Mental Health Nursing Residency Program
About the Residency For Residents For Mentors For Organizations Links Contact Us
About the Mental Health Nursing Residency Program

WHAT IS THE MENTAL HEALTH NURSING RESIDENCY PROGRAM?
Mental health/psychiatric nursing is a specialty requiring Registered Nurses to practice with unique knowledge and skills however, the training available to support evidence-based practice in this profession is often limited or lacking.

The Mental Health Nursing Residency Program provides participants with a unique opportunity to move from their current stage of competency to a more advanced level within Canadian Standards of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing framework. For example a new graduate may move from Novice to Advanced Beginner1.

The Program consists of approximately 40 hours of course work designed to support 400 hours of guided clinical activity in a psychiatric/mental health setting. The course work is divided into several Modules which relate to the Standards.

A variety of teaching and learning strategies are used during the program, enabling participants to develop competencies related to the Standards. The Standards also serve as a guide for participants in developing an individualized Learning Portfolio and Self-Reflection Journal that will provide evidence of their learning experiences and performance in the practice setting.

1: Benner, P. (1984). From novice to expert: Excellence and power in clinical nursing practice. Menlo Park: Addison-Wesley, pp. 13-34. 

WHO IS THE RESIDENCY PROGRAM APPROPRIATE FOR?
The program is appropriate for any of the following Registered Nurses:

  1. Nurse graduates joining the mental health sector
  2. Nurses new to the mental health sector
  3. Mid and late career nurses wishing to enhance and update their knowledge and skills in the mental health specialty.

PROGRAM LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Mental Health Nursing Residency Program participants will demonstrate competency in the Canadian Standards for Psychiatric - Mental Health Nursing by:

  1. Providing Competent Professional Care through the Development of a Therapeutic Relationship.
  2. Performing/Refining Client Assessments through the Diagnostic and Monitoring Function.
  3. Administering and Monitoring Therapeutic Interventions.
  4. Effectively Managing Rapidly Changing Situations.
  5. Intervening through the Teaching and Coaching Functions.
  6. Monitoring and Ensuring the Quality of Health Care Practices.
  7. Practicing within the Organizational and Work-Role Structure.

HOW DO YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM?
The Mental Health Nursing Residency Program consists of coursework and application of knowledge and skills in clinical practice. Nursing is an “applied discipline” and nurses require clinical practice to acquire expert knowledge1. The resident is supported by a mentor through their learning experience.

  • If you are an organization wishing to develop an organization-wide residency program, refer to the For Organizations page.
  • If you are a resident, this website includes the material that you will need for the residency program. Refer to the For Residents page.
  • If you are a mentor, please refer to the For Mentors page.

HOW WAS THE PROGRAM DEVELOPED?
The mental health nursing residency program was developed by eight organizations that partnered in the development and pilot of a mental health nursing residency program as part of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Nursing Health and Human Resources Planning Demonstration Sites initiative in 2007/08.

The partners were: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene, Providence Care, Mental Health Services Site (Kingston), Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, Algonquin College, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and University of Ottawa.