ADN + BA Psych = Good Combo?

  1. 0
    Hi!

    I have my ADN and need to get a bachelors (where I live, you can't get a job ANYWHERE in any field without some kind of BA degree). I've always been interested in psychology, so would my ADN + BA in psych be a good combo? What would this combo allow me to do in terms of jobs?

    I'm not sure if a BSN is right for me... I've been laid off several times in the last couple of years due to the economy and change in health care model (it it required to have a BSN for most RN jobs here). Plus, at least where I live, RNs don't have much patient-contact anymore, for most of the work is delegated to techs. The whole reason I went into nursing was to care for the needs of others... not to have others do that aspect!

    So, is a BA in psych a good idea? What it it enable me to do? Would this be a good move if I wanted to do hospice nursing or public health? What exactly does a psych nurse do (I would love to run groups, counsel, etc... I would not like to just dispense meds and chart, which is what the RNs at the hospital I did my psych clinicals did).

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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  4. 1
    I went into an ADN with a BA in psych. I had one for 5-6 years and went back for a BSN.

    I think in some very narrow areas of employment (psychiatry, addictions, etc) you might have a hiring advantage. Those areas were not my choice to practice in, so it didn't do a whole lot for me.

    If you want to do public health or anything outpatient, I would get a BSN. The BSN has specific coursework (and at most ground schools, clinical work) in public health nursing that your degree in psych isn't going to give you. Some states, after a BSN, you are eligible to sit for the PHN (in my state, that is a state certification.)

    If you want to move up the career ladder in nursing, I would not get a BA in psych unless you want to move into an MSN, which you could do straight from the ADN with a bridge program if you chose to get your BA instead. I would not count on your BA doing much for you as far as nursing employment specifically though.

    Hope this helps.
    Moogie likes this.
  5. 0
    Thanks for the tips!

    I was interested in Public Health, but I'm not sure exactly what kinds/types of jobs/careers are available and what the market is for this field. What does one do with a MPH or as a Public Health Nurse? (Is a PHN a masters degree?)

    Thanks!
  6. 0
    No, PHN is a certification that is administered by the state you live in. I would do a search for "PHN certificate" or "PHN certification" and your "state" and see what you get. In my state, a BSN is required because the ADN does not provide curriculum in public health.

    It's been a long time since I've looked into it so you are going to have to do your own research. I'm not sure if you have to take an exam to get it or if you can just prove that you have coursework in the area and apply to get the designation.
  7. 0
    Unless you want to use a BA/BS in a different area to get out of nursing, there is no other baccalaureate degree that will benefit you as much as a BSN. A BA in psych will not give you much of an "edge" in nursing, except for maybe in a few, narrow specialty areas, as already noted -- and, in my experience, whether it will give you any edge even in those areas is debatable. And a BA in psychology won't prepare you to do anything in psychology, either (except get into a graduate program in psych). Everywhere I've worked (in my lengthy career in psych nursing), people with BAs in psych get hired as techs in psych settings.
  8. 0
    So a BA in psych won't allow me to do anything, even OUTSIDE of nursing? Why does this degree even exist, then, besides acting as a segway to grad school?

    There seems to be such a debate about what one can or can't do with a Psych BA... some say it leads to a lot of opportunities b/c it is the study of people, the mind, and behavior, which are skills needed for anything and everything... plus, it's a BA degree, which is more than I have. Yet others say that this degree basically leads to nothing but grad school.

    So, I won't be marketable with a psych BA, even outside of nursing? Poop.
  9. 0
    I saw that a school in my area has a BA in Health Sciences with a Community health Education track. Would this enable me to do more of the teaching-side of health care? Would I need an advanced degree like an MPH or something else?
  10. 1
    Quote from xEdgexRNx
    So a BA in psych won't allow me to do anything, even OUTSIDE of nursing? Why does this degree even exist, then, besides acting as a segway to grad school?

    There seems to be such a debate about what one can or can't do with a Psych BA... some say it leads to a lot of opportunities b/c it is the study of people, the mind, and behavior, which are skills needed for anything and everything... plus, it's a BA degree, which is more than I have. Yet others say that this degree basically leads to nothing but grad school.

    So, I won't be marketable with a psych BA, even outside of nursing? Poop.
    I have a BA in psych, and I can tell you right now that its only value in the employment arena is that it qualifies you for jobs that require a bachelor's, that's it! My first job out of college involved managing fundraising campaigns, and believe me I could have majored in music and I still would have been hired. At the bachelor's level, a psychology major does not really prepare you for any specific jobs because that subject matter is easily used in most any industry (counseling, teaching, even in sales). I only majored in psychology because I loused up my first semester as a bio major and since my highest grade was in General Psychology it was my fallback (live and learn, I was 18 and I was dumb! Damage control in progress, LOL!)

    I am hoping to pursue a BSN, but if I end up doing the ADN first I will hope the BA serves to get me into an MSN program.
    happy2learn likes this.
  11. 0
    Yep, BA in Psych won't do you much good. BSN is your best bet for nursing.

    If one wants to really do anything Psych related (not talking about nursing care), like a counselor, then you need a Master's. If you want to be a Psychologist, you need a PhD or Psy.D.

    I have a friend that's spending huge bucks on a BA in Psych at U of Phoenix. She wasn't too happy to hear (don't know why she didn't do her own research) that she really couldn't do much in Psych without a Master's. I 2 friends who want to be Psychologists (1 is going to be a Clinical Psychologist) and they are both working towards their Doctorate's.
  12. 1
    Paco and Elkpark are on the money.

    I have an ADN and a BA in psych as well. If a hospital is concerned about Magnet status, the BSN is what they're going to prefer. There might be some tiny advantage if you're applying for a psych nursing job, but I don't think it would be a tremendous help. As far as nursing graduate programs, there are some that will admit an RN with a non-nursing BA/BS, but many require the BSN.

    For the psych BA, I took basically one upper-level class (abnormal psychology) that went into any detail at all about types of counseling techniques or psychotropic medications. The rest of my classes focused on statistical and research methods, learning principles, the history of psychology, sensation-perception and the like. Those are important foundations if you're looking at a psych career, but they don't give you any real therapeutic skills in themselves.

    Most psych students definitely start with sights set on grad school. The ones who don't go to graduate school generally end up working in jobs that generically require a BA or BS in any field.
    happy2learn likes this.


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