Need advice on going from RN to NP in psychology

  1. Hello all! I am needing some advice. I am an RN with an AA degree and nearly 15 years of nursing experience (and licensed in the state of WA). I've always promised myself I'd go back to school "one day", and now that my kids are grown, now's the time Over my years of experience, I've developed a keen appreciation for psychology and working with those with mental heath needs. I've decided what I most would like to do ultimately get my nurse practitioner license in psychology.

    The question I have, and need advice on, is just how do I go about doing this!? I realize my BSN is required first, but after that, I'm a bit lost. For the state of WA, do I need a masters, then enter an ARNP program?

    Also, at least for the BSN portion of my furthering education, I prefer at this time to take my courses online. Any advice on good, accredited RN to BSN programs?

    Any and all input is appreciated!! ~Dawn
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    About MsLadybug

    Joined: Jun '10; Posts: 1


  3. by   Jules A
    Hi, There are some universities that allow you to do ADN to MSN and include the Psychiatric NP speciality. I choose to get my BSN first just to have something in writing in case I got sick of school and couldn't continue, lol. There are plenty of online programs for your BSN but most are very expensive. Good luck.
  4. by   HouTx
    Any nursing specialization will be in behavioral medicine (psychiatry) - not psychology. If your primary interest is in psychology, you may want to pursue a degree in counseling instead.

    Most NP programs require nursing experience as a criteria for admission. They are not designed to teach basic nursing or facilitate achievement of basic clinical competency - certainly not at the level that is expected for NP practice. I haven't actually done the research, but the last time I looked, there weren't too many NP programs for behavioral health so that may be a limitation you'll have to deal with.