Applying for Graduate Psychiatric Nurse (GPN) Registration/Licensure
Provision for GPN membership is made in The Registered Psychiatric Nurses Act, 1993.
Once eligible for the RPNCE, an applicant is now eligible to apply for a GPN license. A GPN licence is a temporary license and is limited to a 4-month period, with the option to request an extension for two 4-month periods, if needed.
An email from RPNAS will confirm eligibility for the RPNCE and instructions about how to proceed with an application for a GPN license. To submit an application, all steps must be completed including payment. Please note GPN licensure fees are non-refundable/non-transferable to practising RPN registration.
Saskatchewan and Canadian Graduates
Saskatchewan and Canadian graduates who plan to work as a GPN in Saskatchewan immediately after program completion/graduation, are required to obtain a GPN license.
Saskatchewan and Canadian graduates who have completed a Canadian RPN program of study may choose not to apply for a GPN license. Graduates are not required to register as a GPN; however, they are not permitted to practice until successfully completing the RPNCE and granted a practicing registration.
GPN licenses are not issued while Saskatchewan and Canadian students are in final clinical placements.
GPN licenses are not issued unless an applicant is eligible for the RPNCE, on the exam list to write the RPNCE and all evidence has been approved by RPNAS, such as transcripts and R-06.
GPN licenses are typically granted at the end of the second to early third week of December for those students exiting in December. It is recommended that applicants discuss timelines with potential managers/supervisors.
Internationally educated psychiatric nurses (IEPNs)
IEPNs who plan to work as a GPN in Saskatchewan are required to obtain a GPN license.
IEPNs may choose not to apply for a GPN license. IEPNs are not required to register as a GPN; however, they are not permitted to practice until successfully completing the RPNCE and granted a practicing registration.
For all GPNs
Once approved for registration as a GPN, applicants will receive an email from RPNAS confirming status and expiry date of a GPN license. GPNs must confirm that they are licensed by checking the RPNAS Public Register prior to the GPN initiating clinical practice including orientation.
GPN applicants must ensure they are licensed prior to beginning and throughout their employment. It is the responsibility of the GPN to know their GPN licence number and expiry date.
GPN registration is a registration category that requires supervision from an RPN or RN with practicing registration in good standing with RPNAS or the College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan (CRNS).
Graduate Psychiatric Nurses have conditions and restrictions on their practice.
- Must successfully write the RPNCE in three attempts;
- are required to work under the supervision of an RPN or RN;
- are not allowed to assume sole or supervisory responsibilities;
- must not perform special nursing procedures and/or competencies that are considered beyond entry level;
- must adhere to governing provincial and federal legislation; Standards of Practice; Code of Ethics, and Association policy; and
- only use the title “graduate psychiatric nurse” or “GPN”.
Standards of Psychiatric Nursing Practice, Code of Ethics, Graduate Psychiatric Nurse Guidelines and Consultation Services
Members holding a GPN license are subject to requirements of the Standards of Psychiatric Nursing Practice, Code of Ethics, The Registered Psychiatric Nurses Act, 1993, RPNAS bylaws, and all applicable provincial and federal legislation.
RPNAS recommends that GPNs review the RPNAS Graduate Psychiatric Nurse Practice Guideline to assist GPNs while practicing.
Career-long Learning Program (CLP)
As a registered member of RPNAS, GPNs are expected to participate in the CLP.
Click here to learn more about what you need to know about the CLP as you transition to practice in Saskatchewan.
Reserved or Protected Title – GPN
No person other than a graduate psychiatric nurse shall use the title “Graduate Psychiatric Nurse”, the abbreviation “GPN” or any word, title, or designation, abbreviated or otherwise, to imply that the person is a graduate psychiatric nurse.
Impact on GPN Licence with Unsuccessful Exam Attempt
Should an exam candidate be unsuccessful in passing the RPNCE, RPNAS will contact the applicant about next steps for the next exam. Additional documentation, such as employer references, CRC-VSC’s and confirmation of participation in the CLP may be required.
As per RPNAS bylaws, GPNs must register for the next available writing if holding a GPN licence.
GPN licenses are cancelled immediately upon notice that a GPN has failed the exam for the third time.
NOTE: Three (3) exam attempts in total are permitted. Fourth writing attempts are not permitted.