Disorders of mental health for RN/RPN (PNRS 114)

Course Name

Disorders of 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 experiencing mental health issues and their families.


Theory related to mental health disorders including neurobiology and psychopharmacology will be reviewed. Mental health challenges such as anxiety, mood, schizophrenic, substance-related (concurrent disorders), personality, eating and cognitive impairment disorders will be discussed. This course is evaluated through three multiple-choice examinations.


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 114

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will

  • meet the learning objectives outlined in each section of the course material;
  • identify nursing interventions for working with people experiencing mental health disorders; and
  • develop self-awareness into own attitudes toward the various disorders of mental health.



Textbooks not included. 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 covered include:

  • psychopharmacology;
  • anxiety and somatoform disorders;
  • mood disorders;
  • schizophrenic disorders;
  • substance-related disorders;
  • personality disorders;
  • eating disorders; and
  • cognitive impairment disorders.

Learning Resources

Austin & Boyd, Psychiatric Nursing for Canadian Practice

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.


  • 5 short assignments
  • 3 multiple choice exams


Minimum grade to pass is C (60%).

This course may be taken independently or as part of the RN Mental Health Nursing Certificate or Psychiatric Nursing Refresher Certificate programs.

Completion Timeframe

6 months (250 hours) from course start date

Registration and Course Start

To register, email cehs@douglascollege.ca 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.