Students in Canada’s only Master of Psychiatric Nursing program spent several days on campus at Brandon University this week, getting to know each other, their faculty, and their areas of research interest as they embark onto another year of graduate studies.
BU’s Master of Psychiatric Nursing (MPN) program was launched in 2011 and is the only one of its kind in Canada.
“This is pioneering work at the national level that responds to a global need for more applied research and advanced training in psychiatric nursing. It is only natural that BU and Canada, lead the way” said Dr. John Moraros, Dean of the Faculty of Health Studies.
Students in the graduate program come from across the country, and from varied backgrounds. Most of their learning is done online, but the summer end, in-person kickoff is a valuable opportunity for them to come together to discuss research ideas, and get to know one another, as well as their professors.
Under the leadership of MPN coordinator Dr. Jane Karpa, and with the contributions of a dedicated Steering Committee and support staff, BU faculty are committed to advancing scientific inquiry and best practice for the thesis-based program.
“We are looking for opportunities to attract highly talented students and to improve and grow the program” Dr. Karpa said.
To date there are 74 students registered in the MPN program, and 19 students have successfully defended and graduated.
Recent research theses coming out of the MPN program have made significant contributions to the scientific literature on a wide variety of interesting topics including an examination of how mental health nurses deal with violent or aggressive patients, a comparison of treatment outcomes for patients in the justice system who have concurrent mental illness and substance use, and an assessment of coping strategies that patients use while waiting for care, including recommendations for improved services.
“Our MPN program prioritizes the connections we build among and between our students and faculty,” Dr. Karpa said. “These in-person meetings make all the difference and help to ensure we have a genuine relationship for the rest of the program. We know how important this is for research and coursework of course, and it is also invaluable launch into a professional network as our students graduate.”
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