Psych Nursing Job Wanted

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    I really love psychiatric nursing and I recently graduated in May and passed my NCLEX earlier this month. Is there anything I can do to better my chances of acquiring a psych nursing job? I had a hard time getting a nursing assistant job or an externship during school because of my lack of experience and still lack experience. It is a vicous cycle. Any advice?
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Quote from nursedanny614
    Any advice?
    You've listed some Good Idea, nuresedanny. However, I found that Camping Out on a Prospective Employer's Doorstep worked for me.

    My Employers either had to either Hire Me or get a Restraining Order against me.

    The Best of Luck to you, nursedanny.

    Dave
  4. 1
    New grads can get hired in psych--it's just harder. Employers are hesitant to take on new grads because there is a steep learning curve in psych. Do all the same things that you'd do to get a med-surg job: apply for everything you can, make yourself known to local facilities and their NMs, etc.

    How I broke into it was by getting hired in a per-diem spot. I had no problems accruing full-time hours.

    Good luck.
    Elladora likes this.
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    I'm a new grad working in psych. I looked up all the psych facilities and hospitals with psych units within my state and applied to all the ones that were within 1 hr's driving distance. My first job, I had the opportunity to interview there due to a connection but didn't stay long because I landed a job at another facility that I had applied to previously. Like Meriwhen, I started per diem although I had no issues getting full time hours. I am now officially full time. Don't forget the VA and State facilities. The wheels tend to turn a lot slower with those facilities though. I did clinicals at the State Facility and interviewed there but they took so long to make a decision, by the time they called me to offer me the job, I was already working at my current job. From what I've heard the VA is pretty slow with decision making as well but willing to give new grads a shot.

    Good luck!
  6. 1
    Have you made any connections at wherever you did your psych rotation? Talked to your psych instructors for advice or recommendations?
    GeneralJinjur likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from Meriwhen
    New grads can get hired in psych--it's just harder. Employers are hesitant to take on new grads because there is a steep learning curve in psych. Do all the same things that you'd do to get a med-surg job: apply for everything you can, make yourself known to local facilities and their NMs, etc.

    How I broke into it was by getting hired in a per-diem spot. I had no problems accruing full-time hours.

    Good luck.
    Did you get your per-diem position as a new grad without experience? Or did you already have some experience elsewhere?
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    This is why I urge people to work as a CNA/PCT first.
    Not only will you have a job in healthcare in which to familiarize yourself with the environment and hone basic skills, you also build connections and make yourself a known entity within the hospital.
    I was able to get a full-time position in psych right out of school.

    However, if one chooses not to take that route, then I would also suggest trying to get a per-diem spot.
    You may not work as much as you like (you'll be the first to get cancelled) but at least you get your foot in the door.

    Is your psych instructor from school willing to be a referrence for you?
    That may help.

    Another suggestion would be to see if the hospital needs volunteers.
    Again, you are making yourself a known entity.

    Psych nurses tend to like their jobs so they don't have as high of a turn-over.
    I agree it's a bit trickier to get into.
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    Thanks for all the advice. I have some connections that I am working on. When I was in school I couldn't get a pct job because I had no experience in that either. It was a royal pain.
  10. 0
    Similar to Meriwhen, I started not as per-diem but rather on a very, very part time basis at our facility. (I was still in school at the time). I was working 16 hours every two weeks when I started. Within a month, I was working 40-50 hours every two weeks and within two months (and near my graduation date) I was offered a full time position. Get your foot in the door, even if it's as a fill-in or part-time. Once the higher ups see you can handle psych and that you are a good fit, you should be able to snag a position with more hours.

    Best of luck to you! It always warms my heart to see someone that is passionate about psych nursing!


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