Social Work/Counseling or RN?

  1. I was wondering which was a better career path, social work, counseling or RN? I was considered going for a major in either social work or counseling, but I've been re-thinking my idea lately since I've heard social work/counseling is a lot of years of schooling for something that you're not even going to make much money in, whereas you can probably make more money as a nurse with just 2 years. There's also the fact that I'd still have the option of working in psychiatry/mental health as an RN as well, plus the fact that so many other options and specialties would be open to me if I decided I wanted something else. However, I've always had a lot of interest in the mental health/counseling field which is why I'm not sure. Advice appreciated.
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    About TurtleCat

    Joined: Nov '11; Posts: 155; Likes: 58
    CNA; from US
    Specialty: Geriatrics


  3. by   jadelpn
    You could get a BSN in nursing and a LICSW as a masters. Then that way, you would have a world of options....
  4. by   koi310
    What interests you the most: taking care of a person's physiological or their emotional/psychological/social needs? Nurses focus on the former; SWs/counselors on the latter. Your general psychiatric nurse is not trained in psychotherapy. (S)he is focused on their participation in milieu therapy and on administering meds. The nurse might lead a group session, but the goal of those sessions is about group participation and respecting boundaries, not psychotherapy. Social workers/counselors focus on the patient's needs in the community and sometimes they will do therapy. They can also establish private practices.

    It's difficult for new nurses (with no experience) to get jobs because there is no nursing shortage. You just need a master's degree to do psychotherapy.
  5. by   elkpark
    The choice that is "better" is the one that you are going to find more satisfying and enjoyable. How much have you researched both options?
  6. by   Bake
    I was wondering if you came to a decision. I just finsihed my undergrad in Psych and loved it. However, now I am trying to determine whether to pursure nursing or social work. With nursing I am worried about killing a patient. Should I not be a nurse then?