Psych RN's, being phased out???

  1. I'm going to be graduating in 2007 with my BSN. Psych nursing is one of the three specialties that intrigue me. (I know, I'm going to have to make up my mind pretty soon!) I was talking to a friend about my options and she said with absolute conviction and a tone of authority, "Oh, they're phasing out psych nurses, don't do that!"

    I told her that surprised me to hear, as the facilities here in our community are soliciting those of us still in school, practically begging for nurses to hire on.

    Has anyone heard anything like this? Her mother was an advanced psych nurse, maybe she was talking about the CNP? The clinical instructor that I respected the most was my psych instructor and she hadn't heard of anything like that.

    Just curious.
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I would have asked the friend where she heard that, and what the reason was.

    (I think it's a load of crap, actually)
  4. by   Halinja
    Thank you Marie_LPN, you have a great way with words. (not being sarcastic there, either) Grin. That's almost word for word what I thought when she said it. But I was dumbfounded enough, and she said it with such authority that I thought, hmm, maybe I'd better do more research.
    And where better to find out than here...
  5. by   elkpark
    What, are people going to stop having psychiatric problems?????? I don't think so ...
  6. by   AddictionsRN
    i don't think that psy nurses are being phased out. that sounds like a comment from someone who deals in the hard sciences of nursing, and doesn't understand the complexities of the squishy sciences of psy nursing. welcome to the world of behavioral health! it is a fascinating area of nursing to study and work!
    congratulations:mortarboard:!
  7. by   MuddaMia
    Who would pass out the copious amounts of medication ? More likely she is confused about WHAT is being phased out. If anything, they have phased out "therapy" --replaced my medication to control Sx and exacerbations.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from elkpark
    What, are people going to stop having psychiatric problems?????? I don't think so ...
    Exactly.
  9. by   Meerkat
    If anything, I think Psych Nursing will GROW. As the stigma of mental illness lessens, more people will feel comfortable seeking treatment. More people seeking more treatment=more patients. More patients= more demand for psych facilities=more nurses needed.
    I know in our behavioural med center, we can barely keep nurses. And I've had med-surg nurses tell me "I could never work in psych". The stigma works both ways. Many people are still afraid of the mentally ill. Many seem to automatically associate mental illness with the worst case scenario, like psycho killers or something, and that means that the precious few of us who have a better understanding will be needed more than ever.
    Just my own little future projection...
  10. by   IMustBeCrazy
    IMO, Psychiatric Nursing remains the best kept secret in most hospitals. No, there will always be a niche for the talented behavioral health nurse. Talk to someone that works in ER. You will find that easily 25 to 50% of the patients that come to ER are behavioral health pts. So much so, that some forward-thinking ER's are beginning to staff behavioral health nurses to assist in the triage process. (About time!)

    Also, psych nurses continue to be challenged by pts with comorbid medical diagnoses/cares, and with the aging of the baby boomer population that required skillset is steadily increasing. There is always something to learn and new spins on taking care of complex patients in unique situations. That, and my patients are NEVER boring. :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle
  11. by   Halinja
    Quote from IMustBeCrazy

    Talk to someone that works in ER. You will find that easily 25 to 50% of the patients that come to ER are behavioral health pts. So much so, that some forward-thinking ER's are beginning to staff behavioral health nurses to assist in the triage process. (About time!)
    eeeinteresting....something I hadn't considered/known about.

    Thank you for the new thought!
  12. by   nightnurse47
    I agree! Our medical director just told us that psych nursing is projected to be one of the most needed specialties in the years to come...and as has been mentioned, everyone else is too scared to be locked in...
  13. by   Proverbs 16:3
    honestly, psych nursing didn't stand out in my mind till i started my co-operative education job at a community where you've got elderly with psych issues. The nurse i look i up to, i think she has her masters in nursing, basically acts almost independently, she goes to the apartments to evaluate them and for those in the assist. living, when someone is acting nuts, we try to get a psych consult with the psych nurse b4 making an appt with their md.
    After seeing how independently she works, she writes out drugs, etc... she's really gotten me interested in psych... i don't think it's being phased out. I just discovered psych nursing and i think it's fun. made me think about getting my third co-op job in a psych facility.
  14. by   Melina
    I know there will always be psych RNs, just like there will always be psych patients. I am more concerned about a lack of interst in the specialty. I was sad to hear that the only Master's program for psych nursing in the state (University of Colorado) has shut down their program due to lack of interest. I know it isn't for everyone. I have gotten some really strange looks from people when I've told them I'm interested in mental health. I might have to go for an online program for my MS.

    ~Mel'

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