Geriatric Theory and Assessment 
PNUR 4585 Psychiatric Nursing in Addictions and Mental Health 
PNUR 4572 Psychiatric Nursing Community Concepts 
PNUR 4574 Emergency Mental Health Nursing 
PNUR 4576 Trauma Informed Practices  3
Associated Studies Required Courses Credit
English elective (UT) 3
BIOL 2401 Introductory Microbiology for Health Sciences 
(or other 3 - credit UT Science course)
3
MATH 1160 Introduction to Statistics or 
PSYC 2300 Data Analysis in Psychology 3
3
PHIL 3125 Ethics for Psychiatric Nursing 3
PSYCHOLOGY Elective (UT) 3
Open Elective (UT)   (See FAQ below) 3
Total: 33
 

Category Three

Douglas College Advanced Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing Program Graduates
PNUR Required Courses   (no course substitutions) Credit
PNUR 4575 Psychiatric Nursing Research 3
Associated Studies Required Courses  Credit
ENGLISH Elective (UT) 
PHIL 3125 Ethics for Psychiatric Nursing
MATH 1160 Introduction to Statistics or PSYC 2300 Data Analysis in Psychology
Open Elective (UT)   (See FAQ below)
 Total: 15
 

Sequence of Courses

Regardless of category of student, PNUR courses and PHIL 3125 are offered with limited availability and only during the Fall and Winter semesters. If you are unable to register in a PNUR course in a desired semester, or during the summer, it is recommended that you register in an associated study course during this time. A roll out of PNUR course availability will be provided each semester once you are admitted to the Degree Completion Pathway.

For category two students, it is recommended that you start with PNUR 3700 as this provides the foundation for all other PNUR course work. Note that if you are a Douglas College Psychiatric Nursing Diploma graduate from 2009 and beyond or an Advanced Diploma graduate, you do not need this course, so please check your category first

 

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit from other educational institutions is not automatically granted. Students must request transfer credit by submitting an official transcript from the educational institution where the course was taken, along with a Transfer Credit Request Form. For detailed and up-to-date information on transferring from one institution, to another institution, see our Transfer Your Credits page. Detailed course outlines of courses taken at a B.C. institution may also need to be submitted before credit can be evaluated. Submission of detailed course outlines will be required for credit evaluation of courses taken outside of B.C. institutions.

Important Transfer Credit Notices:

 

  1. Courses that were used to meet the graduation requirements of your Psychiatric Nursing Diploma cannot be used a second time toward graduation of the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing.
     
  2. Transfer credit for Psychiatric Nursing (PNUR) designated courses will not be granted.  Only courses in subjects other than PNUR will be evaluated for transfer credit.
     
  3. The Registrar’s Office will take a minimum of six weeks to process transfer credit requests.
     
  4. All applicants should submit an attestation letter from the institution that granted their Psychiatric Nursing Diploma. The letter must indicate if any transfer credit was granted by the institution and used towards the diploma, along with a listing of those courses. The letter must also state which (if any) courses on the transcript were NOT used to fulfill the requirements of the diploma.

Transfer Credit Request Deadlines

To ensure transfer credit requests are processed in time for your registration, all requests and documentation must be received by:

April 15 for Fall Semester

September 15 for Winter Semester

January 15 for Summer Semester

If you require transfer credit for registration purposes but have been admitted to the College after the deadlines listed above, please contact the appropriate department with your official transcript.  You may be able to request a prerequisite override.  Overrides are granted at the discretion of the department.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the Degree Completion Program, all applicants must have a practicing RPN license and have completed a Psychiatric Nursing diploma at a recognized post-secondary institution.

To support their application, students are asked to submit the following documentation:

  1. Proof of current practicing RPN license
  2. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  3. Attestation letter from institution where PNUR Diploma was earned (see note above under Transfer Credit).  

Special Academic Requirements

***Students can only register in the same required associated studies courses or PNUR courses a maximum of twice (this includes “W” withdrawals that appear on a student’s transcript).

 

Beginning in September 2017, to meet graduation requirements, new students admitted to the BSPN Degree Completion program require a C+ grade (or higher) in all degree completion courses.

Career Transfer Pathways

The BSPN Degree Completion program will expand your future career opportunities to include leadership roles. You will also be able to continue your education in a variety of graduate programs.     

Curriculum Guidelines 

Program Curriculum Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to the program and what do I do after I apply?

We have two intakes per year (Fall and Winter). The first step is to apply to Douglas College. After applying, you will receive an email from the Admissions Officer with detailed instructions regarding your next steps.

What courses do I need to take to complete the BSPN?

The courses required to complete the BSPN are divided into three categories and are dependent upon when and where you completed your Psychiatric Nursing Diploma.  

Is math upgrading necessary for BSPN Degree Completion students?

If a student is admitted to the program and does not have high school credit for Foundations of Math 11 or Principles of Math 11 with a minimum grade of C (or equivalent), math upgrading may be required to meet the math prerequisite for registration in PSYC 2300, MATH 1160 or BUSN 2429 (or one of their equivalent courses).

Are all of the courses offered online?

Douglas College offers the Psychiatric Nursing courses online (and PHIL 3125 Ethics for Psychiatric Nursing). The Associated Studies courses (non-Psychiatric Nursing courses) are not offered online at Douglas College on a consistent basis. They can be taken on campus at Douglas College; at a postsecondary institution in your community; or through an online university such as Athabasca University or Thompson Rivers Open University (TRU-OL).  If you are taking these courses at Douglas College, you will need to confirm that you meet the prerequisites for each course.

If you are planning to take the Associated Studies courses at another post-secondary institution, an Academic Advisor will be able to confirm if the course you are planning to take elsewhere will transfer to Douglas College as the required course toward completion of the BSPN.  

How do I register into my courses?

You will receive an email alerting you to log onto the website to check your registration date and time. More details on registering for courses can be found on our Register page. Please note that all courses are not offered every semester,  seats are limited in each course and registration is competitive.  It is recommended that you register on the date and at the time your registration period begins in order to increase your chances of securing seats in the courses you require.

Can I transfer courses I have taken previously at another institution and receive credit?

If you have taken the Associated Studies courses (English, Psychology, Science, Statistics and Open elective) previously and wish to apply to transfer these courses to Douglas College, please forward your official post-secondary transcript along with a Transfer Credit Request form to the Registrar’s Office.

The transfer credit process takes approximately 6 weeks. You may need to send detailed course outlines along with the Transfer Credit Request form.  Please note: Courses that were used to meet the graduation requirements of your Psychiatric Nursing Diploma cannot be used a second time toward graduation of the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing. 

How do I find out which courses are being offered each semester?

You will receive an email prior to registration each semester outlining which courses are being offered and the corresponding Course Reference numbers (CRN) that you will use during the registration process.   

These courses will also be listed under Courses in the Program and Course Catalogue. You can check seat availability in individual courses by clicking on the Schedule tab in each course, and then clicking on the section you are interested in.

Please note that you will not have access to all of the Psychiatric Nursing courses offered. Certain courses are restricted to our daytime, on-campus diploma and degree students. The courses that are designated for the “degree completion students” will have a notation in bold beneath the course (Section Notes).  

What is an Associated Studies Open Elective (UT) Course?

Associated Studies courses are intended to be broad in scope and to assist the student to gain breadth of knowledge and understanding outside the field of focused study therefore the Open Elective does not include any Psychiatric Nursing, General Nursing, Health Sciences or Medical Sciences courses.

Who can I contact for assistance?

Fran Barlow
Program Support and Services Specialist
barlowf@douglascollege.ca
T 604 777 6406 F 604 777 6500