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Psychiatric Nursing Education

The Registered Psychiatric Nurse Association of Saskatchewan (RPNAS) reviews and approves psychiatric nursing education programs under the authority set out in the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Act, 1993.  

In Saskatchewan, a diploma in psychiatric nursing is the level of education required for entry to the profession. RPNAS Council reviews and provides an approval status to all Saskatchewan nursing education programs leading to initial entry to practice as a registered psychiatric nurse.

For more information about the RPNAS education program review process or any of the documents listed below, please contact

RPNAS Program Approval Policies

Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Psychiatric Nursing*Psychiatric Nursing Diploma (approved June 28, 2022 until June 30, 2027)

* Please note: RPNAS does not approve the Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing (BPN) at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. The BPN program is not an entry level or basic psychiatric nursing degree program. It is a degree completion program for graduates of a diploma program who wish to further their education in psychiatric nursing. 

Psychiatric nursing education programs are currently offered in four Canadian provinces: Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia.

  1. Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan (RPNAS) – Psychiatric Nursing Diploma.
  2. British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) – offers diploma and degree options.
  3. College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta (CRPNA) – Psychiatric Nursing Diploma.
  4. College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba (CRPNM) – Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing (BScPN).

The Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan believes that the people of Saskatchewan should have access to a model of psychiatric nursing education that includes: diploma entry, baccalaureate in psychiatric nursing, advanced practice, re-entry, continuing professional development, masters and doctorate programs.

Baccalaureate programs must support clinical practice, administration, education and research–with a strong focus on psychiatric nursing as a distinct profession. Masters and doctorate programs are necessary to appropriately educate Registered Psychiatric Nurse educators to prepare new graduates to be essential members of primary care teams and to provide specialized mental health services. Registered Psychiatric Nurses are essential partners in a collaborative health care system.

Preceptors play an important role in the education of psychiatric nursing students and have a responsibility for the provision of safe client care during clinical experiences. Preceptors enable students to have practical clinical experience and training in a supervised environment.

The Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan strongly advocates lifelong learning. Diploma,baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate programs collectively ensure the continued ability of Registered Psychiatric Nurses to enhance the quality of life for the people of Saskatchewan.

Approved by Council
December 2001

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