PMHNP Prospects for night owl

  1. 0
    Hello,

    I have a rather unique situation that I think will be rather enlightening for some. I have delayed sleep phase syndrome which is a Godsend for my RN nursing career because I actually want to work nights, and staffing loves me for it.

    I am the type of person who is "hardwired" to be more alert during the night. I do not have insomnia or any other sleep issue than that my natural circadian rhythm is essentially opposite that of others. I naturally sleep all day and I am most alert at night. For me to try to function on a day schedule is analogous to an average person trying to stay awake during night shift.

    I am most interested in psychiatric nursing and I was wondering what regions of the United States are more apt to use Psychiatric NP's for ER, and acute psych care. Because of my sleeping disorder, I could not "survive" working a typical 8-4ish clinical outpatient psych job. I have seen that Psych NPs are utilized more fully in the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska, and it just so happens that before I even looked into Psych NP as a path for me that I was already interested in moving there. Washington or Alaska are the top two states to which I plan to move (still debating that one).

    So, would I be nearly unemployable in the context of needing full time employment once I graduate from an PMHNP program?

    I have heard mixed stories, from some people telling me that the only opportunities available are clinical outpatient. Others have said that I would be great because a group of physicians or NP practice might be willing to modify their practice to accommodate me since I would actually be saving them from being on call for nights. Plus I may be an asset because I would allow more flexible meeting times for those of our patients who would need evening meetings due to constraints such as work during the day or shift work.

    I was hoping someone could share how often, for example a psych NP would be utilized on-call for ER scenarios overnight (in a larger urban setting of course), and if that would be frequent enough to warrant full time-like hours.

    Does anyone know of any special inpatient psychiatric facilities that require 24-hour psych NP's? That would likely be the best fit for me.

    I know this question must sound odd; circadian rhythm disorders are fascinating and poorly understood by the public at large. I am hoping there would be some physicians or NP's who would be thrilled to hire an NP for nights only to take over the on-call duties and emergencies. I am all for inpatient psych if possible.

    I also do realize that in certain states, a Psych NP may practice independently and be able to make a living with evening to night hours only (e.g. after work hours for med management might be easier for a patient to fit into their schedule).

    I'm curious to hear everyone's perspectives on this. Thank you for your time.
  2. 4 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Recently University of NM hospital had a 2-12 pm shift in the ER for a Psych NP. They may have one starting at 12 mid-night and you could ask that person to leave, lol! I know about your condition but have never thought about what happens when you go to another country with time opposite ours.
  4. 0
    Alaska has the 22 hrs of light, 22 hrs of dark issue. I know when I lived there, even folks with no sleep disorders had big issues
  5. 0
    I have lived abroad. After a few weeks my circadian rhythm syncs back to what is normal for my brain. In other words I will become a night owl again in my new country/time zone.
  6. 0
    My entire life can be summarized as nearly constant jet lag. Some winters I saw little-to-no sunlight. I'm lucky to say I'm relatively unaffected by the lack of sunlight. I wonder if Alaskans attitudes toward sleeping disorders is more lax? I know in Scandinavia there is a lot of sleep research and even "light cafe's." My friends in Sweden are insomniacs during the Nordic summer.


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