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Mental Health and Addictions Nursing Specialty Program

We are excited to announce the launch of the recently redesigned Mental Health and Addictions Nursing Specialty Program (MHANS-P). This performance-based program supports Registered Nurses to advance their clinical judgment, critical thinking, and clinical leadership to work collaboratively with the interprofessional team in a variety of mental health and addictions settings.

The program offers a dynamic curriculum to registered nurses commencing a fulfilling career in this specialty area or actively practicing and wanting to obtain formal education and distinction in the specialty. Obtaining specialization in psychiatric mental health nursing demonstrates your ongoing dedication and commitment to individuals in your care, the specialty and your professional career development. The content covered in the program further prepares eligible nurses to write the Canadian Nurses Association Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing certification exam. (Program hours may be eligible towards the experience and/or education requirements for the Canadian Nurses Association Exam — Certification in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing).

The program uses a conceptual learning approach that organizes knowledge and skills into concepts. Each concept is integrated so by the end of the program, graduates can apply all concepts to a variety of mental health and addictions experiences. This learner-centered approach fosters critical thinking and a deeper understanding of the concepts by building on previous knowledge. In turn, learners are better prepared to meet the dynamic and complex needs of individuals in the mental health and addictions setting.

The program delivery model is part-time study aimed at ensuring the registered nurse achieves the knowledge, skills and abilities required to meet the program competencies. Preceptored clinicals are offered throughout the program to assist learners in transferring theory to practice. The program is aligned with a transition to practice approach that will support the registered nurse in transferring program competencies into their mental health and addictions practice.

Learners benefit from online and/or classroom discussions, in addition to skills labs where newly acquired knowledge is practiced using simulation. Knowledge is assessed through, online discussions, assignments and examinations. Skills are practiced and assessed in the lab setting, and clinical setting.

This program is comprised of the following components:

  • Knowledge: online, independent, interactive learning modules and final exam
  • Skills: In-person skills and simulation days with Learning Institute faculty
  • Performance: integrated clinical preceptorships under the guidance of Learning Institute faculty

Part-time Study Option:

  • January 4, 2022 - July 23, 2022; Registration Closed.

Dates are subject to change, if you miss the deadline date please contact the program faculty.

General Program Information:

  • Faculty supported lessons requiring on average 12h hours of independent study per week
  • 30 hours (4 days) on-site lab days
  • 15 hours (4 classes) of virtual class time
  • 150 hours (20 days) clinical practicum
  • 4 modules of faculty-supported lessons

Graduates of this program will be awarded a certificate in Mental Health and Addiction Nursing.

Requirements for the MHANS Program:

  • Employer sponsorship- As this is a sponsored program, interested candidates need to obtain approval from their employer. Only those with conformed sponsorship by their employer should register for the program.
  • An active-practicing RN license with the NSCN.

Clinical Requirements:

  • Health Care Providers enrolled in programs with clinical components are required to maintain their Basic Life Support (BLS) certification. The Learning Institute follows the Nova Scotia Health Code Blue/Pink Umbrella Policy, and requires a copy of your most recent certification on file. You will be provided with directions on how to submit documentation with your acceptance/welcome letter. If your BLS is going to expire during the program, faculty recommends you recertify prior to entering the program.
  • Current immunization may be required prior to clinical.
  • Criminal Record Check (CRC) with Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS) may be required before clinical placement. Please check with the program admin if you are unsure if a CRC is required for your clinical placement.
  • All NSHA / IWK employees participating in clinical are required to submit evidence of required NSHA/IWK e-Learning modules. Details can be found by clicking on the REGISTER NOW button.

Contact Information:

Toll Free: 1-800-461-8766 (Atlantic Canada Only)

Phone: (902)-473-6500

Email: LearningInstitute@nshealth.ca

Fees & Costs:

  • Tuition & Course Materials: $600
  • Textbooks (approx.): $200

Please contact your sponsoring manager regarding process for obtaining textbooks.