Psychiatric Nursing Diploma Program

  • Delivery Method: Combined Delivery
  • Duration: 120 weeks
  • Starts: Twice per year (April and September)
  • Credential: Diploma
  • Designation: Registered Psychiatric Nurse
  • Wages: $30.79 – $40.42/hour

Registered Psychiatric Nurses specialize in psychiatric and mental health care. Registered Psychiatric Nurses are highly in demand and practice as part of a multidisciplinary team in a variety of settings, including psychiatric units, mental health clinics, and mental health and addictions outreach teams.

Do you want to positively impact the lives of people struggling with mental health issues? Imagine a career where you can make a meaningful contribution to others and to society as a whole. As a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, you’ll spend your days working with patients to promote mental health and holistic wellness.

Stenberg’s Psychiatric Nursing Program provides instructor-led guided online learning in a highly supported environment. Stenberg’s combined delivery format allows you to pursue your education in your home community including regional clinical placements.

Articulation ( Credit Transfer )

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and Stenberg College have an articulation agreement that allows graduates of Stenberg’s Regional Diploma Psychiatric Nursing (RDPN) Program to enrol with advanced entry and complete the KPU Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing (BPN). This is applicable to graduates of the Psychiatric Nursing Program who have graduated from January 2014 onwards.

Thompson Rivers University – Open Learning (TRU-OL) has approved Stenberg College for articulation of our Psychiatric Nursing program graduates to the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at TRU-OL. Stenberg’s Psychiatric Nursing program has been granted 72 Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition credits, which leaves a balance of 48 credits to be taken at TRU-OL (24 lower level credits, 24 upper level credits) in order for Stenberg graduates to achieve a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Psychiatric Nursing program must complete the following:

  • Attend an information session
  • Submit an application form
  • Successfully complete the online entrance essay assignment
  • Provide an up-to-date resume
  • Provide 2 written professional references
  • If English is a second language you will be required to pass an English assessment test such as the (IELTS, TOEFL, CLB, CELBAN, Stenberg College ELET,)

In addition to the above, applicants will be required to provide proof of having met the following pre-requisites:

  • Graduation from Grade 12 with a C+ average
  • Grade 12 English (minimum grade B)*
  • Grade 12 Biology (minimum grade C)
  • Grade 11 Math (Foundations, Principles or Precalculus – minimum grade C)
  • Grade 10 Science (minimum grade C)
  • Grade 12 English (minimum grade B)*
  • Grade 12 Biology (minimum grade C)
  • Grade 11 Math (Foundations, Principles or Precaculus – minimum grade C)
  • Copy of Licensing as Practical Nurse
  • Proof of the equivalent of 2 years (3600 hours) full-time Work Experience as an LPN

* Note: English requirements may be obtained by alternative means such as evidence of Post-Secondary studies at an equivalent level where English was the first language or completion of an acceptable English assessment equivalency test – TOEFL, IELTS, LPI or an ICES Evaluation.

As there are limited seats available in each cohort area, there is a preferential admission criteria in place to assist in the selection of the most qualified candidates. Preference is given to those candidates with volunteer or work experience in a health related field. To put this forward for consideration, you must submit written proof with confirmation of hours completed from the volunteer organization or employer. Students with post-secondary education in any field are also encouraged to put forward original transcripts of the highest credential completed for additional consideration. These must be original transcripts sent directly from the educational institute to us. All documents for evaluation for preferential admission should be submitted along with the rest of the application package. Once all of the above applicable information is submitted, applicants may require an individual interview.

Upon successful completion of all the above, applications will be put forward for final selection for a seat in the following available intake. Once selected, Students are then eligible for registration based on the understanding that the following are still due prior to the first day of class:

  • Clear Canadian Criminal Record Check
  • Medical Verification of Good Health from a Physician
  • Current Immunization Status as required by the health authorities

Financing Your Education

You could be eligible for Employment Insurance funding for education, government student loans, as well as other financing options; Stenberg’s Financial Aid Officer would be happy to provide further assistance.

Student Stories

Read stories from our students and grads about their experience with the Psychiatric Nursing program at Stenberg.

Daniel Nguyen

A first generation Canadian, Daniel Nguyen knows what it is like to struggle. “My parents immigrated in 1975 to escape the Vietnam War, traveling through the Philippines before eventually arriving in Canada. They had tough lives.”

Inspired by their strength and wanting to give back to his country, Daniel enrolled in the Canadian armed forces shortly before his seventeenth birthday. While working full-time for the Department of National Defense, Daniel found that he was drawn to roles that allowed him the opportunity to interact with and help assist civilians. The birth of his daughter in 2013 dissuaded Daniel from pursuing law enforcement and his experience in the military led Daniel towards psychiatric nursing. “I didn’t deploy overseas, but having friends come back and seeing the psychological effects of their deployments of very traumatic events was difficult. I thought that getting into psychiatric nursing and better understanding the psychological effects of trauma and gearing my practice towards crisis intervention might help me better understand what they’re going through.”

Together with his wife, Daniel made the difficult decision to leave his full-time job and enroll in Stenberg’s Psychiatric Nursing program, noting that “despite the program being a combined-delivery format with the theory delivered online, I knew that I would need to focus all of my time on mastering the concepts and any free time would be spent with my family.”

“That’s where the role of the admission staff really helped; My program advisor was very clear with me about the expectations of the instructors and what I could expect from the program so I had no misconceptions coming in.”

Despite the intensity of the program, as well as the unfamiliar subject matter, Daniel maintained a 94% GPA throughout the two-year program, while sharing his experiences as one of Stenberg’s most-read student bloggers.

Now working as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Daniel’s dreams have been realized and he has a stable, rewarding career helping others.

More Like This


Do you feel a strong sense of purpose to provide safe and appropriate nursing care to those in need? If so, becoming a Practical Nurse may be the career choice for you. Practical Nursing is the second largest nursing group in Canada.

If you’re interested in a career that combines cardiology and technology, keep reading to learn more about becoming a Cardiology Technologist.