Psychiatric CNS in Pennsylvania

  1. Hello all,

    I was wondering if there were any Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialists on here from PA? I live in PA and am interested in getting my MSN as a Psych CNS, but when I search for jobs for it, I can't really find any. In my state CNS's cant prescribe meds, which I think is very sad. Most of the time all I find are Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner positions. I wouldn't mind learning to prescribe meds as a Psych NP, but I'm more interested in the therapy aspect, which I hear and have read is that the Psych CNS is more about. Thanks so much for all your time and help. It is greatly appreciated. :-D
  2. Visit jpRN84 profile page

    About jpRN84

    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 127; Likes: 70
    Psychiatric Nursing/Chemical Dependency; from US
    Specialty: Psychiatric, Detox/Rehab, Geriatrics


  3. by   elkpark
    I'm not in PA, but I am a psych CNS without Rx authority, and I can tell you that, in general, employers are most interested in hiring psych NPs or psych CNSs with Rx authority (in the states where that is allowed). They can find people to do therapy who will work much cheaper than CNSs (and they don't really care whether those people have a lot less education, experience, and expertise -- most of the employers are just interested in warm bodies, it seems), and, as a Master's-prepared RN, you're much more "cost-effective" writing Rxs than doing therapy. I've started having a v. hard time finding appealing positions in recent years, which is a big change. I'm starting to feel like the proverbial "buggywhip maker in the automobile age." It's hard to encourage anyone to become a psych CNS these days ...

    Best wishes --
  4. by   jpRN84
    Thank you for your reply elkpark. It's very sad that they would hire people with less education to do the therapy. But as the say, money makes the world goes around, and companies are gonna pinch their pennies any chance they can get, even at the expense of cutting down good quality care it seems. I've always wanted to be a Psych CNS, but It seems like because of the state I live in, I'm going to have to go the Psych NP route, as that what seems to be in demand in this state and I would have less of a chance finding a job for a Psych CNS as most employers just want those Psych NP's to write scripts. Thanks again.
  5. by   jlhs1969
    have you considered the va? cnses are valued and sought here in augusta, ga. as a matter of fact, there was more that one pmh cns position that could not be filled (no qualified applicants). and because it's federal, you can practice in any va with a license from any of the 50 states.
  6. by   Euphrosyne7

    Psych NP's are also able to do therapy and my NP program (Drexel) did have a quarter on therapies as well as required clinical time.

    Perhaps you could get a psych NP and then further your knowledge regarding particular types of therapies w/seminars, etc. That way you would be able to do both prescribing and therapy and would be more marketable in your area? Where I live, the psych CNS is able to obtain prescriptive privileges so while they do some therapy, many of them also do quite a bit of prescribing.

    Hope this helps.