Psych Nurse to MHNP

  1. Hey everyone! I am new to psych nursing and have been working for a month now and love it so far. I am curious as to what made psychiatric nurses choose to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I am considering this for the future and my BSN is in progress. But sometimes I'm tempted to explore other areas of nursing since I am a new graduate and don't wanna put all my eggs in one basket. I initially aimed to get a med-surg job or L&D but then I found myself in a specialty I wouldn't of thought I'd like. I'm hoping by finding out what others can share about their decision to become a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner will help me identify with the specialty more. Thank you for you time
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   NeliaNurse
    Hi nina12345! I am a new grad planning on taking NCLEX soon! Sorry I don't have any answers to your questions but I feel like we are similar in that I am most interested in L&D and psych but also considering med surg just for learning purposes. Would you mind telling me about the day to day of your job? I know every day is different but I'd love to get a better idea of what psych nurses do. I have heard stories of nurses being attacked (which I guess could happen on any unit). Thanks & hope youre having a great day!
  4. by   nina12345
    Hello! Congratulations on graduating! I used the saundesr nclex prep book just fyi I highly recommend. And just do the practice questions and read rationales/explanations. Thank you for the reply. It's great to know I'm not the only one out there choosing between several specialties. To answer your question my days starts off getting report. then I give clients morning meds if they are awake, we usually don't wake them if they didn't get much sleep the night before. In this way the med schedule is flexible at least where I work. Then I plan for any discharges or admits, lab work, etc. that may be approaching (I do this all day because they can happen at any time obviously). Then we have treatment team and one of the nurses go and the other stays on the unit. This is where the interdisciplinary team discusses each client and what they need and new orders, discharges are made etc. When treatment team is over I implement any new orders (this is also done all day because it can happen at any time). Then I begin charting, I usually save drafts of everyone I'm charting on to get it started since I usually have 7 clients average. I don't like to finalize my notes until I can document everything that I need to for that shift. What I've found with charting is once you find the golden moment to chart take advantage because once you walk away from that computer you may never return haha. Throughout the shift clients may ask for PRN meds and I may give PRN meds based on my own judgement which is why you are always observing and assessing clients throughout your shift. Which leads me to my next point which is another this you are doing throughout the shift: You want to be proactive and continually doing visual ongoing assessments of each client to prevent the need for a potential restraint and/or seclusion later due to an escalation. Always view the need for these interventions as a failure on part of the team. Most situations like this can be prevented with proper proactive intervention with always starts with the least invasive method! ie talking with the client, deescalation techniques, theraputic communication, PRN meds etc. This is something you will get better at the more you work and learn from other psych nurses. The really experienced nurses on my unit are amazing at this! Then I give afternoon meds and wrap up my progress notes. I only add another progress note for a client if something significant happened/changed. Then I give report at the end of my shift. Important note is you'll have to be willing to learn about psychiatric nursing because the meds and diagnosis's are different, as well as the nursing aspects of it depending where you work! If you want to learn more about what to study for to prepare for this specialty, I can see if I can link my first post about this for you If I don't know something I figure it out! Let me know if you have any questions
  5. by   myname8484
    I work as a psych nurse as well. nina12345, you did a great job describing a typical day! Many days are not I'm sure you know. There are days when you spend time giving ETO's to clients who are out of control, or putting clients in restraints.....then spend an enormous amount of time doing the required paperwork. Overall, I love my job and can't imagine doing anything else.