Hi! (waves to all)
I'm seriously thinking about going into psychiatric nursing-- probably not now, but in a couple of years. I would need to get some prerequisites out of the way first anyway, and I also don't want to jump right into it! My question concerns the psychiatric nurse's scope of practice. Exactly what can it entail? For instance, under which circumstances may a psych nurse lead therapy groups? Psychosocial groups? Would this be something that only an NP could or would do? That really is something I've been wondering about, because I would be switching over from social work, and it would be very important to me to be able to keep that piece of practice. All advice appreciated!
The "official" scope of practice, according to the professional organizations and ethics standards within nursing, is that generalist RNs (undergrad-prepared, basic licensure) are not prepared/qualified to do psychotherapy -- RNs can do psychoeducational groups (coping skills, anger management, med education, etc., etc.) but not process groups or individual psychotherapy. Individual and group psychotherapy is within the scope of practice for psych CNSs and NPs, who are educated in this (at least minimally) as part of their graduate education (before prescriptive authority became such a big trend, psych CNS education consisted almost entirely of training as a psychotherapist. Now, most programs are focused on physical assessment, pharmacology, and medication management, with a little psychotherapy thrown in on the side).
Last edit by elkpark on Sep 8, '09