Mental Health and Addictions Nursing Specialty Program

Credential Earned

Certificate of Completion


  • Part time: 30 weeks

See Plan of Study details for more information.


  • Independent, online learning
  • In-person, on-site labs in Halifax
  • Clinical placements


  • Spring: March 4, 2024–October 5, 2024
  • Fall: September 9, 2024-April 26, 2025

Registration Deadlines

  • Spring: Program registration closed
  • Fall: Program registration closed 


The Mental Health and Addictions Nursing Specialty Program (MHANSP) 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 prepares eligible nurses to write the Canadian Nurses Association Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing certification exam. (Program hours may be eligible toward 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 to organize knowledge and skills. Each concept is integrated with others, so by the end of the program, graduates can apply all concepts to a variety of mental health and addictions experiences. This learner-centred approach fosters critical thinking and a deeper understanding of the concepts by building on previous knowledge. Upon completion of the program, learners are prepared to meet the dynamic and complex needs of individuals in the mental health and addictions setting.


  • Active-practicing RN license with the provincial regulator
  • Approval and confirmed sponsorship from employer

Register  Contact Us

The Nova Scotia Health Learning Institute for Health Care Providers offers education programming designed to meet the needs of learners across the province and strengthen our health care system. We are committed to delivering high-quality, evidence-informed programming that enables providers to develop and maintain foundational and specialty competencies.