History - Registered
Psychiatric Nurses of Saskatchewan.
nursing was born in the 1840s, even before Florence Nightingale opened her
first training school. Generally a less-well-known profession, psychiatric
nursing has played a role in Saskatchewan's health care history. Saskatchewan's
first psychiatric institution was opened in 1914 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. In
1921, a second institution was opened in Weyburn. By 1929, each institution
had 1,000 patients watched over by "a superintendent and two additional medical
officers, and each had a ward staff of about 110 untrained personnel and one
registered nurse. There was no formal training program".
large number of patients problems began accumulating, a commission was
then struck by the Government of Saskatchewan to study psychiatric institutions. "One
of their recommendations was for the inauguration of a training school to insure
the instruction of the nursing force in the fundamentals of psychology, psychiatry,
mental hygiene and medicine. Another was that male student nurses should
be given the same training as female nurses, and upon graduation, should be
awarded similar diplomas" (Kahan, 1).
"As a result,
Ward Attendant Training Programs were begun at both institutions; in North
Battleford, the first class graduated in 1932; Weyburn Hospital graduated its
first class in 1933 and for the next forty years graduating ceremonies were
held each year at Saskatchewan hospitals. In 1937, a number of staff
members began a three-year course leading to the Diploma in Psychiatric nursing" (Registered
Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan, 9)
of 1947, in a meeting of psychiatric nursing graduates, it was voted unanimously
to form a professional Psychiatric Nurses' Association (Kahan, 11). A "committee
was elected to study the necessary steps to be taken and to bring in recommendations
regarding the aims and objectives of the Association. One of the committee's
recommendations was for continual improved training, with emphasis on improved
treatment and care for patients in hospitals" (Kahan, 11).
March 25, 1948, An Act Respecting the Saskatchewan Psychiatric Nurses' Association was
enacted and the association became official. The home of the Registered
Psychiatric Nursing Association of Saskatchewan is now on Lorne Street in Regina.