What will a bachelors in psychology get me as a nurse? - page 2

by itsbekah 2,830 Views | 17 Comments

I passed nclex last dec 2013 and I've always considered being a psychologist or even eventually getting into psychiatric nursing. So if I were to take psychology how could I use my degree being a RN? if ever I decide not to... Read More


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    It definitely won't get you anything. My first bachelor's was in Psych - I was qualified for the exact same $10/hr job I was already working after that, which is why I went back for nursing. I started off at exactly the same pay as every other new grad nurse. It will not get you opportunities and it will not get you a job. I can't really see a positive aspect in it, honestly. If you have a lot of disposable income to burn, though, I will tell you that I had a lot of fun getting my psych degree!
    EatYourVeggies and elkpark like this.
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    thanks wveryone for your feedback. Psych is something I am really interested in even before I took nursing. I'll take into consideration everything and do a little more research into it. Also, I know what psych wards look like but im not phased cause everyone needs help and thats how I want to help, thats where mybinterest really is. Based on the comments im a little discouraged to pursue a career as a psychologist but Im not going to be satiafied working as a nurse even a mhnp. I guess ill have to do some research into this more.
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    The hospital I am at is gorgeous on the inside and outside, and does not smell like urine (even on the geriatric unit). I am sorry that your stays were unpleasant, but I hate for others to deter nurses to getting into the specialty based on the opinion that ALL psych facilities are like hotels and not places of healing.
    elkpark and EatYourVeggies like this.
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    Quote from dirtyhippiegirl
    Dude, as a former frequent-flyer psych patient, the poster's description of psych units as motels is pretty much spot-on.

    Only motels where you really don't want to sit in the chairs because someone probably peed in them.
    I'm sorry you had that bad experience.

    There are all kinds of facilities; some are good, some are atrocious. You're painting an entire field of medicine and nursing with a very broad brush. My experiences as a nurse, even at a state hospital, were not of the kind you describe. It must have awful. I'm glad you were able to get better anyway.

    I would not describe all psych hospitals like this, and I would not denigrate the field of psychiatric nursing in that way either.
    hiphopRN, elkpark, EatYourVeggies, and 1 other like this.
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    From my personal experience I chose a BSN over a Bachelor's in Psychology because nursing offers more options. If you get burned out doing psych there are other options for you in the nursing field whereas if your degree is in psych then that is what you are stuck with. I also think overall getting a nursing degree is more cost effective because with a bachelor's in psychology you can maybe get a mental health tech job if you are lucky but not much else and you will need to get a master's to really do anything which is going to cost you more $$$. With the BSN you can get a nursing job that pays pretty well for the most part (and generally even more than a master's level counselor) and you can always continue your education and get a MSN and pursue options such as PMHNP. Another option is the social work route if you want to work in mental health. Overall, I would say that nursing is more rigourous academically and challenging, but it is a better pay off money wise and you have more options. If you go the Social Work or Psychology route they are easier academically, but will take longer and cost more and you will probably end up with a lower salary. It does depend on various factors and situations though and there are always exceptions ; )
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    Psych degree is about as useful at the undergraduate level as 'communications' or liberal arts (Hey- I HAVE a Liberal Arts degree and should know!)
    EatYourVeggies likes this.
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    Sorry I should add I didn't realize you passed NCLEX when I wrote my initial response. I would give psych nursing a shot if mental health is what you are interested in and then you can always pursue a master's in psychiatric nursing. Otherwise if you decide you want to get out of nursing a lot of master's programs in psychology or social work don't even care what your bachelor's degree is in as long as you have taken specific courses, meet GPA requirements, GRE scores, and whatever else they are looking for. Look around at programs and see what they specifically require.
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    Quote from Concerto_in_C
    Psychiatric floors in a hospital: booooooring...nothing is going on. They look like motels (no medical equipment of any sort) except with weird people sitting on the floor in the hallway.

    Are you sure you want to pursue the psych nursing path? Can you reconsider?
    I wish I could describe my job as a psych nurse as boring. I work forensic psych. It's all fun and games until the malingerer runs out of his room with a screw he pulled out of the freaking wall and tries to stab you in the head with it... while screaming, "The voices!". All because he committed a crime against kids and knows that if he is found competent to stand trial and goes to corrections that street justice will rain down on his head until he times out of the system.

    And the psychologist has informed you of this (after running tests for malingering), but the psychiatrist is screaming at you while your trying to get your order for restraints because... "You should have given him Haldol, benadryl and Ativan!". Only if you do that, you chart it and then it goes towards his goal of being found "Insane" (because he required emergency psych meds) so you really can't give him the haldol, ativan, benadryl combination. Which you explain to your MD who finally "Gets it" after spending 20 minutes ripping your head off and laying eggs in your bloody neck hole.

    Then you have to worry about weather or not your staff is going to be turned in for abuse charges because you put the guy that tried to shank you in the head with a screw in restraints, and during the process - while he was barreling down the hallway - prior to screw meeting head - you asked him to return to his room. Which is considered a form of restraint but you just wanted to avoid getting stabbed in the noggen.

    And god forbid someone tires to strangle you from behind. We had that happen at my facility. No one could get the guy off the poor nurse. One of the techs finally had to punch the patient in the head - the nurse had lost consciousness and the patient was hell bent on killing her (she told him he couldn't have a peanut butter and Jelly sandwitch until lunch time). The tech that punched the guy in the head lost his job and had patient abuse charges filed against him. It's abusive to punch patients - it's better to watch your colleague die.

    I'd love to find a nice boring psych facility.
    hiphopRN and pinkiepieRN like this.


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