Are there any psych LPN's?

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    I've always been interested in psychology so I'm considering going into nursing to become a psych nurse. I have the opportunity to do a free LPN program. However, can you work in psych as an LPN? How hard would it be to find a job in psych as an LPN? Or should I just skip over the free LPN program and pay to go into an RN program?
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  4. 0
    I am curious of this as well. I am about 1/4 of the way through an LPN program and very interested in Psych. Would like to work in psych as an LPN before completing an RN program.
    Any input would be great. I live in Kentucky right now, but am planning on moving in the next few years.
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    Most of the places I have worked in inpatient psych over many years have employed LPNs. Not a whole lot of them, but there were LPN positions.
    Davey Do likes this.
  6. 2
    Quote from sakiohma
    I've always been interested in psychology so I'm considering going into nursing to become a psych nurse. I have the opportunity to do a free LPN program. However, can you work in psych as an LPN? How hard would it be to find a job in psych as an LPN? Or should I just skip over the free LPN program and pay to go into an RN program?
    I am an LPN, and I've worked on the Behavioral Health floors at my hospital for nearly a year now, also floated to the drug and alchohol rehab floors as well. In my area (WNY), there were plenty of openings for LPNs for BH. I was hired literally right out of graduation (and before I had even passed my boards).

    I am not sure if it was because of a shortage of RN's wanting to work in mental health, but where other floors and hospitals here seemed to keep LPN's at a minimum or phase them out, we are seen as a necessity for the BH floors.

    Our set up is that the RNs (usually two per floor) do assessments, complicated treatments, and work directly with the doctors, reports, admissions and discharges. LPN's (one or two per floor) often take care of the vitals, fingersticks, patient assists, environmental checks, and medications- often we run nursing groups as well. The HA's (Zero or one depending on how many LPN's) also does vitals, environmental checks, and patient assists.

    Both LPN's and HA's can also be assigned to do one to ones- sitting with one patient all shift long due to a danger to themselves or others.

    For a while it was a bit overwhelming, some folks only last a few months or hang out only as long as it takes to transfer to a med-surg floor, and there are cases that come through the door that you'd think are only made up on tv or in books, but now that I am used to it I rather love it and think I will stay in the department.


    HTH!
    Last edit by Hallows_Eve on Mar 19, '12 : Reason: grammar
    Koko4Christ and Davey Do like this.
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    I was an LVN for 4 years (2006 to 2010) and worked a PRN/per diem position as a medication nurse at a psychiatric hospital during my first year in nursing.
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    If you can get your LPN for free, I say go for it! Even if the psych hospitals in your area don't hire LPNs (where I live they do, but you will be the "med nurse") there are other places to work. Worst case scenario: you might have to work a hall in LTC. And then you can decide if nursing is for you, and if you do get your RN you will be MUCH more marketable as a "battle hardened" former practical nurse. You'll leave all your newbie classmates in the dust!
    issababy and loveoverpride like this.
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    I'm a psych LPN and work for my state psychiatric hospital. Absolutely go for it! State psych hospitals (especially chidren's psych) in my area are always clamoring for LPNs. If you can get into the State sponsored psych hospital as an LPN, and then go get your RN, you'll almost be 100% successful getting an RN job before you even pass your boards. The state system always favors current state workers for positions (it's a union thing) so you'll have a tremendous advantage over all the other RNs vying for those spots.
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    Never say no to a free college education
    All of the mental health hospitals in my area (government and private) hire LPNs.
    The pay may be lower than an RN BUT you don't have to pay back any student loans. So
    issababy and peaq like this.
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    I gather from many threads that LPNs aren't in the main medical hospitals or I'd suggest the psych unit within one of those. Also, like others, I am one of the few psych LPNs(we have about 35-40 LPNs) at our state hospital and get paid rather well (works out to be $25+/hour but am on salary and am at the top of the pay range). I pass meds a couple times a week but mostly work the "floor" with the techs.
    You will also get good experience with some psych patients in LTC. I suggest you go for the free LPN education with plans to finish your RN degree. I wish I had but am now too close to retirement to re-enter an RN program as I'd have to repeat classes I took 30 years ago.
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    I'm a psych LPN. Just started about two weeks ago and LOVE it! I've decided to specialize in it. But I have to say that I recommend going straight for your RN. I wish I would have!
    angelabLPN likes this.


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