Psychiatric Nurse Salary BC | British Columbia Nurses Pay

Psychiatric Nurse Overview

In order to provide care for patients with mental health concerns, psychiatric nurses need to possess a special combination of empathy, psychological understanding, and nursing skills. Psychiatric nurses are essential members of the healthcare team in British Columbia (BC), Canada. They operate in a variety of settings, such as private clinics, hospitals, mental health facilities, and community health centers. For individuals considering or already working in this sector, knowing the wage expectations and variables impacting wages for psychiatric nurses in British Columbia is essential, given the ongoing growth in the need for mental health care.

 female psychiatric nurses working in a Canadian hospital setting

Average Salary for Psychiatric Nurses in BC

As of my last update, the average salary for psychiatric nurses in British Columbia can vary widely based on the factors mentioned below. However, the general range for RPNs is between CAD 65,000 to CAD 85,000 annually as of April 21, 2024. This range represents entry-level positions to more experienced roles. It’s important to note that these figures are approximate and can fluctuate based on demand, location, and individual qualifications.

What Influences Psychiatric Nurse Salaries in BC?

Several factors can influence the salary of psychiatric nurses in British Columbia, including:

  1. Education and Certification: Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) in BC typically require a Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing or a diploma in psychiatric nursing from an accredited institution. Additional certifications or specialized training can also impact salary.
  2. Experience: Like many professions, experience plays a significant role in determining salary. More experienced psychiatric nurses can expect higher wages compared to those just entering the field.
  3. Location: The geographic location within BC can also affect salaries. Urban areas with higher costs of living, such as Vancouver or Victoria, tend to offer higher wages than rural areas.
  4. Type of Employment: Full-time, part-time, and casual positions can offer different salary scales. Additionally, those working in private practices may have different earning potentials compared to those employed by public health authorities.
  5. Union Membership: Many psychiatric nurses in BC are represented by nursing unions, which negotiate collective agreements that set wage scales, benefits, and working conditions.

Highest paying cities for Psychiatric Nurse Salaries near British Columbia:

CityAverage Salary (per hour) CAD
Victoria, BCCAD 50.42
Surrey, BCCAD 49.94
Kelowna, BCCAD 48.86
Kamloops, BCCAD 45.29
Langley, BCCAD 44.77
Chilliwack, BCCAD 44.23
Port Coquitlam, BCCAD 43.36
Maple Ridge, BCCAD 41.53
Vancouver, BCCAD 40.07

Benefits and Additional Compensation

Beyond the base salary, psychiatric nurses in BC often receive additional compensation and benefits, including:

  • Overtime Pay: For hours worked beyond the standard full-time hours.
  • Health and Dental Benefits: Comprehensive packages that cover a wide range of health services.
  • Pension Plans: Contributions to retirement savings plans, often matched by the employer.
  • Professional Development: Opportunities for further education and specialization, sometimes funded by the employer.
  • Paid Leave: Including vacation, sick leave, and maternity/paternity leave.

The Future of Psychiatric Nursing in BC

The demand for psychiatric nurses in BC is expected to grow as mental health awareness increases and the population ages. This growth may lead to more job opportunities and higher salaries for psychiatric nurses in the region. Furthermore, with the ongoing focus on mental health, there’s a push for more specialized roles and advanced practice positions, which could also influence salary scales in the future.


Psychiatric nursing in British Columbia offers a rewarding career path with competitive salaries and benefits. The exact salary can vary based on education, experience, and other factors, but the profession as a whole is poised for growth. For those passionate about mental health and patient care, becoming a psychiatric nurse in BC presents a promising opportunity to make a meaningful impact while enjoying a stable and fulfilling career.

FAQ: Psychiatric Nursing in BC

1. How much does a psych nurse make in BC?

Psychiatric nurses in BC typically earn between CAD 65,000 and CAD 85,000 annually.

2. How long does it take to become a psychiatric nurse in BC?

It takes four years to complete a Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing or a diploma in psychiatric nursing.

3. What is the highest-paying nurse in BC?

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are the highest paying nurses in BC, with salaries of over CAD 100,000 annually.

4. What is the highest salary for a psychiatric nurse?

The highest salary for a psychiatric nurse can exceed CAD 85,000 annually in BC, depending on experience and specialization.