I've been a psych nurse for just about a year now. I started in community mental health (working on a ACT team with the most chronically ill and unstable patients in the community). I knew I wanted to be a psych nurse before I started nursing school, and my psych clinical only cemented that for me. I was calm and comfortable in my psych rotation. I was a deer in headlights during med/surg and found myself really more interested in pt teaching and creating a therapeutic relationship with the pts was more rewarding to me than procedures in med/surg. In fact, most of ky assignments in med/surg were people with psych issues. In my first job I was not only responsible for meds, assessments, teaching, etc, I also carried my own caseload for case management stuff. These people were usually in our program long term (years, most of them), so I really got to know a lot of them, which was extremely rewarding. I had a lot of time to spend 1:1, which I know isn't usually the case working inpt, which I am doing now. I just started orienting on Mon. At my current facility, we care for aldults, children, and adolescents. I only have experience with adults, and many times the adults trauma histories are so horrific it lakes you have second thoughts about humanity. I think it will be harder with the kids who most of them have endured unspeakable abuse. If you truly belong in psych, you will know it. Pay depends on where you work. In ky area, working at a full service hospital with a psych unit is a little higher paid than at a private psych hospital, and definitely better paid than working at a nonprofit community agency.