Becoming A Registered Psychiatric Nurse in Alberta  


To be eligible to practice as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) in Alberta, you must meet registration requirements to obtain a practice permit/license from the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta (CRPNA).  

Requirements for registration as a RPN in Alberta are established in the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Profession Regulation, which falls under the Health Professions Act (HPA). They include:

  • Graduated from an approved psychiatric nursing education program  within the last four (4) years
  • Passed the Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada (RPNC) Examination
  • Have been employed in the practice of psychiatric nursing or its equivalent for at least 1400 hours in the past five (5) years
  • Successfully completed an approved psychiatric nursing refresher education program within the past three (3) years
  • Competent to practice psychiatric nursing
  • Evidence of good character
  • Sufficiently proficient in the English language to be able to provide professional services in English - click on document link below to determine English Language proficiency.  Applicants may be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language.
  • Currently registered in good standing in another jurisdiction and have substantially equivalent registration requirements
  • Proof of Professional Liability Insurance (PLI)

To apply select one of the following:

New Psychiatric Nurse Graduates
Internationally Educated Psychiatric Nurses
Canadian RPN


Information about an application will ONLY be discussed with the applicant. 

Have you started or submitted a registration application?

If you have started an application and wish to edit or upload documents, or check the status visit your applicant portal by clicking the button below.

Applicant Portal

English Language Requirements

Updated Language Proficiency Cutscores/Benchmark Levels

Communicating effectively in English or French is a critical factor to provide safe nursing practice in Canada. The Canadian Nurse Regulators Collaborative (CNRC), of which the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta is a member, reviewed the current language proficiency requirements for the regulated nursing professions. The objective of this review was to determine the current English and French language proficiency levels for listening, reading, writing, and speaking; and to recommend the best approach and method(s) to assess the language proficiency of internationally educated nurses.

To view the news release please click here  

To view the background document please click here


Based on the information that you provide in your initial application form, CRPNA will determine if you require a language test to demonstrate an acceptable level of proficiency in English.


You can find the link to English Language Test requirements here:   English Language Test Requirements    

UPDATE:  CELBAN Online Computer-Based Exam and Virtual Interview

The College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta will accept the CELBAN computer based exam with virtual interview as an acceptable English language proficiency test for the purposes of demonstrating English language proficiency for internationally educated psychiatric nurses (IEPNs). Internationally educated psychiatric nursing applicants may demonstrate English language competence by completing one of the two approved English language proficiency tests and achieving the required passing scores upon application to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS). The virtual version of CELBAN allows applicants to take the test remotely which means that CELBAN is now delivered both online and in testing centers across Canada.

Registration Exam Requirement

To find information about exam requirements, how to apply, withdraw from the exam, exam schedule - click here  .

RPNRC announces new tools to assist candidates writing the national registration exam

Click here for the News Release 

Click here for the Study Guide

Psychiatric Nursing Education Programs

For those thinking of entering a psychiatric nursing program read more about where you can obtain your education.