What should be my next step?

  1. Hi all,

    I'm graduating in Dec 05 with a B.S. in Psychology, i've been planning to go onto grad. school in psychology until i found out about psychiatric nursing. I'm wondering if any of you can give me some idea what is psychiatric nursing about and what's a typical day is like? What kind of education do i need? As i said, i'll have a B.S in psych and I'm planning to get an ADN in nursing and become an RN first. I thought about accelerated BSN but there are so many prereqs and it's going to take me at least a year to finish about 50 credits prereqs because i don't have too much biology background. If i've go take about 50 credits of prereqs, i might as well just do an ADN program and take the RN exam first. I've heard that usually hospitals will provide tuition reimburstment, i can pursue more education by that time. Does it make a big difference between ADN and BSN...i mean if i want to be a psychiatric nurse, do i need more education than that? Or do i need some other experiences before becoming a psychiatric nurse? Please educate me because i have no knowledge in this area, thanks a lot! Any suggestions/advice would help!!
    Btw, i'm thinking of moving to TX Houston, any idea about good nursing program and job outlook for RN?

    elleon
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  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   CharlieRN
    Elleon,

    The ADN after the BS in Psych will work to get you into nursing. I followed a similar route, getting a ADN after I had complete a BA in English Lit. The BSN is a better education however. To be a psych nurse you need to be a nurse first. The job psych nurse's is to be the person on the treatment team with the general health care knowledge, who also knows how to deal with psych patients.

    I graduated with my BA and could not get work so I took a job as a night orderly in a general hospital so I could go to evening classes to add a teaching certificate to it. I found I hate dealing with masses of adolescents. But being part of the nursing team was fun. When I went for a short intensive ADN I already had thousands of hours of hospital experience. It was only after I had worked a year as charge nurse on a med/surg unit and was working in an inner city ER that I realized I had a good "touch " with psych pts. When an RN position came open on our psych unit, I took it. That was 20 years ago.

    Unless you have reason to believe you would like to be a nurse I would advise staying in school in the psych trac and going for either a MSW or a PhD-psych. In either of those positions you will earn a salary comparible to an RN and have more presteige.

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