BScPN Degree Planning Guide

This document is meant as a planning guide only. Students are advised to consult with the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing (BScPN) Student Advisor if they have specific questions about the program.

Mission Statement

The Mission developed for the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing Degree Program at the Faculty of Health Studies commits faculty members to:

  • prepare graduates at the baccalaureate level to practice psychiatric nursing safely and effectively during interactions with individuals, families, groups and whole communities;
  • meet the Entry level Competencies for Registered Psychiatric Nurses in Manitoba (College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba) and write the Registered Psychiatric Nurses national licensing examination;
  • generate new knowledge through research that is relevant to professional practice; and,
  • make a contribution to the vitality of the university and other communities.

To help accomplish its mission, members teaching in the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing Degree Program at the Faculty of Health Studies aspire to uphold the following principles:

  • to provide students with an environment in which they may develop intellectually, emotionally and socially;
  • to promote the pursuit, advancement, and dissemination of truth and knowledge;
  • to maintain a high level of subject matter knowledge and ensure that course content is current, accurate and representative;
  • to use instructional methods and strategies that, according to best evidence, are effective in helping students to achieve course objectives and expected learning outcomes;
  • to ensure that assessment of students is valid, open, fair and congruent with course objectives and expected learning outcomes;
  • to work respectfully and co-operatively with colleagues and students in the interest of fostering student development;
  • to be aware of, respectful of, and attentive to the goals, policies and standards of practice expected of educators by Brandon University and related professional nursing associations; and,
  • to encourage a climate of freedom, responsibility, and mutual respect in pursuit of these principles.

Faculty Philosophy & BScPN Program Structure

Psychiatric Nursing is a theory based profession based on scientific principles, humanistic and ethical premises, and the art of caring.  The profession requires skilled use of interpersonal processes and collaboration for the purposes of health promotion, maintenance, and restoration.  Cultural diversity is respected and valued.  The profession of psychiatric nursing relies on critical thinking and problem solving skills in clinical, administrative, research and educational practice.

Education in psychiatric nursing reflects the standards of the profession.  The goal of this education is to promote acquisition, development, synthesis, and critical analysis of knowledge, attitudes, and abilities essential to the provision of theory-based health care.

Psychiatric nursing is concerned with the health and mental health of individuals, families, groups and communities.  Psychiatric nurses engage in therapeutic interactions with people to promote, maintain and restore health and mental health.  They are concerned with those affected by mental illness and developmental challenges, and with the influence of society on the mental health of people.

During the first year, students take introductory courses in Health Studies, Arts, and Science.  This first year is referred to as the Pre-Psychiatric Nursing Year.  Upon successful completion of the required Pre-Psychiatric Nursing courses, students are eligible to apply for entry into Year 2 of the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing (BScPN) program. Year 2 of the BScPN program accommodates the admission of 35 students at the Brandon site and 40 students at the Winnipeg site per year.  If there are more applicants than space available, Grade Point Average (GPA) in the Pre-Psychiatric Nursing courses is the primary criterion for admission.

Courses in the BScPN program are sequenced in order to allow students to build in complexity over time.  Students start with normal growth and development and progress through various disorders and into co-occurring disorders.

In years 2-4 of the BScPN program, students invest 828 theory hours, 216 laboratory hours, and 1040 clinical hours.  Students will learn and apply skills in a stage manner. For each outcome, the student learns the theory, applies the theory in a simulated setting such as a laboratory and then applies the knowledge or skill in the clinical setting.  Students begin working with individual clients and then apply their skills with increasingly large client groups as they work with families, groups and the larger community as client. Students are evaluated on the application of theory at each stage in the program.

A series of four integrated practice courses and four clinical experiences dedicated to specific content are a part of the year 2-4 curriculum requirements.  The integrated practice clinical courses provide an opportunity for students to reinforce existing skills, apply recently acquired knowledge and skills in clinical settings.  In Integrated Practice I, students apply skills in interpersonal communication, health assessment, basic nursing skills such as vital signs and medication administration.  These skills continue to be practiced in Integrated Practice II and students integrate new learning in the areas of medical nursing, individual counseling, and psychopathology.  In Integrated Practice III, students have the opportunity to practice in acute inpatient psychiatric settings using skills in family counseling and conducting therapeutic groups.  In the final year of the program, the Integrative Clinical Practicum provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate comprehensive integration of concepts and principles in selected situations related to mental/developmental health.  It is a self-directed learning experience negotiated in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Students seeking enrolment in the BScPN program who have graduated from the Licensed Practical Nursing program, and who are eligible for active practicing status will be given transfer credit for up to 29 credits towards the program.

Students who have completed an undergraduate  degree in nursing and who are eligible for active practicing status, and who are seeking the BScPN as a second degree are required to complete 62.5 credits of designated courses.

Program Outcomes 

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing degree from Brandon University will possess:

  1. Knowledge of primary mental health care and therapeutic relationships and apply principles to community nursing, population health and wellbeing and the development of psychiatric nursing as a profession.
  2. An understanding of the role of the professional psychiatric nurse in the areas of practice, research, leadership, administration, education, government/health policy, program/community development and population health and wellbeing.
  3. Knowledge and experience to develop and provide psychiatric nursing care that is individualized, effective, and satisfying to recipients of care to achieve mutually determined mental health goals.
  4. The ability to practice consistently according to legal, ethical, and professional standards of psychiatric nursing.
  5. The ability to engage in critical reflection, self-reflection (as it pertains to therapeutic use of self) and evaluation of practice to facilitate ongoing professional development.
  6. The skills to collaborate, negotiate, and communicate with multisectoral health partners and recipients of care in the development, delivery and evaluation of care.

High School Course Requirements 

Grade 12 Math (Pre-Calculus or Applied), Biology, Chemistry and English are highly recommended as these courses will help prepare you for the Pre-Psychiatric Nursing courses  Note: These courses are not required for admission into pre-psychiatric nursing but may be a pre-requisite to courses taken in the pre-psychiatric nursing year (for example, Introduction to Statistics – pre-requisite grade 12 applied or pre-calculus math)

Career/Graduate School Opportunities

The BScPN program prepares graduates to work in a dynamic and growing profession.  With their education and experience, graduates possess a unique ability to meet the challenges presented in mental health service provision and mental illness prevention.

BScPN graduates will be eligible to write the qualifying examinations for licensure as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (R.P.N.) with the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba (CRPNM) and for application to Graduate Programs

Psychiatric Nurses work independently or collaboratively as part of a clinical team in a wide variety of settings. Roles may include: staff psychiatric nurses, case managers, counselors, clinical specialists, managers, care coordinators, researchers, consultants, and faculty.  Opportunities are available across urban, rural and remote areas: Acute Care Hospitals and Clinics, Child and Adolescent Treatment Centers, Developmental Habilitation Agencies, Personal Care Homes, Crisis Stabilization /Mobile Crisis Units, Community Mental Health Services, Community Support Agencies, Forensic Services Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program, Addiction Services, Child and Family Services, and Post-secondary educational institutions.

BScPN Program Structure:

69.151 Health Promotion: Developmental Transitions Throughout the Lifespan 3
69.152 Fundamentals of Psychiatric Nursing Practice I 3
69.161 Introduction to Interpersonal Communication 3
Required Arts/Science (21 credit hours) 
82.160 Intro Psychology Part I 3
82.161 Intro Psychology Part II 3
90.154 Intro Sociology 3
90.XXX PLUS: One additional Sociology course 3
15.171 Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 3
15.172 Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 3
PLUS:  One of the following (3 credit hours) 
62.171 Introduction to Statistics  
82.250 Fundamentals of Psychological Research 1  
90.294 Social Research Methods II  
YEAR 2:  
69:153 Fund Psych Nursing Practice II 3
69:251 Principles Health Assessment 3
69.252 Psychopharmacology 3
69:253 Fund Psych Nursing Practice III 3
69:255 Integrated Practicum I 2
69:256 Indigenous Health Connections 3
69.261 Principles of Individual Counselling 3
69.262 Medical Nursing for Psychiatric Nurses 8
69.273 Psychopathology 3
YEAR 3:  
69.342 Integrated Practicum II 2
69:371 Psychiatric Nursing for Elderly Persons 1.5
69:372 Introduction to Palliative Care 1.5
69.346 Integrated Practicum III 4
69.359 Psychiatric Nursing with Children and Adolescents 3
69.360 Community Health 4
69:364 Therapeutic Groups 3
69:366 Acute Mental Health Challenges 3
69.367 Family Counselling 3
69:377 Developmental Challenges 4
69.379 Addictions 3
69.380 Interpersonal Abuse 3
YEAR 4:  
69.442 Integrative Clinical Practicum 12
69.454 Transition to Professional Practice 3
69:457 Intro Health Research Methods 3
69:472 Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Recovery 4
69:474 Philosophical Perspectives for Practice 3