ANP mental health

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    I want to work in mental health and am not sure I can handle bed pans and vomit and such (as RN). I was looking into licensed clinical social work but the pay is very low. On the other hand med school to become a psychiatrist is too costly for me, plus I would like more paitent interaction and not just perscribing medication. So I am considering becoming an advance nurse practitioner and specializing in psychiatry. Can anyone give me some advice on the best career path? How long would Ineed to work as an RN before trying for my masters?
  2. 4 Comments so far...

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    If you already had a Bachelor's in another field, there are programs now where you can be accepted to an NP entry level program and just pick an RN up along the way while in the program. These programs obviously would not require any RN experience prior to admission.

    However, if you do work in psych you do realize that it is not just all self care patients that need their pills passed and then spend the day in groups. Many patients will have co-morbidities, and, especially when you get into geriatric psych patients, you can see patients that are needing assistance to walk, are diapered, need help in the bathroom, etc. So please don't think that just by working psych you will never have to deal with body fluids and excrement.
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    A better question would be - what is the job prospect for NPs in behavioral health? In my area of the country, those jobs are very scarce. Psych facilities support training/certification for BSNs to develop higher level skills but do not have positions for any APRNs.. probably due to salary issues.

    If med school is too expensive, the OP may want to consider going the psychology route instead of psychiatry. I believe that you can become a licensed counselor with only a masters degree & internship. Just a thought.
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    Thank you for the replies. @ christineN I hadn't really considered that about patients with co morbidities but that. makes sense. Does a weak stomach ever go away in nursing? @HouTX I had also sort of ruled out the psychology route because I read that they are having very few job prospects as well. I thought nursing would be better, its dissapointing to hear that its not but I guess no ones doing well in that area these days. Are the job prospects good for LCSWs?
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    Quote from chibix
    Thank you for the replies. @ christineN I hadn't really considered that about patients with co morbidities but that. makes sense. Does a weak stomach ever go away in nursing? @HouTX I had also sort of ruled out the psychology route because I read that they are having very few job prospects as well. I thought nursing would be better, its dissapointing to hear that its not but I guess no ones doing well in that area these days. Are the job prospects good for LCSWs?
    The weak stomach does go away with time. There are smells that used to bother me that you just get used too.

    Perhaps you could contact a hospital and see if there is any way you could shadow a LCSW, a psych RN/APN, and a counselor?


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