HSA celebrates Nursing Week: Psych Nurses are a leading force for change

In celebrating Nursing Week, HSA President Reid Johnson thanks Registered Psychiatric Nurses across the province for their expertise and dedication. "The theme of this year's Nursing Week is 'a leading force for change,' and BC's psych nurses are lighting the way," Johnson said.

"With their specialized intensive training, Registered Psychiatric Nurses have long been recognized as the caregivers of choice in mental health," he said.

"The recent closure of Riverview Hospital marked the end of an era for mental health care in BC. Over the past decade, as psychiatric patients were moved back into their communities, it was the care, compassion, and knowledge of RPNs across the province that has been supporting lives and families.”

RPNs have been taking leadership roles in identifying and addressing unsafe care conditions. “HSA is proud of our annual occupational health and safety award. This year’s winner was Larry Bryan, an RPN at Haro Park.

“In seven years of this award, three awards have gone to RPNs or RPN teams,” Johnson said. “With courage and dedication to safe caring practices, RPNs have been speaking out to ensure their patients have the safe, quality care that they deserve.”

Not all nurses are equipped to fulfil the role that RPNs perform. “Psychiatric nurses receive more than 800 hours of additional training in their specialized field,” Johnson said. “As mental health care becomes an increasing part of every community’s health plans, RPNs are a leading force for continuing improvements in psychiatric care.”

“Effective psychiatric care means utilizing RPNs to the full scope of their knowledge and expertise,” he said. “I hope all British Columbians will join me in recognizing the leadership and expertise of Registered Psychiatric Nurses – caregivers of choice in the mental health field.”