Masters in Psychology to RN

  1. Hi everyone.
    I am in need of some serious guidance and hope someone on here can help me out.
    I have a masters in psychology and am close to completing my hours to apply for the licensing exam to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist... unfortunately for some time now i have been feeling that "this isn't it". My first clinical supervisor always told me my strength was in the medical aspect of working with the persistently mentally ill population.
    I am looking into an accelerated BSN program and will start taking some prerequisites that i need (microbiology, chem, etc)
    I am just a little worried of what i will be faced with in the field. If i have a masters in psychology will some places allow me to continue to do therapy or run groups? or will i be doing med management only?
    any guidance please??
    before i embark on to this new field and put my current career on stand by?
    thank you!
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   fathertod
    Honestly, just skip the accellerated BSN and just find and accellerated DNP or Masters in nursing psychatric nurse practioner program. If what your saying is true, you will probably be happier just skipping straight to that.
  4. by   Stephalump
    I'm in a similar situation, and from what I can tell, mixing the two isn't normal practice. If you get hired as an RN, you work in the scope of an RN. Same as a therapist. My guess would be that money has something to do with it...why pay an RN price for therapy when you don't have to?

    My solution to combine the two is to become a PMHNP. I don't expect to be leading any groups or anything like that, but I can delve more into the therapy aspect that way, while being able to prescribe medications. If only TX would lighten up on the restrictions....
  5. by   elkpark
    I've known quite a few psychologists over the many years I've been in psychiatric nursing who have thought along the same lines you are thinking -- but every one of them has changed her/his mind when s/he looked more closely into what would be required to get through nursing school.
  6. by   VPS0312
    Hi
    I am not scared at all of going through nursing school. I actually enjoy school and hands on training, If i had the money and the time I would actually try and go to Medical School. But that is not realistic for my situation at all.
    Could you tell me a little bit about your role in Psychiatric Nursing?
    thank you
  7. by   Whispera
    I'm a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist. I can do therapy as well as the medical aspect thingie. I would think you could jump into a CNS program (MS in psych to MS or MSN in nursing with a CNS track). You'd need some courses you haven't taken in your bachelor's and master's degrees, but I doubt you'd have to get the whole basic RN schooling...
  8. by   elkpark
    Quote from Whispera
    I'm a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist. I can do therapy as well as the medical aspect thingie. I would think you could jump into a CNS program (MS in psych to MS or MSN in nursing with a CNS track). You'd need some courses you haven't taken in your bachelor's and master's degrees, but I doubt you'd have to get the whole basic RN schooling...
    Licensure and practice as a psych CNS or NP requires licensure as a "basic" RN and completion of the same educational requirements as every other RN in a given state. While there are, of course, the plethora of "direct entry" MSN programs, even those programs still provide at least the minimum requirement of general nursing education (including the minimum required clinical hours in every specialty area) required of any candidate for RN licensure.
  9. by   Whispera
    You're right, elkpark. I didn't think things through thoroughly.
  10. by   VPS0312
    Thank you all so much!!!
    so best thing to do is complete all the education i need to become an RN and then continue with MSN to become a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist?
  11. by   Simply Complicated
    Honestly it depends on where you were to work. I know of some places the RN's do run groups. My facility is mostly medications, but we do a lot of "talking" with the patients, so you do get to do some therapy as well.

    From my understanding the CNS is being fazed out and is extremely difficult to get a job. It would make more sense to do your NP in psych.
  12. by   elkpark
    Quote from Simply Complicated
    Honestly it depends on where you were to work. I know of some places the RN's do run groups. My facility is mostly medications, but we do a lot of "talking" with the patients, so you do get to do some therapy as well.

    From my understanding the CNS is being fazed out and is extremely difficult to get a job. It would make more sense to do your NP in psych.
    Yes, the ANCC has announced it is "retiring" the psych CNS certifications, and the only advanced practice role in psych nursing going forward will be the psych NP. Those of us who are already psych CNSs will be able to maintain our certifications, but the exam will no longer be offered, so schools will be eliminating that concentration from their graduate programs.

    Psych nurses do run psychoeducational groups and do a lot of therapeutic interaction with clients, but that is different from psychotherapy, which is outside the scope of practice for generalist psych nurses and requires graduate level education and licensure in one of the psych roles (psych CNS/NP, psychology, SW, LPC, psychiatrist).
  13. by   prison_nurse
    Many schools do bridge programs, but along the way you do have to get your RN and sit for the NCLEX.
  14. by   prison_nurse
    If you wish to go into private practice then you can prescribe and provide therapy. However, I have two jobs and I am expected only to prescribe. It's all down to dollars and cents....

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