Want to go into psych nursing in the Tulsa area

  1. Hi, y'all! Signed up today because I was very impressed by this site!

    I'm a former Los Angeles criminal defense attorney (female), who retired to the Tulsa area (rural) in 2003. I'm bored with being retired. I'm a youngish 56, and am interested in pursuing a career in psychiatric nursing. Prison/corrections nursing really appeals to me, but so does the possibility of helping in a private or group home setting. Because of my years in criminal defense, I am very comfortable in corrections settings.

    The plan I've developed so far involves getting my CNA and HHA licenses, finding a psych-related position, then signing up for the 11-month LPN program offered by Indian Capital Vocational which begins next summer.

    I know so little about the psychiatric nursing field that I don't even know what's available or where to start asking questions. Could anyone in the area help me out? What prisons and psychiatric hospitals are in Northeastern Oklahoma? What about the private ones? What do they expect as far as training.....will an LPN be enough to get in the door?

    Any and all comments and suggestions would be much appreciated.
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    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 9


  3. by   juliaann
    I have a coworker who got her first LPN job at Laureate Psych Clinic/Hospital, and she loved it. Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital - they have openings for nurse techs/ psych techs available now geriatric and adult, you would need your CNA and maybe a behavioral health class, but usually you don't need experience to be considered for the job. You could do that while you're waiting for your LPN program to start and then work there after as a nurse, as well! Parkside is another behavioral health hospital in Tulsa...and Hillcrest has a child psych and adolescent behavioral health unit that they run at OSU Medical Center. Tulsa Center for Behavior Health (TCBH) is another one...

    You should be able to get a job as a mental health tech or psych tech with no experience and minimal classes. And I would expect you'd be able to find an LPN position at any of these facilities once you're done with your program!

    I don't know anything about corrections nursing, but here's a start with psych opportunities! Good luck!
  4. by   OKEnquirer
    THANKS Juliaann! I checked out the website. Saint Francis has a reputation as a very good place to work, and it looks like they have tech positions available. I'll put them on my list of people to go visit (bug). I'm wondering if there is a local association of nurses in either/or psych or correctional nursing. If so, that would be a goldmine.
  5. by   jessica.lanelle
    I used to work @ Laureate as an LPN, and I loved it! It is a really nice place to work, and I had great co-workers, as well. I did not have any prior psych experience, and was able to get in pretty easily.
  6. by   OKEnquirer
    Thank you, Jessica! It looks as if that's a good place to start my search. I'm going to Tulsa on Thursday, and will cruise by Laureate, at the very least. Maybe I will stop in and introduce myself.

    P.S. Sorry it took so long to reply, but my telephone has been out due to the storms we've been having. No telephone, no internet (all I can get where I am is dial-up)
  7. by   StephieRN_1216
    I was the children's residential charge nurse at Shadow Mountain for about 3 years.... that place is ROUGH at times, but you can get an entry level position easily, especially with your background - and they will train you as a MHT, you can work hand in hand with the psych nurses and I learned ALOT there. Hope it all works out for you!!
    (plus, they have very flexible hours and offer weekend option if you decide to go to school during the week... that's what i did)
  8. by   OKEnquirer
    Thanks, Stephie!

    Where is Shadow Mountain? What was it that made it "rough" for you? I really appreciate your taking the time to give me valuable information.
  9. by   StephieRN_1216
    you're very welcome! if you need more specific details then I give, PM me... i don't want to be too informational on a public board.

    Rough, meaning, they are the state insurance kids. It is a children's psych hospital - so all patients are under 18... which you probably know can get pretty rough when you throw in a psych diagnosis or two. Those kids go through alot and sometimes it was hard to swallow their backgrounds. Personally, I was burnt out after 3 years and had to leave to keep my sanity - some people are made to know those kinds of things and some of aren't strong enough for it! Anyway, the units were - Acute adolescents, step down adolescents, children't acute, children's step down, and those with sexual issues were seperate. When I was there, it was one RN supervising the mountain, an RN on each acute unit, and the rest of the units with a charge LPN and many MHTs. The MHT's do groups and most of the daily living activities. The LPNs give meds and do assessments. The supervising RN is there in case we had to call the Dr or for emergencies or relief for breaks or to do acute assessments. It is a locked facility, and has a full service kitchen so we ate meals with the patients.
    Laureate has the private insurance patients. Plus, they have adults. I've only worked there a few times so I'm not the expert on that one - I just know they also have an eating disorder unit that is nationally recognized (delta burke and paula abdul also were patients there)

    At shadow mountain, I had regular experience with doing therapeutic holds and controlling physical agression. If you get on there, expect to have to do that once in awhile . They have a week long training about that when you first start though. Also, this was 10 years ago but I remember the average pay for a MHT was about 10/hr. Not great, but decent for a foot in the door to psych. Maybe it's gone up since then.

    Last edit by StephieRN_1216 on Jul 13, '10 : Reason: changed some wrong information to be right :)
  10. by   StephieRN_1216
    oops, it's at 61st/sheridan
    can't miss it, on top of the hill

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