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Psychiatric Nursing

Get a career that matters. Become a psychiatric nurse.

Douglas College offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing degree. We have been B.C.'s primary school for psychiatric nursing education for more than 30 years. Instructors are professionals in their fields and are passionate about training the next generation of psychiatric nurses.

What do Psychiatric Nurses do?

Registered psychiatric nursing is a distinct health care profession regulated by the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP). Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) work with a team of health care professionals to assess patient needs and develop treatment plans. They also address the complex relationship between a patient’s mental, emotional and physical health, as well as any relevant social, cultural or religious factors.

As a registered psychiatric nurse, your unique skills will qualify you for employment in many areas of health care, from psychiatric units in hospitals, to community mental health and addiction care settings. With psychiatric nurses currently in demand, you’ll be well-positioned to find a job once you graduate. 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).

How does the Psychiatric Nursing program at Douglas work?

The Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing (BSPN) program is a four-year bachelor’s degree program. As an applicant, you must first complete the Academic Foundations for Potential Psychiatric Nursing Applicants program, which consists of 10 prerequisite courses (30 credits). You can take the program part time or full time. Once you have completed Academic Foundations for Potential Psychiatric Nursing Applicants, you may apply to the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing program. Upon acceptance, you will complete the final three years of your degree on a full-time schedule. Once you graduate, you will be eligible to apply to the BCCNP to write the licensure exam.

For information about admission requirements, courses, intake dates and more, visit the Program and Course Catalogue. See Information Book.


The final intake of the Psychiatric Nursing Diploma program was in the Winter 2016 (January) semester.  Applications to the program are now closed.


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