B.C. celebrates Registered Psychiatric Nurses during National Nursing Week

“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.” -Reid Johnson, HSABC President.

Vancouver (09 May 2013) – In celebrating National Nursing Week, Reid Johnson, President of the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE) thanks Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) across the province for their expertise and dedication.

"A Leading Force for Change"

"The theme of this year's Nursing Week is 'a leading force for change,' and B.C.'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.

End of an era

"The recent closure of Riverview Hospital marked the end of an era for mental health care in B.C. 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. “HSABC/NUPGE is proud of our annual occupational health and safety award. This year’s winner was Larry Bryan, an RPN at Haro Park.

Registered Psychiatric Nurses: specialized skills and training

“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 fulfill 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.”

Caregivers and mental health workers

“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.”

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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