Easiest specialty to transition away from psychiatric nursing?

  1. I have been a psychiatric nurse for about a year and a half now and I love it. Though recently I was the victim of an assault by a patient that left me injured and I have decided I'd like to try something new. I am worried that the lack of medical skills used in psychiatry will leave me at a disadvantage when it comes to branching out and trying a different kind of nursing.

    I'm looking for recommendations on which types of nursing or specialties would be easiest when transitioning out of psychiatry and also what I should study in preparation for this. I would like to have two years of psychiatric experience on my resume so I still have another six month to prepare for the transition.

    Thank you so much for your help!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   ivyleaf
    geripsych! my friend got a per diem job on a geripsych unit at another hospital. she learned a lot and after about 6mo to a year, transferred to a full time job on a med/surg unit in our hospital system. a year later and she is now working on the vascular floor of a major teaching hospital in Boston.

    I used to do psych and got hired into primary care (which floats to urgent care). I may try to go to the hospital from here.
  4. by   ivyleaf
    I should mention that this was a geri "med psych" floor. NUrses were iv cert'd, she was floated to tele, a lot of DNRs and very sick ppl. geripsych (like all psych) generally has a lot of turnover and it's hard to find people.
  5. by   AnnoyedNurse
    I mean you're still a nurse. Many nurses feel intimidated by working in an area they have never worked before but you have the "baseline" knowledge. My suggestion is to choose an area where you think you might enjoy vs choosing an area that is "easy." Im in critical care and most nurses say, they'd never be able to do it. But I disagree. I am a firm believer in doing whatever you set your mind on doing.

    With that said- pick an area based on desire, passion, curiousity, and interest. Talk to nurses from that area and see if you can shadow a nurse in that area within your hospital for a shift or two. Then, buy some books and start studying. By the time your six months is up, you should be ready to start orienting in your new speciality. Then after about 12-18 months start working towards certification in your new speciality!

    Good luck with whatever area you choose and remember, nothing in nursing is easy, so follow your dreams and make your dreams come true
  6. by   Zyprexa
    What about case management for psych patients?
  7. by   ProperlySeasoned
    After 5 years of working inpatient psych, I went to a field not even remotely related (OR). My local community college actually offered a periopertive course, which I took and earned an A in. That showed prospective employers that I understood the material, and was promptly hired into a formal orientation. I would be more concerned if you were a decade or two in psych than a year and a half in. Your previous nursing skills are fresher than you think! Feel free to PM me if you would like more details about how I made the transition.

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