Quote from sakiohma
I've always been interested in psychology so I'm considering going into nursing to become a psych nurse. I have the opportunity to do a free LPN program. However, can you work in psych as an LPN? How hard would it be to find a job in psych as an LPN? Or should I just skip over the free LPN program and pay to go into an RN program?
I am an LPN, and I've worked on the Behavioral Health floors at my hospital for nearly a year now, also floated to the drug and alchohol rehab floors as well. In my area (WNY), there were plenty of openings for LPNs for BH. I was hired literally right out of graduation (and before I had even passed my boards).
I am not sure if it was because of a shortage of RN's wanting to work in mental health, but where other floors and hospitals here seemed to keep LPN's at a minimum or phase them out, we are seen as a necessity for the BH floors.
Our set up is that the RNs (usually two per floor) do assessments, complicated treatments, and work directly with the doctors, reports, admissions and discharges. LPN's (one or two per floor) often take care of the vitals, fingersticks, patient assists, environmental checks, and medications- often we run nursing groups as well. The HA's (Zero or one depending on how many LPN's) also does vitals, environmental checks, and patient assists.
Both LPN's and HA's can also be assigned to do one to ones- sitting with one patient all shift long due to a danger to themselves or others.
For a while it was a bit overwhelming, some folks only last a few months or hang out only as long as it takes to transfer to a med-surg floor, and there are cases that come through the door that you'd think are only made up on tv or in books, but now that I am used to it I rather love it and think I will stay in the department.