Switching careers and interested in psychiatric NP - page 2

by Mkim680

28,379 Unique Views | 61 Comments

Hello everyone, This is actually my first post on allnurses.com. Currently, I am a licensed psychotherapist working for the U.S. Army's addiction clinic. At my current work site, a recent legislation was passed that anyone... Read More


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    Under normal circumstances I would say work as a RN first, but since you already know what you want to do and have worked in the field, I would look into direct entry programs and once you get your RN license try to work a couple days a week while you are getting your MSN/DNP. Good luck to you!
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    Quote from harmonizer
    Well...I have been looking for jobs in other parts of the country as well. And I am probably going accept an offer with subjectively low pay and this's not from the south. I know FNP who makes six figure out of school. Psych NPs do not ​get pay more than other specialties. Demand does not always dictate the salary, especially with insufficient reimbursement for medicaid patient (I think). Yes, I do get a few job offers but I am also rejected by many jobs. I am connected with a recruiter from AZ but they didn't get back to me. So I guess.. either I am unqualified or the demand is not great....
    AZ is always begging for PMHNPs...and paying higher than most states. I see one for $85 - 100 an hour.
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    Quote from zenman
    AZ is always begging for PMHNPs...and paying higher than most states. I see one for $85 - 100 an hour.
    Too late for me. Already accepted a low-paying offer compared to Mid west. I will retry again in one year after getting some experience ... I think there is only one or a couple schools in AZ... not many like other states in NE.. Hope the demand is still good a year from now.....
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    Quote from zenman
    AZ is always begging for PMHNPs...and paying higher than most states. I see one for $85 - 100 an hour.
    As you are a practicing PMHNP, could you recommend any schools to obtain a Masters in Nursing? Do you think that it would be very unlikely to be accepted into a PMHNP program with RN experience but not experience in a Mental Health setting/unit?

    I also saw you post in another thread referring to an unspecified online degree school as a diploma mill. Could you elaborate on which online schools are are legit in your eyes? Or at least the ones seen to be not well respected.

    I ask as a current Canadian RN looking to work and obtain my MSN in the United States as I have lived there for half of my life (when I was younger) but I am not familiar with all of the well known Universities and specifically the ones that are known for Nursing. In Canada the scope of practice of NPs differ and the education seems to as well.
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    The US News and World report lists the best nursing schools, including the best for psych (although it is for psych CNS, currently). That can give you an idea of the top schools. Do keep in mind that the list is rather subjective, although all the programs listed are very good programs, most affiliated with top medical institutions, etc. Are they necessarily the best of the best? Who knows. But they certainly are strong programs at top universities/hospitals, etc. As things get more competitive, I think it makes sense for students to try to get into the best school they can, also keep in mind local reputation, talk with recent grads, etc.

    Also, as far as I can tell, there's a lot of money to be made in psych. Especially if you're willing to relocate and know how to bargain.
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    Hey Mark,

    I have my RN BSN and am currently enrolled in a psych NP program in the northeast US. I see that you are currently working in the Army as a psychotherapist. I believe that you are getting into a great field given your past experience.

    I am currently working at the VA, and there is a big demand for psych NP's. Actually, it is the only master's degree that my VA will pay for you to get (aside from the Clinical Nurse Leader). This in itself shows that it is in demand (atleast in my area.)

    Also, I can tell you that psych NPs at my hospital are the second highest paid nurses and their salary rivals that of the CRNAs. However, in order to be a CRNA you are required to recieve your doctorate in nursing. Most, if not all, psych NPs in my hospital have their masters, which is nearly half the amount of schooling, and not to mention costs way less to complete.

    Much if this greatly varies by state. Nurse practitioners, even though they have been around for years now, are still somewhat of a "new" thing in the publics eyes. I would try to place yourself in a state that really supports the role of NPs, and a state that has strong lobbyist.

    As far as schooling goes, I would do an accelerated BSN program. After you graduate, I would at least find a part time job while getting your masters. I do not think you need to take a break from school to work for a year, but I do think you would benefit from working while going to school. Not everyone can handle this, I know some people have very busy lives, but I currently work full-time and go to school part time and am looking towards graduation in 2015.

    Anyway, I hope this helped. Good luck.
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    Hi Bubujone35,

    Your post is really informative and helpful. Do you have a list of states that you recommend that seem to be "friendly" to psych NPs? I'm slated to graduate as a FPMHNP in 2015, and I'm considering Washington, Oregon, or New Mexico for practice. I haven't given much thought to the east coast or other parts of the country, though. Thanks!
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    Quote from bubujone35
    I am currently working at the VA, and there is a big demand for psych NP's.
    Maybe but they don't pay well in VA. They pay less than private sector. They only pay well in some locations. Remember you are competing with lots of PAs. They will hire PAs to fill the slots in VA. There are quite a number of PAs doing psychs with generalized PA education.

    Quote from bubujone35
    In order to be a CRNA you are required to recieve your doctorate in nursing. Most, if not all, psych NPs in my hospital have their masters, which is nearly half the amount of schooling, and not to mention costs way less to complete.
    Not true. There are plenty of master-level CRNAs. I believe that all entry-level APRN will require doctorate in the future. In a few states, almost all NP programs were converted to doctorate level. It will not necessarily cost less to complete.

    Good luck! but just want to clear up the facts
    Last edit by harmonizer on Nov 4, '12
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    What is the salary range your seeing for psych NP's?
    harmonizer likes this.
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    Bumping this thread for more exposure I am interested in more responses. I gave up my aspirations to get a PhD in Clinical Psychology because 7 years in school to make ~40k is awful. Psych Nps making $90k+ sounds amazing. Anyone know how the demand is in Colorado? I'm hoping to eventually open up a private practice there
    harmonizer likes this.


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