From Psych RN to Psychiatrist

  1. I've been reading all over about the drastic shortage among psychiatrists nation-wide.

    Are there nurses out there who have made the switch from psych RN to psychiatrist? How did they do it? Did they receive support from their institution? Did they do it independently? Did they complete their medical education part-time or full-time?

    Basically, I'd like to know if such a possiblity exists for psych RNs. Are there are iving, breathing people out there who have made the transition from psychiatric nurse to psychiatrist?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   romie
    Wouldn't it be efficacious for an RN to get her MSN and specialize in Psychiatric Mental Health nursing. One then could feasibly be granted prescriptive powers and practice as a PMH nurse practitioner or CNS. In many cases, the PMHNP serves a very similar role as a psychiatrist, including the ability to do medication management.
  4. by   EricJRN
    I'm not familiar with any part-time medical schools. Even full-time, the process would take a long time. Typically the nurse would have to:

    - Earn a four-year degree if he/she did not already have one.

    - Complete the pre-med prerequisites (possibly in conjunction with completing the four year degree). These would usually include two semesters of chemistry, two semesters of organic chemistry, two semesters of physics, two semesters of intro biology, two semesters of advanced bio courses, and others, depending on the program.

    - Complete four years of medical school.

    - Complete postgraduate education (internship/residency in psychiatry) of ~5 yrs.

    For US-based programs, there's really no 'partial credit' or 'fast track' for nurses who want to become physicians.
  5. by   Darth Nightingale
    What is the difference in the scope of practice of a Psych Nurse Practitioner -vs- a Psychiatrist MD?
  6. by   EnergizerNurse
    I'm curious to know if psych NPs conduct ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy).

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