Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing


The program is recognized by The British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM).

The Kwantlen Polytechnic University Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing (BPN) program philosophy consists of three guiding principles and six core concepts. These provide the philosophical foundation for the BPN program and basic assumptions that are inter-woven through all aspects of the BPN program curriculum and underpin its' philosophical framework. They provide grounding in health promotion, therapeutic relationship and diversity.

The core concepts are articulated and place the client at the center of our model. These include: client centeredness, being, situatedness, choice, professionalism, and teaching and learning. The person (client) is considered within the context of their culture, religion, ethnicity, race, historical experiences, spirituality and abilities. Diversity, equity, and social justice are values running through the entire curriculum. This lens considers the impact of the environment, social determinants of health, definitions of health and illness, and the impact of treatment, prevention, and promotion on a person’s well-being. 

The BPN program is developed in the context of psychiatric nursing theory based on best practice and the therapeutic use of self in interpersonal relationships. A health promotion perspective has been used to organize and construct the curriculum. This shift in focus from illness to health represents a deliberate move away from a disease model, to a model focusing on the person's experience with health and healing (Austin and Boyd, 2015). Inherent to these orientations is the use of teaching methodologies, which encourage the development of analytical and critical thinking based on praxis, and the discovery of personal meaning and personal power.

The BPN program philosophy recognizes the foundational role of praxis in psychiatric nursing theory and recognizes that psychiatric nursing practice requires thoughtful, reflective action. To assist in actualizing the concept of praxis, nursing practice experiences are integrated throughout the program of studies. The concept of praxis is used to guide learners to critically reflect on their practice and on their application of psychiatric nursing knowledge and clinical judgment within the practice setting.

Students who enroll in the program will receive a student resource manual that provides information regarding program guidelines. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with University policies and BPN program guidelines.

Please be advised that applications to this program will only be accepted from Canadian citizens and permanent residents / landed immigrants of Canada.

Nursing Practice Experiences

Psychiatric/mental health nursing practice experiences are essential in the BPN program. Students will be directly involved with clients in their homes, institutional and community settings in each semester. Note: These experiences may involve days, evenings, nights and weekends. Practice experiences occur throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. Students may choose to have placements locally, nationally and internationally for some components of the program. Students are responsible for their own transportation and other expenses incurred during these experiences.

Some agencies may require students to take an Oath of Confidentiality, have an additional criminal record search, or have a successful interview with their personnel prior to their acceptance. Failure to have documentation acceptable to the agency at the time of placement may result in denial of the experience, which in turn may prevent completion of the program of studies.

Faculty's website:

Department's website:

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty's Admission Requirements, which consist of KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement, the following program admission requirements apply:

  • BIOL 1160 with a minimum grade of C+
  • BIOL 1260 with a minimum grade of C+
  • ENGL 1100 with a minimum grade of C+
  • PSYC 1100 with a minimum grade of C+
  • PSYC 1200 with a minimum grade of C+
  • 15 credits of undergraduate-level courses with a minimum grade of C+

Admission selection will be based on the highest admission GPA of the above required courses.

All newly admitted students to the Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing program will be required to provide: 

  • Valid Canadian CPR Basic Life Support (BLS) or CPR Health Care Provider (HCP) (Note: CPR certification must remain current throughout the program.)
  • Current Standard First Aid Certificate
  • An acceptable Criminal Record Check through the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General's Criminal Records Review Program within 6 months prior to the start of the program.
  • Immunization Record Form reflecting required immunizations as per Practice Education Guidelines for BC. Note: Practice Education Guidelines (PEG) for BC outline immunizations for vaccine preventable communicable diseases required by students for participation in practice experiences. KPU Faculty of Health is required to comply with these requirements. Students that are unvaccinated may not be able to be accepted into the program. Students who are accepted into the program will also be required to maintain immunizations as per the PEG.

To ensure a pathway is available for specific student populations in the Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing, the following program reserves are in place for each intake: three (3) seats will be reserved for graduates of KPU's Certificate in Health Care Assistant program, and three (3) seats for self-declared Indigenous students. Any reserved seats that are not offered to the above noted specific student population will be offered to the general pool of qualified BPN applicants.

Continuance Requirements

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.67 with a minimum grade of C+ in all required courses with Standard Grading and a grade of MAS in all courses with Mastery Grading. Non-adherence to these requirements may result in removal from the program. Students must complete all program courses in each semester before they can continue to the next semester. Re-entry into the program will be based on seat availability and approval by the Program Admissions and Progressions Committee. Seat availability will be based on priority for students who progress with their original cohort. 

Curricular Requirements

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing must complete a minimum of 123 credits, including the courses used to fulfill this program’s admission requirements.

The maximum allowable time that students have to complete all of the following requirements for graduation is seven years.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Term 1Credits
Introduction to Mental Health  
HEAL 2150 Health Lab Practice 2 3
PSYN 2110 Health and Healing 1: Fundamentals of Mental Health Nursing 2
PSYN 2125 Pharmacology Theory: General Pharmacology 3
PSYN 2145 Mental Health Nursing: Practice 1: General Nursing 3
HEAL 2110 First Nations Health 3
Term 2
Medical Surgical Nursing  
ANTH 2163 Medical Anthropology 3
HEAL 2250 Health Lab Practice 3 3
PSYN 2130 Interpersonal Communication 1 3
PSYN 2230 Health and Healing 2: Fundamentals of Medical/Surgical Nursing 3
PSYN 2245 Mental Health Nursing Practice 2: Medical/Surgical Nursing 4
Year 2
Term 3
Acute Mental Health Nursing  
PSYN 3125 Pharmacology Theory: Psychopharmacology 3
PSYN 3130 Health and Healing 3: Fundamentals of Complex Mental Health Nursing (3) 3
PSYN 3145 Mental Health Nursing Practice 3: Acute Mental Health Nursing 4
PSYN 3225 Mental Health Leadership 3
PSYN 3255 Interpersonal Communication 2 3
Term 4
Community Mental Health Nursing  
PSYC 2350 Psychopathology 3
PSYN 3245 Mental Health Nursing Practice 4: Community Mental Health Nursing 4
PSYN 3250 Substance Use and Mental Health 3
PSYN 3260 Health and Healing 4: Fundamentals of Community Mental Health Nursing 3
PSYN 3355 Lab Practice 3: Interpersonal Communication Skills 3
Year 3
Term 5
PHIL 3010 Health Care Ethics 3
HEAL 3180 Nursing Science 4: Health Research for Evidence Informed Practice 3
PSYN 3211 Contemporary Issues in Mental Health Nursing 3
PSYN 4110 Health and Healing 5: Fundamentals of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nursing 3
PSYN 4145 Mental Health Nursing Practice 5: Consolidation 7
Term 6
PSYN 4245 Mental Health Nursing Practice 6: Preceptorship 10
 Total Credits91

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing (BPN).

This online version of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Calendar is the official version of the University Calendar. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, KPU reserves the right to make any corrections in the contents and provisions of this calendar without notice. In addition, the University reserves the right to cancel, add, or revise contents or change fees at any time without notice. To report errors or omissions, or send comments or suggestions, please email

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