I'm a middle-aged guy, and I went back to school to become a nurse. I graduated with my ASN in December, and I just passed NCLEX last week. I've been lookinging for positions online, but I haven't seen any for mental health nurses.
So for those of you who have been at this rodeo for awhile: How does a newbie nurse like me get in to psych nursing?
Mar 4, '13
What I have done in the past when I was relocating to a new area (psych has been my specialty for many years) is search on the computer (in the olden days, I used the Yellow Pages
) to identify which hospitals in your area (or areas to which you're interested in relocating) have inpatient psychiatric units, or what freestanding psychiatric hospitals are in your area, and then look specifically for jobs at those facilities/units (going to their website and looking for the job postings). You can also look for outpatient/community mental health services, but, in my experience, new grads are much more likely to get hired for an inpatient position.
Congratulations on your graduation and licensure, and best wishes for your journey!
Mar 4, '13
I agree with the previous poster, and also you could check your local jails/prisons as well as drug and alcohol inpatient and outpatient facilities, just to get your foot in the door somewhere. What state do live in? If it is a populous state like PA, NY, or CA, there are likely local residence facilities and treatment programs you could try. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions.
Mar 5, '13
I am in MD and I got my first job on an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team. Intensive community based mental health essentially. I have always wanted to do psych and all the inpt psych.positions here seem to want you to have experience and since I now have that experience many new doors are opening to me. Other posters have given you good advice, try also looking into jobs at state hospitals if you have them. Many state hospitals take new grads. Good luck! I know its tough out there right now.
Mar 6, '13
I agree with the above poster. I got a job at a state hospital as new grad. I started this week. Alot of new grads are starting with me as well.
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