I'm currently in the process of entering nursing school. I am finishing my prerequisites this up-coming semester. My goal is to become a psychiatric nurse or work in the ER. I want to learn diagnostic skills, critical thinking and autonomy. I figured psych nursing would be the best conduit to lead me to those goals. My question is will I be able to acquire a position in a psych-ward within a hospital if I am only an ADN? Or do I need to acquire a BSN before obtaining said position? Also do hospitals require prior experience in for ex. in surgical/med floor before hiring nurses? Any new suggestions on other slower-paced setting that fosters autonomy and critical thinking/diagnostic skills that an ADN new-grad could get into would be most appreciated. Thanks for any and all input!
Aug 26, '12
Definitely not slow-paced and a lot of multi-tasking. Some of the big hospitals want med/surg, some don't. I guess that's a matter of what you want to do - substance abuse, dual dx, adolescent, geriatric, forensic, developmentally-disabled, longer term and acute care, residential, outpatient, community, home health, etc. I just interviewed for behavioral health in the ER. Google behavioral health Nurse and you'll see a range of what different positions are looking for in requirements. We have LPNs, RNs (ADN and BSN), bachelor's level techs, NPs, therapists (MS) and psychiatrists.
Last edit by NameOfTheWind on Aug 26, '12
Sep 2, '12
by Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN Senior Moderator
I've worked with psych nurses ranging from diploma to MSN. I started in psych as an ADN. LVNs are also in psych. That being said...some facilities prefer degrees over diplomas, or prefer BSNs over ADNs. Ironically, most psych tech jobs require a 4 year degree, but nursing is all over the place.
As far as finding a slower-pace setting....good luck
Seriously, despite rumors to the contrary, psych nursing IS more than babysitting drugged-up or depressed patients. Nights may be the slower time in medical nursing, but in psych that's when a lot of our psychotic patients come to life. You could try looking for the less acute units (open units, residential, partial hospitalization), but definitely be prepared for anything to happen at any time.
Last edit by Meriwhen on Sep 3, '12
: Reason: is, not isn't. My bad...