PMHNP with no previous psych experience

  1. 0
    Hi all- I have enjoyed reading previous posts regarding psychiatric mental health programs- it has been helpful throughout my own decision making and application process. To anyone currently in the program or already graduated, if you did not have previous psych experience, did you feel well prepared?

    I have gotten extremely opposite feedback from very reliable sources, which has left me confused. Well trusted staff from my BSN program said it is basically a necessity to have psych experience prior to entering the program, which left me discouraged. (I have 4 years of NICU experience, including a year of travel. I also have a bachelors degree in psychology.) On the other hand, other faculty members from separate universities in which I am applying, have assured me that previous experience is not necessary.

    Although I have enjoyed my time in the NICU, I am constantly drawn to the mental health issues that many of my patients parents are dealing with. I would rather read about mental health topics than any other, and feel that I crave this knowledge and want to make a difference. Do you think this desire to know more is telling enough on whether or not this is the direction for me? Any advice, experiences and opinions welcome and appreciated! Thanks!
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Quote from EAKtravelRN
    Hi all- I have enjoyed reading previous posts regarding psychiatric mental health programs- it has been helpful throughout my own decision making and application process. To anyone currently in the program or already graduated, if you did not have previous psych experience, did you feel well prepared?

    I have gotten extremely opposite feedback from very reliable sources, which has left me confused. Well trusted staff from my BSN program said it is basically a necessity to have psych experience prior to entering the program, which left me discouraged. (I have 4 years of NICU experience, including a year of travel. I also have a bachelors degree in psychology.) On the other hand, other faculty members from separate universities in which I am applying, have assured me that previous experience is not necessary.

    Although I have enjoyed my time in the NICU, I am constantly drawn to the mental health issues that many of my patients parents are dealing with. I would rather read about mental health topics than any other, and feel that I crave this knowledge and want to make a difference. Do you think this desire to know more is telling enough on whether or not this is the direction for me? Any advice, experiences and opinions welcome and appreciated! Thanks!
    Whoever is telling you that you need psych experience is not correct. Having said that though, why not gain some? I think your strong nursing experience plus your psychology degree bodes well for your success in the program. Good luck.
  5. 0
    Quote from EAKtravelRN
    Hi all- I have enjoyed reading previous posts regarding psychiatric mental health programs- it has been helpful throughout my own decision making and application process. To anyone currently in the program or already graduated, if you did not have previous psych experience, did you feel well prepared?

    I have gotten extremely opposite feedback from very reliable sources, which has left me confused. Well trusted staff from my BSN program said it is basically a necessity to have psych experience prior to entering the program, which left me discouraged. (I have 4 years of NICU experience, including a year of travel. I also have a bachelors degree in psychology.) On the other hand, other faculty members from separate universities in which I am applying, have assured me that previous experience is not necessary.

    Although I have enjoyed my time in the NICU, I am constantly drawn to the mental health issues that many of my patients parents are dealing with. I would rather read about mental health topics than any other, and feel that I crave this knowledge and want to make a difference. Do you think this desire to know more is telling enough on whether or not this is the direction for me? Any advice, experiences and opinions welcome and appreciated! Thanks!
    I think your strong nursing experience coupled with your psych degree bodes well for your success. I would not worry about what others are saying about your experience, I think they are wrong. Go for your dreams!!! I am a psych nurse with many years and certification, I am planning to take a CCU course this winter.
  6. 3
    Enjoying reading about mental health topics is very different from enjoying actual clinical practice in psychiatry. I would encourage you to get some real-life experience and see whether the reality of day-to-day clinical practice is something you want to commit to before you invest the time, effort, and $$$ in a graduate program.

    Best wishes for your journey!
    mzaur, CCRNDiva, and Meriwhen like this.
  7. 0
    Some programs will require you to have experience in order to do the clinical portion of it. Plus it helps solidify your decision to go into this field. You will also be familiar with the type of patients and physician orders when you work already work in the field.


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