What degree do you need?

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    What do you have to do AFTER you get an AAS in Nursing--if you are interested in becoming a Psych Nurse? Do you get your BA in Psychology? Or is there certification you need to get? Are Psych nurses LPN's or RN's? I am currently going for a Human Service degree (just started) and thinking of switching majors before it's too late. Thank you.
    Davey Do likes this.
  2. 5 Comments so far...

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    MOST Nurses, whether they be LPN or RN usually have some sort of experience in the Behavioral Arts field. But I've many times seen new grads with no experience be Shift Charge Nurse after their orientation.

    The State Hospitals will classify a Nurse as, for example, an RN I starting with no experience. An RN II has at least two years experience in the Behavioral Health field.

    I worked with an RN who was a certified Psych Nurse, and she allowed her certification to laspe. She said all it did for her, above the other RNs, was to allow her to give her title as "RN-C". Big deal.

    I started out as a Psych LPN. One reason I was hired was due to my experience with Developmentally Disabled Clients and Behavioral and Learning Disabled Children. I held no degree outside of my LPN when I started working Psych. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

    I hold an Associates in Nursing for my RN and I've worked in the Psych feld as an RN I, RN II, and as a Nursing Supervisor for a Home health Agency. Part of my duties were to set up and supervise an At Home Mental Health Program.

    So, in a nutshell, Education and Experience are advantages, but not necessary in order to work as a Psych Nurse.

    Good luck to you in your endeavors, ryanlou.

    Dave
  4. 0
    I was an ADN with six months experience in med/surg when I went into psych. Had no problem getting hired or working. I was charge on my unit on my shift and shared rotating house supervisor duties with the charges on the other units. This was a free-standing psych hospital with four units in the main building and a number of other units in outbuildings. Sometimes I miss the good ol' days, but the nice thing about psych is that your skills transfer everywhere and can come in handy for other people besides your patients.
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    There is no additional education or certification required beyond basic licensure as an RN or LPN; however, different facilities have different standards. Some will hire new grads, some require experience in another nursing setting; some require BSNs, some don't; some use LPNs (in addition to RNs), some don't. A degree in psychology has almost nothing to do with practicing psychiatric nursing, and would not particularly benefit anyone in nursing. Lots of facilities hire people with BAs in psychology to work as techs, and be supervised by the nurses. Nursing school would teach you what you need to know about psychiatric nursing to get started in the field.

    Best wishes for your journey!
    rn/writer likes this.
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    Im a new grad with no experience and I was just got hired as a psych nurse for one of the biggest and well known hospitals in South Florida. They all ask for experience, I was lucky to have an actual number to call and explain how this was the field I wanted to be in and what a great asset I would be etc: I got two interviews and tomorrow Im going in for my badge. Super excited. Experience helps but you dont need it, just need that one person to give you a chance. Make sure you have a great resume and letters of recommendation. And go to open houses if they have them in your area, I was called by another hospital but I was already offered a position. Its all about getting an interview and selling yourself. Good Luck.
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    Linsmirn - congratulations on getting hired! Good for you. Come back and post and let us know how it goes.


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