Is it a bad idea to tell schools you want to do psych nursing?

  1. I'm interested in pursuing a BSN and looking at a few different programs. My goal at the moment is to go into psych nursing and eventually become a Psych Nurse Practitioner.

    However, I was told by a few people not to mention this, as it would make schools less likely to accept me. They said it was because BSN programs are heavily science based and deal with more "clinical" nursing skills, and if they know I'm eventually just gonna go into psych they'll see me as a waste of skills (???)

    Does anyone have experience or insight into this? It sounded ludicrous to me but I figured I'd see what everyone else's experiences have been. Should I keep it quiet and pretend I want to work in more medical areas?
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Guy in Babyland
    It is ludicrous. You are going to nursing school to be a nurse. Pysch nurses are nurses. Along that line of thinking, does the instructor for Mental Health Nursing get shunned by her coworkers for teaching the class? Mental Health Nursing is part of nursing school curriculum. Why would they have a problem with a student that has an interest in that specialty?
  4. by   elkpark
    What a bunch of garbage. There is no reason that an interest in psych nursing would make you less attractive to nursing programs as a candidate. I would encourage you, though, to keep your mind open to all possibilities in nursing school. Many nurses have had the experience of starting school, or their careers, sure that they knew what they wanted to specialize in, only to find as they work their way through all the different specialty rotations in school that they are much more interested in something else entirely. There is a whole wide world of opportunities and roles in nursing that most people aren't even aware of, that you don't find out about until you're actually in nursing.

    Best wishes for your journey!
  5. by   verene
    No. I have been very open and honest with my instructors about the fact I see myself going into pysch when I graduate. I've actually received nothing but encouragement and a lot of support from my instructors. I don't think it's wrong to have an idea of where you would like to go and an enthusiasm for a particular area of nursing.

    I think the issue comes if you were then to refuse to do anything other than psych nursing in school, constantly down-talk other areas of nursing, or show a complete lack of enthusiasm and participation in your other clinicals, or refuse to learn certain skills because "I'm going to be a psych RN I don't need to know how to do that!". I have heard horror stories from instructors about students like this. Don't be one.

    Go into the program with an open mind, be respectful to your classmates, instructors, and preceptors, and show a willingness to learn it all and you'll be fine.
  6. by   WCSU1987
    Ha, psych nurses may not do IVs all the time. They deal with codes wether they are medical or psych related, medical emergencies, take blood, administer medication orally/intra muscular, chart, and so forth.
  7. by   crossfitandnursing
    I see absolutely no problem with sharing this! While I'm not interested in going into psych myself, my heart is set on being a pediatric oncology nurse and eventually nurse practitioner and I've recieved nothing but positive feedback when sharing my end goals. Personally, I think it's great that you're so passionate about this area of nursing! It shows programs and future instructors that it's more than "just a job" to you.
    Last edit by crossfitandnursing on Apr 12
  8. by   Zyprexa
    Psych nursing is NURSING. If a nursing school has a problem with you being interested in psych, then that is not a program you want to go to. However, I highly doubt that any program would refuse to accept a student simply because of the specialty they are interested in. Whoever told you that is ridiculous and probably has no respect or understanding of what psych nurses do.

    I will suggest to keep an open mind while in nursing school. You have awesome goals, but you may find that what you were interested in prior to nursing school changes along the way as you are exposed to different specialties. I went into nursing specifically wanting to be a school nurse, then in nursing school I thought wanted NICU, yet I ended up as a psych nurse and I LOVE it! I can't imagine myself anywhere else. My future goal is also to be a PMHNP
  9. by   Extra Pickles
    Quote from Marina1989
    I'm interested in pursuing a BSN and looking at a few different programs. My goal at the moment is to go into psych nursing and eventually become a Psych Nurse Practitioner.

    However, I was told by a few people not to mention this, as it would make schools less likely to accept me. They said it was because BSN programs are heavily science based and deal with more "clinical" nursing skills, and if they know I'm eventually just gonna go into psych they'll see me as a waste of skills (???)
    Any chance those "few people" who told you this nonsense are actually nurses? Or are they people who are not nurses, never went to nursing school? Probably the latter I'd wager, because it's nothing that someone who has any worthwhile knowledge on the topic would say.

    People like to spout opinions and anxious students unfortunately listen. I give you permission to stop listening to them
  10. by   Extra Pickles
    Quote from Zyprexa
    My future goal is also to be a PMHNP
    I can always tell when I'm over-tired. I read your last word as 'PIMP'. Strange goal I thought lol.

    Naptime!
  11. by   Here.I.Stand
    It is ludicrous. If it says anything, my program spent more time on psych than on critical care. We spent next to zero time on peds/neonatal critical care. You use different nursing skills in psych, not less. Actually a lot of what I hear described as "skills" by students, is really just tasky things that you could almost teach a monkey to do. Assessments and interventions, teaching, care planning -- those types of things are more at the heart of nursing than throwing tubes in people.
  12. by   Zyprexa
    Quote from Extra Pickles
    I can always tell when I'm over-tired. I read your last word as 'PIMP'. Strange goal I thought lol.

    Naptime!
    Pimp?? I certainly hope not!!
  13. by   Nimrodel
    My end goal is also PMHNP (although I may do FNP first for some versatility, but we'll see) and the advice I've received is to not say I want to be a nurse practitioner because somehow people feel that that means I'm just using nursing as a stepping stone kind of thing without actually valuing it? I don't understand it 100%, but just passing it on.

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