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Registered Psychiatric Nurses in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island - Feasibility Study



Study says Registered Psychiatric Nurses could help address health system needs, is feasible


New pan-Canadian consultation report says adding Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) to Maritime health teams is feasible and can provide significant benefit in addressing current psychiatric and mental health and addictions (P-MH&A) patient and system needs.


Read the full report:   https://rpnmaritimesstudy.ca/assets/rpn-maritime-feasibility-study-report.pdf


Read the Executive Summary: https://rpnmaritimesstudy.ca/assets/rpn-maritimes-feasibility-study-executive-summary.pdf



What is this study and why does it matter?

What is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse compared to other nursing professionals?

Study organizational chart


Principal funder: The Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program


Study partners: Nova Scotia Health, Nurses Association of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island Health and Wellness, Registered Psychiatric Nurse Regulators of Canada


NB, NS and PE Regional Advisory Committees: members drawn from each province’s government, nurse regulatory authorities, and employer, union and post-secondary educational communities

Steering committee: members drawn from the Regional Advisory Committees (3-6), provincial project partners (3), RPNRC (2) and the study project manager (1)

Study team:

Study research participants

Maritime (NS, NB, PE) stakeholders

  • Provincial governments (departments of health)
  • Regional health authorities
  • Nursing associations
  • Nursing regulators
  • Nursing unions
  • RN educational institutions
  • Registered Nurses (RNs)
  • Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)
  • Nurse Practitioners (NPs)


Western (BC, AB, SK, MB, YK) and national stakeholders

  • Provincial governments (departments of health)
  • Regional health authorities
  • RPN associations
  • RPN regulators
  • Nursing unions
  • RPN educational institutions
  • RPNs (practising/frontline)
  • Internationally educated psychiatric nurses


Study fast facts

  • Values-based: Project Partners will conduct themselves in their study-related activities in alignment with the values of collaboration and integrity:
  • Integrity in all study activities and relationships
  • Collaboration with regional and national stakeholders
  • No pre-determined conclusions: The RPNRC and the Maritime provincial partners are not advocating for any particular outcomes other than for a well-designed and executed feasibility study.
  • Further, there has been no decision that Maritime RPN expansion is or is not merited or feasible.
  • Not studying if RPNs should replace other nurses: The feasibility study is not examining if RPNs should replace other types of nursing professionals. RPNs are complementary to, but not the same or interchangeable with LPNs, NPs or RNs. This study is exploring the potential value and feasibility of having RPNs augment existing health care teams in the Maritimes, with each nursing profession playing its role on a larger team.



Questions about the study can be emailed to rpnrc@crpnm.mb.ca.






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