Common Nursing Complaints & Psych NP's - Not As Bad? - page 4

by SmoothJams 23,086 Views | 51 Comments

Hello All! I am an aspiring Psych NP currently taking my prerequisite classes. I have been reading and searching through this board for many months now (and will continue to) in order to try and prepare myself and get a grasp... Read More


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    I have some questions. For psych world, will the skills in outpatient psych transfer to inpatient psych and vice versa. I am thinking about a job as a new grad. Most of the jobs are outpatient. Can I start out as outpatient provider as a new grad and the move on to inpatient later? Which one do you prefer?
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    I actually like outpatient better (walking wounded) but it is good experience even if you want inpatient as you'll have that knowledge of patients and what they go through on the outside. I get lot's of experience since I now do inpatient, outpatient and consult work. Sure glad I had a lot of medical background!
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    Quote from myelin
    I have heard 6 figure salary quotes from almost everyone I've spoken with about the career, but I don't know if that's just because I live in an independent practice state (I'll be going to school in another state, though). Also, I don't know if new grad PMHNPs can expect to make that much when they're just starting out. I heard someone say that if a PMHNP takes a salary below 90k they're being taken advantage of…

    Here is the survey for 2011. National Salary Report 2011 on ADVANCE for NPs & PAs

    Don't know how reliable it is but, from the webpage, PMHNP is really NOT in the top-paying specialties at all. The pay dropped from last year.
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    Quote from harmonizer
    Here is the survey for 2011. National Salary Report 2011 on ADVANCE for NPs & PAs

    Don't know how reliable it is but, from the webpage, PMHNP is really NOT in the top-paying specialties at all. The pay dropped from last year.
    '

    ... according to that exact survey, NPs in mental health are the highest paid hourly specialty (64$/hr) for part-time, and PAs who work in psych are very well paid as well... interesting that it dropped for full-time NPs. Why would it stay so high for part-time? Still, seems like psych pay is strong. I'd be interested in how they're defining "mental health setting" and what the data actually look like.
    Last edit by myelin on May 10, '12
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    Quote from myelin
    '
    ..
    according to that exact survey,
    nps in mental health are the highest paid hourly specialty (64$/hr) for part-time.
    i see what you mean. i don't believe it. from what i am asking around, the pay is a lot lower than that (even for locumtenens) i know i live in the south but that should at least reduce the national average.

    i think they skewed the rate by including only the locum tenens rate or per-diem rate (without benefits) from the high-paying state, not the regular part-time job. from researching around i see big gap in hourly rate without benefit (locum tenens) and full-time job.
    Last edit by harmonizer on May 10, '12
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    Well, have you looked nationally at all? Because it seems like pay is lower in the south across the board. In my area, specialist NPs (includes psych) make 106k on average, according to WA state employment. I also think independent practice is a huge factor, as well.
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    I'm a PMHNP and am very happy with my career. I had been an RN for 32 years when I finished my NP program. Most of my experience was in psychaitric nursing. i would advise anyone hoping to work as a Psych NP to work in psychiatric nursing BEFORE entering the NP program. I know NP's who have not done so and they are not really as well educated. I suppose that it depends on what you want to do as an NP.


    I would also caution people against direct entry programs. You need experience as an RN before you can understand exactly what advanced practice means! If you want to work in any setting with RN's you will have little credibility if you have not walked in their shoes.
    ivyleaf and kdrose01 like this.
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    RE salary.....it depends on the state, type of setting, etc. I'm in Maine. There are certainly plenty of positions; the salaries, however, are not as good as in other parts of New England....and I'm in a large, academic medical center.
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    As a DE student, I think it's completely ridiculous that an RN won't respect me because I haven't "walked in their shoes." Shouldn't they be judging me on whether or not I am an astute and competent provider? I have several years of assessing and diagnosing psychiatric illnesses under my belt, this background is what led me to be accepted to multiple nursing FPMHNP programs. The idea that my background is somehow less useful or deserving of less respect than if I'd worked med-surg for some arbitrary number of years is just silly. I do think people should have a strong background in the field of their interest. I think RN experience is a great background to have, I just disagree that the only way to develop such a background is with RN experience. I hope my classmates-to-be (many of whom will likely have extensive RN experience) are more collaborative.
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    I don't believe that you need med-surg experience at all. You need experience in your field and it sounds as if you have it. Most direct entry NP's who I've met have NO experience. One woman that I know is a PhD biochemist with no experience working with people at all....and it shows. She doesn't understand boundaries, gets caught up in staff splitting. You learn more about psychiatric illness by working in the field than you can in an NP program. That's not to say that the program curricula aren't good, but what you bring to the program is enriched by experience.

    I'm in an academic medical center working on a consultation liaison service. It would be hard to do MY job if I had not been an RN first because I understand what the staff are dealing with while they try to manage psych problems on a med-surg unit. I can help them manage the behaviors in the context of the rest of their work. I canl help them with restraints or medicate pts when they are uncomfortable with the meds. This isn't something that most NP's will be called upon to do in their work settings.

    The feedback that we, the NP's, get is that we provide more support and education than the other clinicians(physicians) because we work not just with the patient but with the staff. The situation is different on the inpatient psych unit where there isn't so much difference between my work and that of the physicians because they have spent years working directly in inpt settings.

    I also don't want mean to suggest that staff RN's won't respect you. They will be more trusting of someone who has shared their experience. Trust and respect are different. The situation will be different in an outpt clinic or private practice because the role is different from the inpatient world.
    ivyleaf and kdrose01 like this.


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