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Psychiatric Nursing: Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing


The program is recognized by the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of British Columbia (CRPNBC).

The Kwantlen Polytechnic University Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing (BPN) program philosophy consists of three guiding principles and six core concepts. These provide the philosophical foundation for the BPN program and basic assumptions that are inter-woven through all aspects of the BPN program curriculum and underpin its' philosophical framework. They provide grounding in health promotion, therapeutic relationship and diversity.

The core concepts are articulated and place the client at the center of our model. These include: client centeredness, being, situatedness, choice, professionalism, and teaching and learning. The person (client) is considered within the context of their culture, religion, ethnicity, race, historical experiences, spirituality and abilities. Diversity and equality are values running through the entire curriculum. This “ecological” theme considers the impact of the environment, social determinants of health, definitions of health, and prevention and promotion on a person’s well-being.

The BPN program is developed in the context of psychiatric nursing theory based on best practice and the therapeutic use of self in interpersonal relationships. A health promotion perspective has been used to organize and construct the curriculum. This shift in focus from illness to health represents a deliberate move away from a disease model, to a model focusing on the person's experience with health and healing (Austin and Boyd, 2015). Inherent to these orientations is the use of teaching methodologies, which encourage the development of analytical and critical thinking based on praxis, and the discovery of personal meaning and personal power.

The BPN program philosophy recognizes the foundational role of praxis in psychiatric nursing theory and recognizes that psychiatric nursing practice requires thoughtful, reflective action. To assist in actualizing the concept of praxis, nursing practice experiences are integrated throughout the program of studies. The concept of praxis is used to guide learners to critically reflect on their practice and on their application of psychiatric nursing knowledge and clinical judgment within the practice setting.

Including the Health Foundations year, students complete eight (8) academic semesters to graduate with a Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing (BPN) degree. Graduates will be eligible to apply to write the national examination to obtain registration to practice as Registered Psychiatric Nurses in British Columbia.

Students who enroll in the program will receive a student resource manual that provides information regarding program policies. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with University policies and BPN program policies.

Please be advised that applications to this program will only be accepted from Canadian citizens and permanent residents / landed immigrants of Canada.

Nursing Practice Experiences

Psychiatric/mental health nursing practice experiences are essential in the BPN program. Students will be directly involved with clients in their homes and in institutional and community settings in each semester. These experiences may involve days, evenings, nights and weekends. Practice experiences occur throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. Students may choose to have placements locally, nationally and internationally for some components of the program. Students are responsible for their own transportation and other expenses incurred during these experiences.

Some agencies may require students to take an Oath of Confidentiality, have an additional criminal record search, or have a successful interview with their personnel prior to their acceptance. Failure to have documentation acceptable to the agency at the time of placement may result in denial of the experience, which in turn may prevent completion of the program of studies.

Degree Completion Options

The Degree Completion option for Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) is under review. It will continue with the original program design. This provides RPNs with access to Semester 5 for completion of a Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing degree. Once admission requirements are met, RPNs complete the equivalent of four semesters of full-time study. See Degree Completion for Registered Psychiatric Nurses for more information.

The Degree Completion option for Stenberg College Graduates provides non-registered graduates of the Stenberg College Registered Diploma Psychiatric Nurses (RDPN) program with access to Semester 5 for completion of a Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing degree.  Once admission requirements are met, students complete the equivalent of four semesters of full-time study. See Degree Completion for Stenberg Graduates for more information.

Admission Requirements

The Certificate in Health Foundations fulfills the first-year requirements of the Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing. The Faculty's Admission Requirements, which consist of KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement, apply to this program.

The Certificate in Health Foundations may be completed in two semesters by full-time students or over a longer period of time by part-time students.

Upon completion of the Certificate in Health Foundations students may file a declaration of their eligibility and intention to enter the second year of the Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing. A limited number of students will be selected to commence Year 2 of the curriculum in May of each year as a full-time cohort. Selection for admittance to Year 2 will be based upon fulfillment of the declaration requirements and, if spaces are oversubscribed, GPA.

Continuance Requirements

Students in the program must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.33 with no grade lower than C in all required courses, including electives. Non-adherence to these requirements will result in removal from the program.

Declaration Requirements

Students intending to graduate with this Faculty of Health degree must declare the credential. At the time of declaration, the student must satisfy the following requirements:

  • In good academic standing with the University
  • Completion of the Certificate in Health Foundations with a minimum GPA of 2.33 and no grade lower than C.
  • Completion of a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer work with adults or children, evidenced by a written reference reflecting the length and nature of the experience.

If spaces are oversubscribed, admittance to Year 2 will be based on GPA from the Certificate in Health Foundations. Upon being offered admittance to Year 2 students will be required to submit documentation of the following before their declaration is granted:

  • CPR level C certificate (Healthcare Provider level C certificate)
  • Current standard first aid certificate
  • Criminal record check through the BC Ministry of Justice, Criminal Records Review Program
  • Individuals who have lived outside of Canada as an adult are required to secure a Criminal Records search with the Vulnerable Sector from their country of origin.

Curricular Requirements

Year 1

The Certificate in Health Foundations fulfills the first-year requirements of the Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing. The Certificate in Health Foundations may be completed in two semesters by full-time students or over a longer period of time by part-time students.

Year 2

Semester 3 - Psychosocial Rehabilitation

  HEAL 2150 Laboratory Practice 2 3 credits
  PSYN 2110 Essentials of Psychiatric Nursing 2 credits
  PSYN 2125 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Pharmacology and Other Therapeutics 3 credits
  PSYN 2130 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Communication 3 credits
  PSYN 2145 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Practice 1 3 credits
  PSYN 2160 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Psychosocial Rehabilitation 3 credits

Semester 4 - Health and Healing I

  ANTH 2163 Culture, Health and Well-being 3 credits
  HEAL 2110 First Nations Health 3 credits
  HEAL 2250 Laboratory Practice 3 3 credits
  PSYN 2230 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Health and Healing I 3 credits
  PSYN 2245 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Practice 2 4 credits

Year 3

Semester 5 - Health and Healing II

  HEAL 3101 Conceptual Paradigms in Health: A Feminist Perspective 3 credits
  PSYC 3920 Aging 3 credits
  PSYN 3130 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Health and Healing 2 3 credits
  PSYN 3145 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Practice 3 4 credits
  PSYN 3146 Consolidated Practice: Medical/Surgical Nursing 3 credits

Semester 6 - Global Health

  HEAL 3180 Nursing Science 4: Health Research for Evidence Informed Practice 3 credits
  PSYN 3210 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Global Health 3 credits
  PSYN 3211 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Issues and Trends in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing 3 credits
  PSYN 3225 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Leadership and Management 3 credits
  PSYN 3245 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Practice 4 4 credits

Year 4

Semester 7 - Consolidation

  PHIL 3010 Health Care Ethics 3 credits
  PSYN 4110 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Child and Adolescent 3 credits
  PSYN 4145 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Consolidation 7 credits
  SOCI 3345 Social Policy in Context 3 credits

Semester 8 - Preceptorship

  PSYN 4245 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Preceptorship 10 credits

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing (BPN).

At a Glance

Faculty of Health

Program Type:

  • Undergraduate

Credential Granted:

  • Baccalaureate Degree

Offered At:

  • KPU Langley  Langley

Start Date(s):

  • Summer Intake (May)  May

Intake Type:

  • Limited Intake  Limited intake


  • Full-time  Full-time

Minimum Credits Required:

  • 123

Instructional Cycle:

  • Semester-based

Curriculum Effective Date:

  • 01-Sep-2016

How to Declare:

Applying to KPU:

Last Updated: 17-Aug-2016

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