Therapeutic relationships in mental health nursing for RN/RPN (PNRS 100)

Course Name

Therapeutic Relationships in Mental Health for RNs and RPNs

Course Description

This course is designed for Registered Nurses (RN) and Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPN) who wish to enhance their skills in working with clients and their families experiencing mental health issues.


This course focuses on establishing therapeutic relationships and communication skills. Topics such as therapeutic use of self, listening and responding skills, empathetic communication, effective questioning, the problem-solving process, communicating in groups, client and family education, and the health care interview are included.


RNs and RPNs may register for specific professional development purposes, or as part of the RN Mental Health Nursing or Psychiatric Nursing Refresher certificate programs. Students interested in completing a certificate program must apply for admission and be accepted into the program. Details of the required documents and program application forms are available on the program web page. Please note that a maximum of one course completed for professional development may be applied toward satisfaction of certificate program requirements.

Subject Code

PNRS 100

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to

  • apply communication theory and skills effectively to initiate, maintain and terminate therapeutic relationships; and
  • demonstrate self-awareness in relationships with individuals and their significant others to facilitate therapeutic relationships.



Textbooks not included in tuition fee. Contact the Ƶ Bookstore for prices and ordering information.


Completion of English 12 with a minimum grade of “C” or .


For course taken on a stand-alone basis:  proof of RPN license status and/or proof of RPN program completion with transcript or copy of diploma/degree.

Course Content

Topics include:

  • therapeutic relationships in mental health;
  • essential attitudes and listening skills;
  • empathetic communication;
  • effective questioning;
  • therapeutic responding skills;
  • problem-solving and educating;
  • communicating in groups;
  • client and family education; and
  • the health care interview.

Learning Resources

Austin & Boyd, Psychiatric Nursing for Canadian Practice (current edition)


Available through the .

Instruction Method

Interactive online course in Blackboard


Due to the nature of an online delivery, the student will be expected be proficient in computer skills including email, adding attachments, navigating the internet etc. Resources for getting started with Blackboard are available online to help get the student comfortable in the Blackboard environment.


  • One assignment
  • Final exam


Minimum grade to pass is C (60%).


This course may be taken for professional development, or as part of the RN Mental Health Nursing certificate or Psychiatric Nursing Refresher certificate programs.

Completion Timeframe

3 months (100 hours) from course start date

Registration and Course Start

To register, email with your registration request and proof of completion of the pre-requisite requirements.  You will then be prompted for payment to the CE Registration office, to finalize your registration. Payment of the tuition fee must accompany registration.


Instructions on how to access your course materials will be emailed to you by the Program Assistant within five (5) business days prior to your chosen course start date.

Course CRN provided by dept upon fulfilling pre-requisites.

Calendar - Registration dates & deadlines.