Psych NP Programs - When & Where?

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    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?
    Joe V likes this.
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  3. 15 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    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.
  5. 0
    Thanks! I appreciate the opinion!
  6. 0
    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!
  7. 0
    Thanks for the comment! I currently work in a psych ER!! It's great to hear this will be helpful!
  8. 0
    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
  9. 0
    Hi! I don't know how far you are from Valdosta, GA. Valdosta State University is starting a psych NP program. Good luck!!
  10. 0
    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.
  11. 1
    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.
    priorities2 likes this.
  12. 1
    Just as an FYI, Penn's program is 13 months full time and you do not have to go and find your own preceptors.
    harmonizer likes this.