What do you have to do to become a psych nurse? What's it like

  1. I have been interested in psychology for a long time, I just don't think I have it in me to become a psychologist. I'm currently about to be enrolled in an RN program. Would his be a good option? What do you have to do to become a psych Nurse anything in particular? Is it a good job?Thank you for any help.
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    About Rachelmargaret

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 5


  3. by   TheCommuter
    Once you earn your RN license, you simply apply at psychiatric facilities and attempt to get hired at one of them. After working in psych for a couple of years and gaining experience, you have the option of becoming certified in psychiatric nursing. However, certification is optional.
  4. by   Imarisk2
    As above. Working in psych, you would have lots of opportunities to work with people in crisis. You will meet people suffering from addictions, joblessness, homelessness, and those with significant losses of important relationships. You will encounter all manner of moods and behaviors. Sometimes, you will be personally threatened emotionally, verbally, and physically....... either one at a time, or all three in the same incident. You might someday find yourself cutting somebody down from a hanging. If you are lucky, you will be in time.

    Every day on my way to work I pray that God sends me to the right place at the right time, and that I say what needs to be heard, or hear what needs to be said.

    A good employer will provide lots of education for their staff. Just as a nurse in cardiology can read heart stuff, you will learn to read behavior stuff. Lucky psych nurses like me work in and/or develop a phenominal tag team approach to caregiving. We learn to trust in each other and communicate across disciplines and shifts. It keeps us all safer. Patients feel more supported, and they have a chance to experience what healthy environments feel and look like, even if busy and stressful at times. Some folks have never known that before, or it has been so long they've forgotten what it feels like to be safe and respected.

    Safety risk assessments, detox assessments, medication education, DBT, mindfulness, coping skills, cognitive skill building.....the list of topics to learn and teach and apply to your own life is nearly endless. This either sounds like a dream-come-true or a nightmare to run from, or a big lot of both. Trust that voice.
  5. by   macfar28
    Great info above and I agree.

    I went to nursing school to become a psych nurse. I obtained a BA in psychology but at the time (19 yrs ago), it was very difficult to get into PhD programs (it may still be, not sure). So I decided to get a second degree, my BSN. I knew that would allow me to be licensed in the pscyh field. However, if I had it to do over again I would consider an MSW and subsequently an LCSW. It all depends on how much of the medical side of it interests you. Nursing school is a huge undertaking so listen to your instincts as you progress through the program. You may also want to try some volunteer work at area agencies to get a feel for clients and their needs.