Is there hope for a new grad as a psych nurse?

  1. I have just finished my psych rotation at the county facility and I LOVED IT!!! I feel like this is what I want to do. Is there any chance of becoming a psych nurse right out of nursing school? Are there any certifications I should get before I apply for jobs (if there are any!)?

    I am a pharmacy technician currently, and I am hoping that my strong pharmaceutical background might give me a boost.

    I am so bummed that the rotation finished, because I DO NOT want to go back to med/surg.

    Any advice you could give would be much appreciated!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   joyrochelle
    hey there---as a new RN who went right into my area of favorite specialty ( OB), the only way you will know if you can get hired is to start interviewing at your chosen facilities in psych. I personally have no idea if psych has any reservations about PCA/ student nurse associates/ new grad hires, but we gotta get experience somehow , right?

    go to where you really wanna work and inquire about a job, evaluate why you really wanna work there, and then keep your options open and your priorities arranged when seeking employment everywhere that you can!

    Good Luck! and be careful in psych! it can get heavy!
  4. by   Out of My Mind
    It is possible to be a Psych nurse as a new grad! I started right out of college, like you, I loved my psych rotation in school. I know they prefer to hire BSN prepared nurses & have some backgound in nursing (ie, CNA or Nurse Intern). I worked on a long term Rehab unit for over 2 years & then decided to get experience in Med/Surg just in case I found other interests. Well, after 1 year of that, I went back into psych. I now am a Case Manager for people w/ chronic mental illness. I help keep them in the community & out of the hospital. You may consider that kind of job, most Community Support Programs hire new grads.
  5. by   psych_00_RN
    I don't know about CA, but here in Inndiana the psych field is crying for nurses. Fortunately, I worked at my current facility while going to school so I knew i had a job waiting. With the nurse shoratge, I'm sure you will find a job in your field of choice. Good luck! Psych can drain everything you have to give, but I think it's worth it.
  6. by   SCnurse
    I am a May 2002 BSN grad and fell in love with Psych nursing during my Psych rotation. I begged to go back there during my Leadership practicum. Thank heavens I was able to do that and successfully impressed the Nurse Manager, who offered me a position after passing state Boards. That was 3 months ago and I really enjoy my position. Sometimes it can get scarey when you have an out of control patient but we have top notch security who respond rapidly when we hit the "panic" button. You will find (I hope anyway!) that staffing on a psych unit look out for each other very well. We always seem to have a shortage of Psych nurses just like the hospitals do with their staff nurses. I know you will have people tell you to get in at least a year of med-surg before specializing, but I say make yourself happy. Follow your heart and go for it! :roll
  7. by   sjoe
    It is, of course, legal to begin working as a psych nurse right after nursing school.

    The only questions are:

    1) is there a facility that is willing to hire you for this position at that time? and

    2) what happens when you are the only RN on duty (and, of course, it is night shift) and a medical problem comes up that you've not learned to deal with, not having worked med-surg?

    The second reason is why the rule of thumb is to work one year med-surg before moving on to a specialty. It is very good experience to have.

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