Adult PNP or LCSW?

  1. I'm currently enrolled in an RN-MSN program in the Adult PNP track. My goal is to eventually practice as a counselor/therapist w/ specialization in substance abuse, especially amongst nurses. I envision practicing in an EAP setting or possibly a rehab facility. I have no interest in med management, only in the counseling aspect. I was originally going to go about this via the LCSW route...it seemed to point where I wanted to go. But, as I'm an RN and have been for several years (NICU), I've been advised by several people that it made more sense to approach it from the PNP route. Now that I'm in the program, I'm second guessing my decsision. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   HealthyRN
    It sounds like we have very similar career goals. I am still an undergraduate student, but I am applying for a psych CNS/NP program for next year. I also hope to work in the area of substance abuse and I would like to focus on counseling/therapy as opposed to medication management. Although prescriptive authority may not interest you right now, you may find in your practice that this possibility is helpful for your patients. The PMHN route just makes more sense to me. I know that there is a demand (I am not sure about the demand for LCSW) and salaries are quite good. Although money is certainly not everything, LCSW average salaries are typically lower than that of psych advanced-practice nurses.
    ~Katy
  4. by   sirI
    Quote from MHume
    I'm currently enrolled in an RN-MSN program in the Adult PNP track. My goal is to eventually practice as a counselor/therapist w/ specialization in substance abuse, especially amongst nurses. I envision practicing in an EAP setting or possibly a rehab facility. I have no interest in med management, only in the counseling aspect. I was originally going to go about this via the LCSW route...it seemed to point where I wanted to go. But, as I'm an RN and have been for several years (NICU), I've been advised by several people that it made more sense to approach it from the PNP route. Now that I'm in the program, I'm second guessing my decsision. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    Hello, MHume,

    I see your hesitancy.

    I really believe if you stay in the NP track, you will be pleased. You may want to address only the counseling aspect of the individual right now, but, you may decide that you would like to address later, the physical cause/s which leads to the psychiatric problem. If you have the NP/CNS, then you can treat the whole person and not just counseling.

    But, if you truly believe that you would never use the NP role, then I suggest the LCSW.

    Just my 2 cents. Good luck.
  5. by   deb18
    Hi. The PNP gives you much more flexibility than the MSW. What can they do that you can't? But there will be many things you can do that they can't. You can take extra counseling courses if that suits you and you will keep learning as you grow in your career. I faced the same dilema eons ago and I am glad I chose the PNP. deb
  6. by   lizbethann
    I have never been displeased with my decision to go into mental health nursing vs the counseling route. I started in psych, moved to CD treatment, MH managed care, EAP, and now am managing a deparment in a large corporation ( and trust me, you use lots of psych at this level of management!). Many times in treatment centers, etc if census got low the counselors were terminated. Never the nurses. We did it all and really enjoyed it. I know that nursing school is difficult for you but hang i n there. It will pay off in the end!

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