Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner - Basic Advice :)

  1. 1
    Hi all!
    So, I have a Bachelors in Psychology and some Graduate courses in Social Work for my MSW. However, I want to switch careers to a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.
    In order to do so I need to receive my RN from a community college and attend my RN - MSN with a psychiatric NP direction online (I can't quit full time work...I'm almost 30!)
    SO - here are my questions! And I thank you SO SO SO much in advance!

    1) has anyone attended an online RN - MSN or even BSN program? Thoughts?
    2) Do you have to do clinicals after your RN, how would I do those at an online school?
    3) I live in Maine and the community college here says there is a 3 year wait on clinicals? Are there other options?
    4) AM I COMPLETELY CRAZY FOR DOING THIS ALL OVER AGAIN?

    Best,
    Jessica
    Joe V likes this.
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  4. 19 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Please forgive me for jumping on your post, but I have a psych question as well...can you sit for the certification exam if you have a FNP plus a psych post-master's certificate?

    And btw OP, no you are not crazy for doing it! I think it would be a good move for you. Lots of hard work in front of you but well worth it in the end. Good luck!
  6. 1
    Quote from mocha54j

    1) has anyone attended an online RN - MSN or even BSN program? Thoughts?
    No, but I did a post-masters distance ed program. And yes you can be an FNP and get psych certification after doing a post-marters psych program.

    2) Do you have to do clinicals after your RN, how would I do those at an online school?

    Clinicals are part of any program and are done in a clinical setting. You don't sit in front of your computer and work on a patient miles away. Your school will have all that info for you.


    3) I live in Maine and the community college here says there is a 3 year wait on clinicals? Are there other options?
    The school should not be teaching anything if there is not a natural progression into clinicals right after didactics.

    4) AM I COMPLETELY CRAZY FOR DOING THIS ALL OVER AGAIN?
    We're you crazy to begin with, lol?

    Best,
    Jessica[/QUOTE]
    forthebirds likes this.
  7. 0
    I am not the OP but this question has been on my mind for awhile. I am starting a BSN-DNP program in the fall and the NP focus is the FNP. There are no PMHNP programs where I live by (South Florida) but do want my main clinical focus as an NP to be in mental health.

    Question is: Can you work in mental health as an FNP alone or would it be suggested to then get the post-masters psych certificate? I am really trying to figure out how to work as an NP is mental health. So many alphabet soups and degree programs out there make this so confusing!

    - Asira
  8. 0
    I thought I saw an online program in Florida. Google Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner online courses. Therefore you can do your focus.
  9. 1
    You would obviously need to get your RN first. I would keep looking around for schools in your area to see if there are any with a shorter wait. You could also do a 4 year program, and just get your bachelors to start. Then you can do an RN to BSN program. (or not if you do a 4 year program) I'm starting one in 2 weeks, which has no clinical component. After I finish that, I plan on going on for my Psych NP. They have full online programs for that as well, although that would require a clinical component. You just have to arrange for them to be done in the area you live. Things are very up in the air though, as far as the Masters programs vs the DNP. There are schools who already switched over.
    LPN2RN2BSN2MSN likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from Asira
    I am not the OP but this question has been on my mind for awhile. I am starting a BSN-DNP program in the fall and the NP focus is the FNP. There are no PMHNP programs where I live by (South Florida) but do want my main clinical focus as an NP to be in mental health.

    Question is: Can you work in mental health as an FNP alone or would it be suggested to then get the post-masters psych certificate? I am really trying to figure out how to work as an NP is mental health. So many alphabet soups and degree programs out there make this so confusing!

    - Asira
    I was hired over an FNP in mental health because she couldn't get credentialed since she wasn't an Psych NP.
  11. 0
    So Zenman can you get credentialed with a post-master's certificate or do you have to have your degree in it??

    Quote from zenman
    I was hired over an FNP in mental health because she couldn't get credentialed since she wasn't an Psych NP.
  12. 0
    You could also look at master's entry/direct-entry (DE) programs. They are designed for people with bachelor's degrees in non-nursing fields and last around 3 years or so. The first year they train you in basic nursing skills and then the following years are master's classes in your specialty. They are competitive. Some RNs are very opinionated about these degrees since many end up as NPs with no RN experience, and there are a number of threads related to this. I am by no means trying to stir up opinions from other people; rather, I'm just informing you of what is out there.
  13. 0
    Yes, I'd like to reiterate the idea of looking for a DE program. Be warned, these programs are somewhat controversial, since you'll be practicing as an NP with minimal to very little RN experience. However, some programs encourage students to take time off to work as an RN or to work as an RN part time while completing the MSN. It's up to you. t_heart is right, these programs are extremely selective and often they're pretty expensive. But there are no waitlists and it will be the fastest way to reach your goal of becoming a NP. I'm entering one this summer and will be a family psych NP in 2015, in fact, one of the programs that admitted me would have had me licensed in 2014 (talk about fast!). Like they say, you can either do things cheaply or quickly, but not both. Anyway, it's another option for you to consider. Good luck!


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