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BScPN - Pysch nursing in Canada!! Q's

nterval nterval (New) New


I am currently a pre-nursing student in Houston Texas. I was born in Calgary, and let me just say it is my goal to ge back to Canada ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know that I want to be a psychiatric nurse. I have been researching the psych nurse programs (Douglas College, Brandon University)... could anyone give me some information about these? I know that a BScPN can't work anywhere but Canada.. But how is the job market for psych nurses in Canada? Can you go on to get a masters for nurse practitioning with a BScPN? Or is it just one big bad idea??? :uhoh21:

Thanks !!



Has 18 years experience.

I've worked with Psych nurses who were working as RN's in LTC and in Active Treatment. The Reg. Psych Nurses never seemed hung up about going back to get the BScN. They just did their jobs and seemed to enjoy it.

Are you talking about Douglas College in BC and Brandon University is that in Manitoba? They're about 2000 miles apart.

Hello psych nurse.

If you want a job in psychiatry. try the Centre for addictions and Mental Health Toronto, Ontario, This is a large organization but I strongly advise you to apply only for the forensic units(law and mental health program). these units are well funded and well staffed.

the website is http://www.camh.net

the law and mental health program has four componets

assesment and triage. two midium security units, one minimum and one open rehab unit.

Good Luck

want my job, I'll be quiting soon as I just passed my NCLEX. :angryfire

Hi Sarah,

I am a practicing RPN (Registered Psych Nurse) in Alberta. The program we have here at Grant MacEwan College is a 2 year diploma program. (I've heard they're developing a degree). My advice would be if you're interested in exclusively psych, to take the diploma program and then bridge to a BSc.N. That way you are both a RPN and RN. You can bridge here through the University of Alberta. The RPN is valid in any of the Western Provinces. My husband is taking his RPN and will be finished in June and then will be bridging in September to his degree. I don't advise taking just a Psych Nursing degree as there isn't as many options available once you're done.

Good luck!


P.S. If you have any other questions just let me know and I'll try to answer them.


Specializes in med-surg, med-psych, psych. Has 34 years experience.


I am an African American registered nurse of 37 yrs experience (last 17 in med various fields and settings of psychiatry), BS in Mental Health, Masters in Health Planning and Administration currently working in Atlanta Georgis thinking about a position in Psych Nursing in Canada either as a travel nurse or permanen position. My dream is to find a place to permanently live somewhere in Canada.

I'll take any advice suggestions, comments...:)


Has 18 years experience.

Well this is a long dead thread (2004).

Travel nursing as an American knows it doesn't really exist in Canada. You require a practice permit in each province and they are NOT cheap.

Western Canada recognizes RPN but I don't think eastern Canada does.

BC, AB, two of the provinces that have their own Colleges of RPNs are undergoing a hiring freeze with no thaw in sight.

You would have to pick a province and apply to their college to see if they would issue a practice permit.

...as an experienced RN who has worked med/surg and Psych both in the US and Canada what they are teaching in the classroom and what happens on the floor are sometimes two different things. If you are a new grad work in med/surg first so you perfect your skills for a few years then transition over to Psych. Sometimes Psych nurses get "pigeon holed" and then if you change jobs or get laid off it can be very intimidating going back to a med/surg floor. You can always complete your Psych Certification after a few years. Been there done that. Best of luck. Psych nurses do ROCK!!!! Guppy

I just realized someone replied to my post from about 6 years ago! @ Seasoned- Not sure if you'll check out my response or not but thought I would reply anyhow. It sounds like you have a wide variety of experience so I don't think obtaining a job here would be difficult. Things are looking up in Alberta as we are starting to hire external people again. :) You can't really do a short term job, you can take a job and work in it for a year but generally we don't have anything here like a working holiday.


Specializes in med-surg, med-psych, psych. Has 34 years experience.

:tku:for responding!!!

Please, tell me all the reasons you believe I should make the move to Alberta and the reasons I should not move to Alberta.

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