Quote from pinkfish333
Or you could keep this job in mental health, but have a job on the side in acute care at least... to keep up your skills.
I do think though that mental health is a select set of skills pertinent to that area, but very different from acute care in general.
This, pretty much.
Never let anyone tell you that psych nurse requires "no nursing skills". I learned tons in my psych rotation in nursing school, but more in terms of communication and "thinking outside the box". It's definitely a different type of nursing than one traditionally thinks of, but it's one that only certain people can do. I, for one, can handle all sorts of med-surg stuff but I'd drown in psych.
There are extremely few "hard nursing skills" (hands on stuff, like dressings and IVs) to be found in psych nursing, though. I remember when I was on psych as a student, a patient had a bad allergic reaction to their meds and required IV medications to counteract it. The psych nurses made such a fuss about it because some of them literally hadn't seen
an IV in years. It's not a reflection on their skills as nurses, but it's just the reality of the job description. "If you don't use it, you lose it" kind of idea, in terms of their skill and knowledge of IVs in that instance.
I second the idea of doing both psych and acute care if you wish to do ER nursing. My psych clinical instructor actually did that - she was an amazing psych nurse but because she didn't want to lose her "hard" skills, she also picked up shift in a general surgical floor. She even was a clinical instructor in both fields. So, basically, she had many nursing skills that could be applied in so many different ways. I'd do the same but unfortunately, I'm just not cut out for psych nursing!