Welcome to the Board of Vocational Nursing & Psychiatric Technicians

Summary of Requirements for Licensure as a Psychiatric Technician

All applicants for licensure as a Psychiatric Tecnician in California must meet all of the requirements under Section A, and one of the three methods of qualifying for examination in Section B.

Section A

  1. Minimum Age - 18 Years.
  2. Completion of the 12th Grade of schooling or its equivalent (furnish proof).
  3. Complete and sign the "Application for Psychiatric Technician Licensure" and furnish a valid U.S. Social Security number.
  4. Complete and sign the "Record of Conviction" form.
  5. Submit the required Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprints.  (see enclosed "Important Fingerprint Information.")  Note: A License will not be issued until the board receives the background information from DOJ.
  6. Attach the appropriate non refundable fee made payable to the "BVNPT".
  7. Successful completion of a written examination titled the California Psychiatric Technician Licensure Examination.
  8. When the requirements of Steps 1-7 have been met, the Board will advise you of the Initial License Fee to be paid. This fee is in addition to the application fee. It takes 4-6 weeks to process your license once this fee has been received.

Section B

  1. Graduate of a California Approved School of Psychiatric Technicians.
    Successful completion of a California Approved Psychiatric Technician Program. Contact your program director for application forms and instructions.
  2. Equivalent Education and/or Experience.
    Completion of 576 hours of theory (experience may not be substituted for formal course work) and 954 hours of supervised clinical experience within ten years prior to the date of application. Any or all of the supervised clinical experience may be satisfied by paid work experience. The following minimum hours shall be included:
    1. Pharmacology course of at least 54 theory hours that covers the following content:
      1. Knowledge of commonly used drugs and their action
      2. Computation of dosages
      3. Preparation of medications
      4. Principles of administration
    2. 126 hours of theory (experience may not be substituted for formal course work) and 270 hours of supervised clinical experience in nursing science. You may substitute 9 months of paid work experience in nursing sciences for the 270 hours of supervised clinical experience.
    3. 108 hours of theory (experience may not be substituted for formal course work) and 270 hours of supervised clinical experience in mental disorders. You may substitute 9 months of paid work experience in mental disorders for the 270 hours of supervised clinical experience. 108 hours of theory (experience may not be substituted for formal course work) and 270 hours of supervised clinical experience in developmental disabilities. You may substitute 9 months of paid work experience in developmental disabilities for the 270 hours of supervised clinical experience.
  3. Nursing Service in the Medical Corps of any Branch of the Armed Forces of the United States. This method requires you to:
    1. Completion of an armed forces course involving Neuropsychiatric Nursing and an armed forces or civilian course from an approved school in the care of the developmentally disabled client.
    2. Completion of at least one year of verified full time paid work experience, including at least six months in a military clinical facility rendering bedside care to clients with mental disorders and at least six months in a military or civilian clinical facility rendering bedside care to clients with developmental disabilities.