instructor discouraging student from becoming a psych nurse!

  1. i'm an r.n. student & i had been thinking about going into psych nursing after i graduate in may, but when i took psych last semester and let my plans be known to my instructor she said " ...but, you have anxiety...(pause)...you haven't had OB yet, maybe you'll like that!" & walked away!

    i feel she had basically said i'm not right for psych nursing & i shouldn't do it? first of all, my anxiety is "mild" & is definately triggered by nursing school. this instructor saw me right before a med/surg skills test & i will admit i was anxiety ridden (but, i didn't want a clinical "F")! also, i'm not perfect, i do sometimes get depressed, but does that mean i shouldn't do psych? how can a psych nurse not have their own negative emotions sometimes?.....i do know when to be professional and not let that affect patient care....

    anyway, she really discouraged me at the time, but my mind keeps wondering back to psych nursing, even though i've looked into many other things that i could do. do you think it would be a mistake for me to go into psych? i usually don't let people deter me that easily, but i figured "she's" the expert?????
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   RN1263
    oohhh & i forgot to mention that about a week later at clinical my instructor said out of the blue to another student "boy, you'd be a great psych nurse!"...:angryfire .....this other student has zero personality???? basically, a flat affect!
  4. by   babynurselsa
    Don't sweat it. IF you want to be a psych nurse after you graduate then go for it.
  5. by   PedsRN1991
    Hi there,
    Well, was this instructor a psych nurse??? It was my experience many many years ago in nursing school that the instructors aren't the best judges of us students. I sooo hope that you are not discouraged. I am not a psych nurse, and I have all the respect in the world for those who are (just like nurses in any other field). Does the instructor mean that in nursing school you shouldn't be on an emotional roller coaster??? Get real. I have never done anything so stressful in my life. If psych nursing is what you want to do...more power to you. You will do everything in school. If you are still drawn to psych nursing...go for it! (((HUGS))) to you!!! Don't let that instructor bring you down!
  6. by   donsterRN
    Quote from babynurselsa
    Don't sweat it. IF you want to be a psych nurse after you graduate then go for it.


    :yeahthat: Right now, you have a full plate until graduation. After that, pursue whatever field you want. Your instructor was expressing her opinion based on whatever minimal information she had. Go with your gut and don't let her deter you.
  7. by   psalm
    ...I had the impression in nursing school that some instructors would try to "push" or "encourage" certain people into certain fields or even a certain hospital floor because of the need of that floor. I was told I was great with the elderly and should go LTC until I built up my time management and speed. Before my last clinical and that instructor, an instructor who never had me for a clinical was telling me I would be great in neuro...(which I did as a student extern the summer b/4 3rd semester and loved it).

    So, do whatever you are drawn to. BTW, we use our psych training all over the hospital, LTC and even at home with the fam! (and a doc or two, hahaha).
  8. by   RN1263
    Quote from PedsRN1991
    Hi there,
    Well, was this instructor a psych nurse??? It was my experience many many years ago in nursing school that the instructors aren't the best judges of us students.
    yes, a psych advanced nurse practioner! but, most of the students think she has a few screws loose herself!

    and you're right, she doesn't KNOW me??? i don't think i had one conversation w/ her that didn't pertain to her class or the nursing program. thanks so much to all of you for helping me "see the light"....:icon_hug:
  9. by   IMustBeCrazy
    Quote from jackie53
    ...I had the impression in nursing school that some instructors would try to "push" or "encourage" certain people into certain fields or even a certain hospital floor because of the need of that floor.
    Saw that too. One unit couldn't keep staff AT ALL and guess where we were encouraged to work? You guessed it! If you ever see a unit that can't keep staff around, run, don't walk!
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from babynurselsa
    Don't sweat it. IF you want to be a psych nurse after you graduate then go for it.
    Exactly.
  11. by   ms_orion
    Go where you want to go......there are many success stories by people who were told 'they weren't good enough'
  12. by   Halinja
    There are really great people in psych nursing. That being said, I don't think they are teaching in my program. Sigh.

    People tend to be more successful when they follow their hearts, and do what they love. If psych is what you want, then don't let anyone dissuade you.

    You might want to try getting some exposure in a psych unit, I'm not sure what's available to you, volunteering, working as an aide, or even shadowing a psych nurse for a day or two on your own time. Some hospitals will let you do that.
  13. by   clemmm78
    Heck, I had a nursing instructor fail me in a clinical because 1- I wasn't empathetic enough, 2- I was too task-oriented and 3- I would never make a good nurse.

    I was 18 and I believed her, so after my fourth semester of a six semester (three year) RN program, I left school.

    I worked for a year as a secretary/clerk and realized that she was dead wrong and that I *would* make a good nurse, so I went back and put myself through the semester I failed and the two remaining ones.

    You know what? I AM a good nurse. I've worked clinically, I've taught nurse's aides, I've been a supervisor and many other things. Now, I'm back to working on the floor in palliative care and I'm good at it. I can most defintely empathize with patients and their families and, looking back, I could 25 years ago too.

    If you want to do psych nursing, do it.
  14. by   edorn
    Hey everyone,
    This is my first post. I am so glad I stumbled onto this particular thread. I am a psychiatric nurse and also a BSN nursing instructor, and I take my students to clinical to my practice setting!! I have 8 students who are beginning to embrace psych nursing because I have been able to demonstrate to them that psych nursing is the soul of ALL nursing. After all, we all have a soul, and that does not get checked at the door when entering a medical care setting! We are all psych nurses at some level since we approach care with a holistic framework.
    I am sorry to hear that any instructor would discourage a student from this exciting field. Any student who feels this calling should be extemely supported to enter this field. I happen to specialize in child/adolescent mental health and it is heartbreaking but important work to intervene in the life of youth before they develop lifetime habitual destructive patterns of behavior. Mental health settings are the place where the nurse is so uniquely a living therapeutic intervention. Please do not let anyone discourage you from exploring this specialty. There are plenty of medical issues among the mental health population as well, so don't think it is some sort of second class nursing practice. Regards,
    edorn

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