Getting my BSN degree soon and I'm thinking of being a psychiatric nurse?

  1. Hi, I will graduate in 2 months and get my BSN degree. I wonder how I can be a psychiatric nurse and do tertiary hospitals (mental institutions) accept fresh graduates or do you need to take a specialization course or something? I have this notion that you're supposed to work as a general ward nurse first and get all the training before you move on to a specialization? Is it true or can I apply directly to a mental institution as a staff nurse?
    Thank you!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   verene
    In the U.S. new grads can apply directly to mental hospitals (there is still some encouragement to get a year or two of medsurg however it is not required). However from your terminology, I am guessing you are not in the U.S., is this correct? What country will you be practicing in?
  4. by   foggnm
    Probably depends on the facility but in many places the shortages dictate the policy. If they really need nurses then of course they will take new grads. While you will sometimes here 'you need experience to do X type of nursing' it has been my experience that most nursing jobs having training programs for new grads. Perhaps the exception to this would be very specialized areas like cath lab or interventional radiology (where they seek people experienced in critical care). And perhaps some case management positions might not accept a new grad. I applaud you for doing mental health. Nurses are very much needed in that area and I think it takes a very patient, caring, and tough person to work MH. Many people I know who wanted to do psych went straight to it. No reason to waste a year or two doing an unenjoyable med/surg job.
  5. by   Meriwhen
    As others have said, it depends on the country you're practicing in. Here in the US, you can start in psych from minute 1. In pre-licensure nursing programs, we don't specialize in a specific specialty. When we graduate, we're kind of the equivalent of GPs--we know the basics of each specialty and could potentially go into any area. That doesn't mean we won't need further training in the area we want to go into.
  6. by   MaryFutureRN
    Thank you! I'm already done with my BSN and just awaiting the licensure exam! >.<
    I'll send in an application to our national mental health facility here after passing. I just don't think I'll enjoy MS.
  7. by   MaryFutureRN
    Thank you so much! My professors have been teaching us to go to MS wards first before moving on to a specialty. Been feeling troubled about this since I never liked working in MS (although crit care was so cool).
  8. by   MaryFutureRN
    I'll be practicing in the Philippines. Not much of Psych nurses here, although they accept new grads from a mental health facility (working in the gov't). I think I'll still give it a try!
  9. by   Psychlover
    I have been offered a position in a crisis response center but truly wanted to be in an emergency department in a section focused on psych. Is there a difference? Do you do much IV therapy? Nurses working/who worked in these setting please let me know. Thank you !

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