Psych NP Programs - When & Where?

  1. As an older nurse, coming from a previous career in the mental health field, I want to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I have 10 of my 14 yrs as an RN in psych and addictions treatment. Recently I (finally) completed my BSN, knowing that I had to have the BSN in order to get an MSN.

    My problem is the lack of schools offering Psych as a specialty for NP. The closest school to me is Florida International University in Miami, which is an approx 2 hr drive for me, one way. Another option is University of South Alabama online, or a few other programs that offer the program online, but with a short residency. I've also noticed that these schools (including FIU) are revamping their programs to eliminate the MSN and only offer the DNP.

    Regardless, I am unable to start any program until Fall 2014, if I do get accepted.

    Another option would be to do a local FNP program and later take a post MSN certificate in Psych.

    I feel like I don't have time to waste, but then, Psych is really what I want to do.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?
  2. Visit LisalaRN99 profile page

    About LisalaRN99, BSN

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 158; Likes: 207
    staff RN
    Specialty: Addictions/Mental Health, Telemetry


  3. by   Psychcns
    I would go for the online with the short residency. 14 years you know a lot and you have seen a lot. This will help your assessment and diagnostic skills. The APRN role is different from the RN role. More responsibility, more decision making. Find a job with good supervision when you are done with school.
  4. by   LisalaRN99
    Thanks! I appreciate the opinion!
  5. by   NPAlby
    from the info you've given I would do the online or whatever is the fastest. Also if you havent already worked at a CPEP or Psych ER I would highly suggest getting a job in one of those. Thats where you learn to make quick diagnostic and med decisions. Good Luck!
  6. by   LisalaRN99
    Thanks for the comment! I currently work in a psych ER!! It's great to hear this will be helpful!
  7. by   Psychcns
    While you are working in the Psych ER p
    Pay close attention to the psychiatrist role
    Ask questions about meds and
    Decision making. You can learn a lot
    About the APRN role observing and understanding
    that role
  8. by   sahmwannabe
    Hi! I don't know how far you are from Valdosta, GA. Valdosta State University is starting a psych NP program. Good luck!!
  9. by   daktari36
    Just graduated from University of Alabama at Birmingham , PHMNP. We had a pretty good program, half the class of 14 was from out of state. It's an online course with the exception of an onsite 3 day testing. Best wishes either way you go.
  10. by   harmonizer
    I would not recommend online program (unless they helps you find preceptor) as I have a few ex-co-workers who had trouble finding preceptors. Sometimes a person can agree to precept but the time comes, he /she may change his/her mind.
  11. by   JavelinO
    Just as an FYI, Penn's program is 13 months full time and you do not have to go and find your own preceptors.
  12. by   LisalaRN99
    Hi! Thanks for the info on Penn State. Is there program online?
  13. by   myelin
    It's University of Pennsylvania*


    No, it's not online.
  14. by   JavelinO
    Penn is NOT the same as Penn State. Ivy League vs. not. Sorry, but it is true.