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RN Qualifying Certificate in Psychiatric Nursing

Recognized by the CRPNBC (College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of British Columbia)

The RN Qualifying Certificate in Psychiatric Nursing is a self-paced, on-line, instructor-supported program that prepares Registered Nurses who

  • were educated in other countries, and
  • require additional educational preparation in Psychiatric Nursing

to meet the requirements for registration in British Columbia. The full program includes four courses and a full-time clinical experience in a psychiatric nursing setting.

Program Learning Outcomes

Program graduates will be equipped to:

  • demonstrate responsibility and accountability for own psychiatric nursing practice;
  • apply communication theory and skills effectively to initiate, maintain and terminate therapeutic relationships;
  • promote a therapeutic environment;
  • demonstrate self-awareness in relationships with individuals and their significant others to facilitate therapeutic relationships;
  • in collaboration with the client, use problem-solving and specialized knowledge and skills to accurately assess, plan, implement, evaluate and adapt a plan of care for a client in a mental health setting;
  • apply principles of teaching and learning to assist individuals to meet mental health-related needs;
  • demonstrate responsibility and accountability for own nursing practice in a mental health setting;
  • demonstrate beginning leadership skills within the health team;
  • utilize agency and community resources to promote health;
  • demonstrate clear, accurate oral and written communication regarding a client's health status and response to therapeutic interventions; and
  • critique the quality of own practice with ethical and legal parameters.


Under the supervision of a volunteer preceptor, the student is required to complete 90 hours of clinical practice at a psychiatric nursing clinical area that provides nursing care for a variety of clients with common mental health problems. The student will be required to: establish, maintain and terminate therapeutic relationships, admit a client, assess, develop and evaluate nursing care plans, develop and implement a teaching/learning and discharge plan, demonstrate knowledge and understanding of drugs to be administered, participate in organized activities and carry out routine psychiatric nursing care as part of the health care team in the clinical setting. This full-time preceptorship takes approximately one month to complete. The selection of the clinical area is determined through an interview with the Douglas College Continuing Education faculty.  Tertiary care facilities such as Riverview Hospital in Port Coquitlam are used. Summer and late December preceptorships are avoided.

Entrance Requirements

Program applicants must submit:

  • a program application to the Faculty of Health Sciences Continuing Education;
  • a letter from the Professional Association in the province they will be registered in indicating that they are eligible to take the RN Qualifying Certificate Program
  • proof of fluency in English by passing a Test of English As a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 550 or better, paper-based test, and 213 computer-based test; and a Test of Spoken English (TSE) with a score of 50 or better; and
  • a Criminal Record Search (CRS) to the Douglas College Registrar.  To do so, go to https://justice.gov.bc.ca/eCRC/ and use the Douglas College Access Code PW7Z8SWPNB to complete the Criminal Record Check process. During the online request process, please use “Practicum Student” when you are asked to provide your “Position/Job Title”. Students are responsible for the costs associated with CRS. Please arrange for the Criminal Record Check to be mailed directly to

Douglas College
P.O. Box 2503
New Westminster, BC V3L 5B2

Three months prior to the clinical practice experience, the student must submit:

  • a current CPR-C or CPR-HCP certificate that will not expire to prior to the completion of the clinical experience; The certificate must be issued no more than twelve months prior to the completion of preceptorship.

Program Duration

Students have a maximum of nineteen months to complete the program. However, as the courses are self-paced and registration is continuous, dedicated students may complete the entire program in less than the maximum timeframe.


Upon successful completion of the program, students are granted a Douglas College Continuing Education program certificate: RN Qualifying in Psychiatric Nursing.