Visiting Psych Nurse

  1. I'm at a crossroads & was hoping for some insight. I've been working nights on an inpatient psychiatric unit since I graduated nursing school almost 3 years ago. This shift has allowed me to nearly complete my BSN in that time. I also get paid well here with the various differentials and bonuses. I have a couple kids and one on the way and my wife doesn't work; so, making money is a priority. I graduate in December and am starting to weigh my options. I am currently doing field experience for my Public Health class. My preceptor is a psychiatric visiting nurse, and apparently has some recruitment duties for his agency because he is laying it on thick. From the brief time I've spent with him, it seems like if you hustle and see as many patients as you can in a week you can make real money (he says one nurse made $200K last year, which I doubt also, so calm down). I don't make 6 figures currently, but I know I wouldn't be as close working days on a psych unit elsewhere as I am working nights here. I was originally intending on going the Psych APRN route, and I still may, but the whole DNP conversion has the potential to throw a wrench in the works. I guess I should come to a point or a question soon, but as you can tell, I'm all over the place. I believe psychiatric nursing is my calling, and would prefer to have as much meaningful patient interaction as possible. But I also believe that I would be willing to "martyr" myself and sit behind a desk somewhere or be a glorified pill pusher (no offense, anyone, it's just a term being used to overstate the matter) if the circumstances were acceptable. Sure, I am an idealist who probably has a Christ complex or something and wants to save everyone through the power of nursing, but I also want to be pragmatic and take care of my growing family. I know it'll work itself out, and that whatever path that led me Here will lead me There, but I thought maybe a little keyboard incontinence on AN after a long night of coffee would help. It hasn't. Excuse me.

    A question then: Anyone on here work as a psychiatric visiting nurse? Is there more to it than making sure people take their meds and computer documentation? I understand and appreciate the value of psychiatric nursing in the community, I'm just not sure it's for me based on my current knowledge of the practice.

    Thanks for your time, and I apologize for wasting it.

    Here's a quote for people who like quotes:

    "Caring about people, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people, brings happiness." - (I Forget Who, Some Rabbi)
  2. Visit morecoffeepls profile page

    About morecoffeepls

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 131; Likes: 213
    Professional Coffee Drinker; from US
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in Psychiatry


  3. by   MrChicagoRN
    I was part of a psychiatric home-care team for a number of years. It was great to go into a patient's home, as their guest, and see how they were coping, and what their supports were. It was much different than inpatient & a real eyeopener to see the obstacles involved in being independent in the home. The ability to make a meaningful impact on a patient was great; much more than you could do in a hospital.

    I was part of a hospital system, so I received the same pay and benefits as a staff nurse, and would do 5-8 (tops) visit per day, as they were often far apart, and a thorough visit took 45-90 minutes. Setting up meds was only a small part of the visit (if at all). If interested, I'd suggest getting approval to shadow a home-care nurse for a day . But I'd be leery of anyone cranking out enough visits to make 6 figures, unless these visits were really close together or it was some program that involved brief focused interventions only.

    Good luck!