Military psych

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    This is a question for current or experienced military nurses in psych or having been in psych previous. I've had an interest in psych since my initial clinical rotations in school, and i'm aware there is currently a military need for them (i'm in the NNCP). Can anyone give an account of their experience, good or bad, and whether they'd suggest it for a new nurse?
  2. 6 Comments so far...

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    I too am interested in the answers to this. I am a little behind you deftonez188, applying for NNCP this year along with starting my nursing program, but am also interested in learning more about psych nursing in the military.
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    In terms of new nurses going directly into psych, I think I am more traditional in that area where I feel one should have at least a year of med-surg to help build a strong foundation. I have worked many areas of the hospital and I do enjoy psych. I had a psych patient who was having a stroke the previous shift did not realize it was a stroke because they lacked med/surg when I came on shift and saw her I quickly got her to the ICU. That being said, you can still be a good psych nurse without it but one thing about nursing is that all areas overlap to a degree and patients don't always follow the "care plan". :-)
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    Hey, I'm a new nurse and I just finished Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC) about a week ago. If you join the military, you can specialize in psych and they will send you to that course, but be aware that for about a year after you get on the floor, you will be on a med-surg floor to establish your basic skills, hands down, no exceptions. (New nurse = 6 months of experience or less)
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    As much as most nurses will suggest getting a year of med-surg under your belt before specializing you can survive in psych without it as long as you maintain a basic level of medical knowledge and know physiology related to psych meds. And I don't know about the other branches but the Navy will put you in mental health as a new grad if they need mental health nurses. I'm a mental health Navy nurse if you have any ?s
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    FarawaySoClose -

    I would love to hear your experiences as a mental health nurse with the Navy. I am applying for the NNCP program now and have thought that I might be interested in psych. What kinds of conditions do you regularly work with?
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    Faraway,

    Thanks for the response - i'm in the NCP and due to graduate from my RN to BSN program next May, so regarding base picks for increasing my likelihood of psych, which would you suggest for the dream sheet? I'm prior enlisted so I know how well dream sheets work but anyhow do any of the big 3 have a greater psych mission than others?

    I've done inpatient rotations and shadowing in the civilian world psych - do they also have outpatient clinics we staff? (I imagine at higher ranks they would).

    Do you feel limited in your career and rank progression for being in psych?

    What's your opinion of psych as well as any relevant civilian experience (did you like it before joining?)?

    Thanks! Don't want to overdo ya


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