NP or Clinical Psychologist?!?! HELP!! - page 2

I' know this is long, but I REALLY need some help. Oh my, I have never gone back and forth on any decision in my life like I am on this one. I just cannot make a decision. I'd really appreciate any... Read More

  1. by   HikingNinja
    Ok. My opinion comes from the complete opposite spectrum. I was a therapist, currently a social services program manager, who is returning to school for my RN, then on to my FNP (and also a PNP certification). I heard some great advice a few years ago (after it was too late for me), that if you want to do therapy, go for your MSW (in our state the designation is LCSW for clinical). Although the training is actually more holistic and less pathology based. Think DO instead of MD as an example. Different philosophies, same type of clients. LCSW's in my state do see severely mentally ill clients, make a comparable amount to clinical and counseling Phd's and have less trouble with state licensing boards when they go to move elsewhere. PNP's are really in demand in some states because of reimbursement rates and in some can operate and prescribe under their own license. I love the idea of combining med management with therapy, and also if I need a little break from talk therapy I can teach, run med clinic, or do family practice. In my opinion PNP or FNP is a much for versatile degree. Just my 2 cents.

    Dee
  2. by   HM2VikingRN
    I agree with Dee. I was a behavior therapist for 20 years at a state mental institution. I personally think that with the looming shortage of psychiatrists that PNP/FNP will be wide open. Best of luck with your decision.
  3. by   Therapist4Chnge
    It seems like there has be a bit more of an upturn as of late (more applicants per spot this year). IIRC, last year it was .6 applicant per spot (AMG). This past year I know it was higher, though I haven't checked the exact #. Programs are still really pushing the better schedule, etc.....but now they are getting a bit more competition, though overall....I think it is still lacking.

    Medical psychologists (prescribing psychs) can also fill that gap, and I think do it very well, based on the research from LA, NM, and DOD.

    -t
  4. by   HikingNinja
    Quote from Therapist4Chnge
    Medical psychologists (prescribing psychs) can also fill that gap, and I think do it very well, based on the research from LA, NM, and DOD.

    -t

    I agree. And I think all states should allow medical psychologists prescription power after training. But it seems MDs are really really fighting this one and so not so many states are allowing it at this point. Whereas most states allow NPs prescription power either as part of a cooperative with a physician or alone. My big reason for choosing NP was because I know there will come a point where I don't want to do therapy so much anymore, and I don't want a management position so this way I would have the option of let's say, running a med clinic instead of being an associate executive director of a social service agency.

    Dee
  5. by   middlekane
    Quote from mslinzyann
    I' know this is long, but I REALLY need some help.
    Oh my, I have never gone back and forth on any decision in my life like I am on this one. I just cannot make a decision. I'd really appreciate any advice as I present my pros and cons of each field. I am currently a junior in a psychology major. My plan is to either apply to clinical psychology programs or to do a one year accelerated BSN and in a few years, become a nurse practitioner.
    I am not particularly resilent to stress- but, psychology and nursing both have stress, the stress is just a different type. In nursing, the stress is physical stress and mental stress from being overworked in an intense, busy situation. In psychology, I feel the stress is more quiet and lonely, the stress of having to listen to people's issues day in and day out, sometimes not being able to solve their problems or bounce issues off other clinicians. In psychology there is the opportunity to do research and to write books and journal articles and to teach, all of which I like- but there are also opportunities to teach and probably some for research and writing in nursing too. In addition, my dream has always been to have a low cost clinic in an underserved area and providing medical care for those who really need it, especially women and childrens health, because I believe medicine is a right and not a privilige (sp?). I am passionate about helping people, extremely so. I am interested in mental health, partially because of my own mental health problems and those of my family and partially because I am a psych major with a lot of background in that field. Still, I am not sure if the mental health field is a good fit for me, and I feel like in nursing I could go through rotations and see what areas I click with. I also worry about being able to fund a PhD and not have a steady income, as I don't have parents who are putting me through school. I like the fact that I can take some time to be a nurse and learn about the field and make some money, and then go back and probably even work part time while I become an NP. I would also like to go back and get a DNP or PhD so that I can do some teaching, too. I am interested a great deal in both fields, and just SO torn...I really need some help with your experiences, ideas, and opinions about my situation.
    Thank you!
    Lindsay
    I went back and forth too. I eventually did psych research for 4 years and then went back to school for my RN/MSN. I realized I wanted to do my RN/MSN because I wanted a job where I would get to move more in my work life. There was more to it for me, writing is hard, I love the variety that nursing has. If you get a PhD, you will probably get a stipend or fellowship to fund it. It won't be all loans. If you want to do therapy, remember you also don't need to get a PhD to do it. Social workers and licensed mental health counselors can also do it with less schooling.

    Try it out. I am so happy I did psych research for years before I went back to school. TO determine if you like working with patients, and if you like working with the underserved population, I'd get a job as a PCA in the ED. You have a lot of time and options.

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