I am an LCSW with 20+years of experience in mental health/addictions social work who is interested in switching careers now that I am in my mid 40's. I have a BSW, an MSW from an Ivy League school, and am currently one semester away from finishing a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Pastoral Counseling. In addition, I am a couple of pay cycles away from completing my Certificate in Clinical Hypnosis from the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. While I am not Certified in EMDR, I completed my training in the early 1990's.
Reasons for leaving? Simple. Social Work is great for a psychosocial perspective and being able to look at more than the medical model. However, it is weak on the bio-psychosocial perspective. So, I think having that added perspective will make things easier in my work. The big reason, to be honest, is that supporting a family on $35K per year is just not possible.
So, here I am looking at efficient but quality-full ways of getting a solid education in nursing. I am not married to psych nursing as an idea, but I think it is a logical progression from my previous practice.
I envision doing the following when my education is done: continuing to do psychotherapy, possibly prescribing medication. I could see doing inpatient psych nursing, but I've worked with psych nurses on floors before, and they didn't seem to do a lot of therapy--mostly medication management. My passion is therapy.
So, here are my questions:
1. Money does not grow on trees. Therefore, what can one do with an LCSW, CAS-PC, and a BSN? What can't one do?
2. In 2015, I understand nurses will not be able to prescribe with an MSN. They will need a DNP (or Ph.D.?) What will happen to MSNs at that point who are not grandfathered? The reason I ask is because if I want to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (i.e. one who can prescribe), I need to consider whether or not I should be thinking of an MSN or skipping the MSN and going straight for the DNP. At my age, this is a relevant question. If a DNP is not in the cards, what will happen to non-grandfathered MSNs in terms of clinical privilege and pay?
3. At this point, I'm looking for quick, but well-balanced programs to ease into the BSN level. The MSN/DNP decision will be made later. The second-career BSN programs seem to range between 1-2 years in my area (I live in the Philadelphia, PA area). Any tips, especially from the hiring perspective? Any good programs in the Philly area? Any to avoid? What about online programs in terms of cost, time and reputation?
4. If you are an MSW with a BSN, what do you do in your daily work? How does a BSN enhance your practice and pay as a joint-degree person?
5. How is the turf war between Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners and Psychiatrists going?
I want to thank you for reading this, and considering my multitude of questions. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you want to talk with me privately. For further information on my current practice, you can look at http://nateprenticetherapy.com