Registered Psychiatric Nurses
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Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) provide professional mental health nursing services in mental health care facilities, acute care hospitals, and in the community. They promote and help people restore and maintain good mental health. Psychiatric nurses work in cooperation with other health care professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, recreational therapists, and occupational therapists to develop and implement therapeutic programs.
RPNs work in a variety of capacities: they provide holistic, client-centred nursing care; assist in completing mental and physical health assessments; observe and report behavioural changes; promote mental health and wellness; and act as advocates for clients.
Alberta offers Registered Psychiatric Nurses the chance to work independently or as members of a health care team. They have the opportunity to work directly with individuals, families, and groups in a variety of exciting settings such as clinic, hospitals, communities, educational institutions, government services, and home care agencies.
About one third of the psychiatric nurses employed in Alberta work in two large psychiatric hospitals. Others are employed by:
- community mental health programs and clinics (for example, support services for persons who have disabilities or chemical dependencies, crisis services and suicide prevention programs)
- residential care facilities
- acute care, extended care, long-term care or palliative care facilities
- educational institutions
- correctional institutions
Psychiatric nurses may also work as consultants to community agencies, public health nurses or foster home parents.
If you would like more detailed information about working as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse such as duties, working conditions, salaries, educational requirements, and personal characteristics, you can read the career profile for registered psychiatric nursing in the Alberta Learning Information Service's occupational information website, OCCinfo.
You may also wish to review the occupational profiles of these other registered nursing occupations whose duties may overlap with psychiatric nursing:
Nursing is a regulated profession in Canada and each province has its own regulatory bodies to ensure consistent standards of competency and nursing practice.
The College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta (CRPNA) is the regulatory body for registered psychiatric nursing in the province of Alberta, Canada. Registered Psychiatric Nurses must be registered with CRPNA and obtain a practice permit in order to practice as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in Alberta. For registration, you must apply directly to CRPNA:
Most staff nurses are unionized in Alberta and are among the best remunerated in Canada. Many Registered Psychiatric Nurses in Alberta belong to the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA), which negotiates terms and conditions of employment including salaries and benefits on their members' behalf with employers.
Alberta RPNs are highly paid in Canada. According to most recent collective agreement, as of April 1, 2009, the minimum rate of compensation for RPNs and Graduate Psychiatric Nurses is $29.59 per hour and the maximum rate is $43.30 per hour, dependent upon experience.
Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, shift differential, benefits, profit shares, bonuses unrelated to production and other forms of compensation.
Alberta has a variety of nursing programs allowing nurses to practice as generalists or gain more education to become specialists in a particular field. The minimum education requirement for psychiatric nurses is a diploma in psychiatric nursing.
In Alberta, the following post-secondary institutions offer programs specifically related to psychiatric nursing:
- Grant MacEwan College offers a two-year diploma program in Psychiatric Nursing at the Centennial Centre in Ponoka and Edmonton campus.
For current information about programs, admission requirements and mature student admission policies, please check post-secondary calendars or websites.
There are also bridging or refresher programs for internationally educated nurses who are in Alberta. To find out about nursing refresher programs for internationally educated nurses, visit the Alberta Health and Wellness employment opportunities page.
For more information regarding the various nursing programs of study and which institutions offer these programs, please visit Alberta Learning Information ServiceÕs post-secondary education information website, EDinfo.
- Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) is the provincial gateway to help Albertans plan and achieve educational and career success! It provides information for career planning, post-secondary education and training, educational funding, job search, labour market trends, and workplace issues.
- EDinfo: Information about programs of study and distance learning programs offered by post-secondary educational institutions in Alberta.
- OCCinfo: Information about occupations (types of work) in a format called occupational profiles. There are more than 500 occupational profiles in OCCinfo. Each profile presents information about an occupation under the following headings: Duties; Working Conditions; Personal Characteristics; Educational Requirements; Employment and Advancement; Salary and Other Sources of Information.
- Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU)
- Canadian Nurses Association: contains information regarding the Canadian Registered Nurses Examination, CRNE (for RPNs are also registered nurses).
- College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA): for RPNs are also registered nurses.
- College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta (CRPNA)
- Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada (RPNC)
- United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) Multi-Employer Collective Agreement 2007-2010
- United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) website
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Date Updated: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 09:49:08