I'm new to the website, hopefully this is the right place to post!
I am a psychology BS student trying to figure out which career paths I should take after graduation. Job prospects considering pay and availability of jobs is very bleak for psych students. I have read about psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners and wonder if it would be a good fit for me. I am very close to graduation and its too late for me to change majors.
I have considered a second degree accelerated nursing program
to become an RN then go onto getting a masters and focus on becoming an psychiatric nurse practitioner, which I think would allow me to use my psych background and fulfill desire to help people (as would an RN degree) while paying a lot better than clinical phd/ mft/ lcsw jobs.
It would be great to do it all in one step, as in a program of 3 consecutive years but I think it would be difficult to get a job with no experience as NP or RN, especially considering how rough it is to get a job for RN's in areas such as CA.
Would it be better to go to a second degree RN program, work for a while, then continue go back to school to become an PMHNP? Also, what is being an PMHNP like? I would like to counsel and not simply give medication. I love the idea of being able to treat someone based everything including their physical health and incorporating that knowledge to the treatment plan. Plus if I don't go straight into an PMHNP program, I could observe all of the other areas in nursing and make a solid choice about that. Plus maybe the hospital could help fund my further education? Not sure if they do that but just maybe? That's assuming anyone will hire me as an RN in the first place...
I am passionate about helping others but I don't know much about becoming a nurse and whether or not it would be a good fit for me...Any advice on how to decide if its a good fit would be great (like skills necessary/day to day stuff). I mean it sounds great to me but how do I know for sure?
Would it all even be worth it in terms of satisfaction, pay, ACTUALLY FINDING A JOB as an RN (or PMHNP down the road)? Will doing an accelerated program be a disadvantage for me? Also will doing an accelerated program be a disadvantage to get accepted into a masters program if I wait and then try to go back for a masters?
I'm considering CSU Northridge for the non nursing RN degree because its the only program that is a state school in CA (Sac State may have cancelled the program at least for the year)and the tuition is not ridicuulous its about 17K, I'd be done in about 2 years vs UCSF done in one but 50K for only one year.
I don't mind working hard as long as I know it will pay off in the end...Sorry for all the questions I have been putting so much thought into this!