A few questions regarding schooling and experiance.

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    I am 31 years old and have decided to go back to school for nursing. I have always had an interest in psychology so naturally I think being a RN in a psych unit would be a perfect fit for me. I recently took a test at a local ROP school that offers the LVN program (Direct RN programs are WAY impacted so I figured I would bridge from LVN to RN). They called to tell me that I didn't score high enough to get into the LVN program (just missed the cut off due to my math score) however I scored high enough to get into the psych tech program....ummmm didn't know such a program even existed. My ultimate goal is to become an RN and work in the psych unit with adolescents or with eating disorders. Would I be throwing away my chances of becoming an RN down the road if I go into the psych tech program? Should I re-test for the LVN program? Can you bride from a Psych Tech to an RN?

    My next question is in regards to experience. I have never worked in the health care industry so needless to say I zip, zero experience. Should I be doing some volunteering at a psych hospital while I'm waiting for school to start and while I'm in school? I also considered taking the course to become a CNA but do they hire CNA's in psych hospitals? I don't wan't to be 34 years old just graduating as a RN and have no medial experience whatsoever.
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  3. 10 Comments so far...

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    Here a psych tech is a psychiatric equivalent of the CNA. It is invaluable experience to determine if psych is really where you want to be, and it's valuable experience when you're filling out your nursing school application. Take the course (should be fast and cheap - less than 3 months / $500 here) - then get a good math tutor and get ready for nursing school.

    Good luck.
    chiclet81 likes this.
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    I never heard of psych techs until I came to CA.

    The thing to remember is that a psych tech is NOT a LVN. You do not attend nursing school to become a psych tech; you have to attend a CA-approved psych tech program that has some nursing content but not enough to make you a LVN. So there's not really a bridge program for psych tech to RN (just like there's no CNA-RN bridge programs )

    That being said, like the prior poster stated, being a psych tech can let you sample psych and give you experience for the resume, as well as enable you to work at LPT jobs while you're in school.

    More info: Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians
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    Where I've worked (3 different, very large hospitals in Indiana) the psych techs have been people with degrees in psych or sociology, and some haven't had degrees. It's a matter of wording. There are psychiatric technicians, psychiatric assistants, behavioral health technicians, and a few other titles that I can't remember right now. All, as far as I could tell, did the same job, and learned it on-the-job.

    It might be a good idea if you called places near you and asked for information, since no one here knows what's common and legal everywhere.
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    In California it's a little different. A Psych tech is higher then a CNA and also on the same level as a LVN (from what I was told). Psych techs are even licensed by the same board. I am looking into a CNA class that starts in a few months. I would love to be a CNA in a psych hospital but I'm not sure if they hire CNA's

    Working in the math tutor now lol
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    Quote from Meriwhen
    I never heard of psych techs until I came to CA.

    The thing to remember is that a psych tech is NOT a LVN. You do not attend nursing school to become a psych tech; you have to attend a CA-approved psych tech program that has some nursing content but not enough to make you a LVN. So there's not really a bridge program for psych tech to RN (just like there's no CNA-RN bridge programs )

    That being said, like the prior poster stated, being a psych tech can let you sample psych and give you experience for the resume, as well as enable you to work at LPT jobs while you're in school.

    More info: Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians
    I actually found a handful of schools in California that do a bridge from a Psych tech to an RN. Cerritos College, Pasadena City College and Cypress College are a few.
    Meriwhen likes this.
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    Quote from pnkgirl25
    I actually found a handful of schools in California that do a bridge from a Psych tech to an RN. Cerritos College, Pasadena City College and Cypress College are a few.
    Cool.

    They don't hire CNAs in psych places...they hire mental health techs, which I guess is the CNA equivalent.
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    pnkgirl25 is absolutley right these ca schools do have a bridge program and is recomended as a way to bypass the extensive wait list. Have you taken your prereqs, Anatomy, Physio and Micro? Well those are the prereqs for the RN program not sure if they are all requiered for psyc tech. There are a lot of people in my RN group that have as you said "zip experience" so volunteering is an excellent idea.
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    Hi I was wondering how did you end up doing in the Pyschaitric program? Btw, I am also like u, 31 and decided to go back to school. And I exactly tried to get into lvn but my math was not good enough so I made into pysch tech. What a coincidence anyways, so I started school and I dropped it in 3 days! I really regret it so I was thinking about going back next semester. But it's so overwhelming And I forgot how to study and take notes cause I been out of school 10 plus years.So anyhow I was wondering how was school for u? Was it hard or worth it? Are you working as a pysch tech now? What school did you go to? I'm in California and its an adult school called Hacienda La puente adult school! I thought it was a great chance cause financial aid paid most of the tuition and I tried so hard getting in then just gave up with out a fight sorry I'm venting now lol!! Any info would be awesome thanks
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    Quote from Pattie829
    Hi I was wondering how did you end up doing in the Pyschaitric program? Btw, I am also like u, 31 and decided to go back to school. And I exactly tried to get into lvn but my math was not good enough so I made into pysch tech. What a coincidence anyways, so I started school and I dropped it in 3 days! I really regret it so I was thinking about going back next semester. But it's so overwhelming And I forgot how to study and take notes cause I been out of school 10 plus years.So anyhow I was wondering how was school for u? Was it hard or worth it? Are you working as a pysch tech now? What school did you go to? I'm in California and its an adult school called Hacienda La puente adult school! I thought it was a great chance cause financial aid paid most of the tuition and I tried so hard getting in then just gave up with out a fight sorry I'm venting now lol!! Any info would be awesome thanks
    Hi there! I never ended up doing the psych tech program. I ended up enrolling in the LVN program. It was not easy and that's for sure but so far so good. I'm on vacation now but when I go back next Wednesday I will only have two weeks left *happy dance*


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