I'm a new RN looking to start a mental health nursing career. I'm hoping to eventually become a mental health nurse practitioner, and maybe to do some psyche travel nursing before then. I currently have two job offers and need to decide which one to take in the next 24 hours:
1. An adult unit at a psychiatric hospital.
- much better pay (nearly $20,000 more per year).
- possibly better career opportunities, owned by a giant company with facilities all over the country.
- 2nd shift, not great with two small children, and one weekend off every two weeks with two more random days off.
- less dynamic work day, probably less patient interaction as I would be managing the unit with an LPN and a tech doing more with the patients.
2. An ACT program.
- working out in the community vs. in a dusty institution
- better hours, typically 8-5 M-F, better with a family
- more patient interaction
- patient care appears to be more team oriented
- much less pay
- possibly fewer long term career opportunities.
- occasional on-call duty
Any input would be appreciated!
Sep 7, '16
For psych NPs I always recommend an inpatient adult unit for experience in monitoring and learning medications prior to actually prescribing them. That and Uhhhh if it takes you 5 years to apply and get through NP school you will have made an extra $100,000 over the ACT job. No choice there imo.
Sep 10, '16
I agree with the above poster. Get acute inpatient experience particularly meds and having fellow staff support. You will need the experience you attain in inpatient for work in the community. Yeah it's not the best hours with kids but it won't be forever. Go the Option 1
Sep 18, '16
I would pick option 1. Acute care experience is much more beneficial to gain experience for a psych np program.
Sep 19, '16
Even though you have likely made your decision...for the record, I agree with the others: if going the NP route is possibly in your future, you really need the acute/inpatient experience.
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