Registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) are the largest group of health care professionals in the field of mental health care, and the career opportunities are growing.

Psychiatric nursing is recognized as a distinct profession in the Yukon, throughout the Western Canadian provinces and in numerous other countries.

The College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta (CRPNA) has created a document to outline Requisite Skills and Abilities for Becoming a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in Alberta for those interested in a career in this field.


RPNs play an integral role as members of the inter-professional health care team. They bring an important mental health perspective to the delivery of health services in areas such as:

  • community mental health
  • acute and sub-acute psychiatry
  • palliative care
  • rehabilitation
  • continuing care
  • correctional services
  • crisis intervention
  • mental health and addictions
  • education
  • research

Registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) find careers in many settings, including:

  • hospitals
  • primary care
  • community health centres
  • private practice
  • acute and long-stay psychiatry
  • addictions and substance abuse programs
  • forensics and correctional centres
  • rehabilitation
  • crisis intervention
  • family/group therapy

The Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) hosts detailed occupational profiles, salary survey data, trend reports and assessment tools to help you choose and plan a career that matches your skills and interests.

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Further study

If you wish to further your studies in the field of psychiatric nursing,  field, consider MacEwan University's Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing.

Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing

Take credit for your work

All courses completed in this program are credit courses and may be transferable toward further study at post-secondary institutions in Alberta.