RN vs. Psychologist

  1. 0
    I am currently in college to become a registered nurse but tonight the teacher who teaches my psychology class has mentioned that there is a shortage of school psychologists(he is also a school psychologist and teaches a night class once a week for his own enjoyment). I did some comparing and school psychologists make more money, they get out on school breaks, they sit on their butts for a large part of the day...and from what I have seen psychology is a pretty easy subject.

    Which do you think would be better? Should I switch fields and get my master's degree in psychology with hopes of getting a lush job or do you think it would be better and more predictable to stick to the old ball and chain of nursing?
    Or could a person do both?

    Decisions, decisions...

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 64 Comments...

  3. 0
    i think you need to reconsider if you really want to go for rn. it is hard but pleasure way to go through but you need to be sure that it is for you. if you asking for advice that means you are not into it yet. no one esle can make decision for you, this is your future to deal with and you need to take responsibility for yourself. i do not want to sound mean or mentor but you are you and your choice is your life and future. good luck, i hope you will find your way.
    my advice, find want type of work is psychologist does and nurse does. ask people how it looks their working day. you will see and compare and maybe then you can decide what is best for you. remember this is your choice and your life, not mine and anyone else.
  4. 1
    I would also question the numbers with regard to them making more money. A couple of points to consider:

    1. Many psychologist postions consider a masters degree to be the basic entry level degree. So to compare "apples to apples" you would need to compare NP salaries with those of school psychologists rather than ASN's, or BSN's.

    2. You can earn MORE as an RN if you are willing to work hard. Consider that there are several local hospitals paying about $37.00 per hour for those willing to work weekends/nights every week.

    3. Also the standard nursing "work week" is three twelve hour shifts paid hourly. Most school psychologist positions are salaried. On paper you may only need to work 9-5P.M however most such positions require more time that is not compensated. Also, as an RN if you are willing to pick up an additional two shifts per week then you could virtually double your salary (especially if you are willing to pick up those hours through an agency or visiting nurse service). Also, in times of tight budgets things like school psychologists are among the first postions to be looked at in terms of cost cutting.
    sophialily likes this.
  5. 0
    another consideration, each school only needs a very limited nurmer of psychologists and those tend to be but sitters and they hold on to their position come hell or high water..will there be jobs out there when you finish or will you wind up with the 'want fries with that' option...however if you want the most money for the least work nursing is not for you..look into something else..you will be a lot happier
  6. 0
    Well, I'm no stranger to the nursing field, having been an LPN since 2000, but considering all the whining and moaning going on among the burned out nurses here I just started to wonder what people thought of a butt sitting job compared to a rougher one. I don't want to end up as burned out and unhappy as many of the seasoned RNs here seem to be.
  7. 0
    It's not about money or the ease of the profession. It's about what you have a passion for. If you can't honestly say you have a passion for nursing then it's probably not the best choice for you.
  8. 0
    i would do an extensive job search in the areas that you want to live and find out the past and projected job outlook for psychologists. Then I would talk to faculty members in the psych profession, (also find out if there is murmuring about PhD becoming the standard entry into practice, because with the new lobbying for perscription rights for Psychologists, I can see the standards changing.) Also try to interview both new and seasoned Psychologists in numerous positions to find out what their job actually is like and not the ivory tower ideal that will be set out for you in school. The salary issue is a big deal if you are expected to work 80 hours a week to get the bucks. Good luck and take your time deciding. Also I would find out about becoming a Psych NP (you maybe closer to this degree anyway) and if many places use them interchangeably with psychologists or MSW's.
  9. 0
    A word of clarification. To become a licensed psychologist one must have a doctorate degree (either PhD or PsyD). Comparing a licensed psychologist to an RN is like comparing apples to oranges. Since you are an LPN working on your RN, I am guessing that you are in an Associate Degree Program. Big difference in education. More power to you if you want to become a psychologist, but prepared to make the committment in terms of extensive education that is required. Other options previously mentioned, if you are truly interested in a more counseling oriented role would be to earn a Master's degree in social work, psychiatric nursing, or counseling. BUT, you can ALWAYS do these things after getting your nursing degree, even BSN. For example, one does not have to be a BSW to go one to earn an MSW, as long as you've taken the appropriate pre-requisite courses your Bachelor's degree. Also, not to be forgotten, the number of jobs available for psychologists, social workers, and counselors combined is still less then the number of jobs available for nurses and the salaries of psychologists, social workers, and counselors is often not as high as nursing OR it is the equivalent BUT requires so much more of an investment in education.
  10. 1
    LPN, it has always bothered me that there is so much constant, non-stop
    b**ching and moaning around here. I understand about the need for venting but it seems like there is more nurse-profession bashing done than venting. My concern is that we constantly present ourselves in a bad light to anyone who might like to move into or move up into nursing. I see from your post that you have exactly those feelings.
    Nursing is a wonderful profession with a lot to offer. It is by far the most flexible profession that is out there and allows you to work as much or as little as you would like..and to work as long as you like...I have two nurses who work for me who are way past retirement age. One is 67 and the other is 69 and they work PRN to cover the cost of their travel.
    School psychologists are masters educated, they do not require a doctorate. If that is your first love and true passion then go for it. Their salary is not what a RN will make over her lifetime but you should do what you truly love.
    My vote, though, would be for you to continue working toward your RN. If you find yourself in an unhappy work situation then move! Get a different job in an area you find interesting. And if you find problems, work to correct those problems, don't just gripe about them.
    sophialily likes this.
  11. 0
    If I had to do it over again, I might consider being a Health Psychologist. Every course in their curriculum looks like fun!

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors