Question ... Psych NPs

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    Psych NPs out there....what are some departments or RN positions that you felt really helped you on your quest to become a psychiatric NP?

    Of course, working as a Psych Nurse would help acquaint you with the population, the system...etc....but what other job types/positions would you advise a PMHNP-hopefuly to consider? Bedside for skill development and exposure? Community health for a better understanding of whole person health in a social context? Any areas that would be beneficial but not nec. obvious to a first-time job seeker?

    Going out into today's job market, I feel that beggars can't choosers so I'm considering all options for my first RN jobs. That said, rather than canvassing them all haphazardly, I'm trying to seek jobs that will help me towards my career goals, and thus the advice of those already there would be much appreciated!

    Other ideas?
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    A lot of psych patients have comorbid conditions so it helps to know about physical problems and meds, especially interaction with them and your psych meds.
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    Thank you for your input zenman. My general intuition is that 'all experience is good experience" (so long as you make that of it!). It might help me better understand which age group I work best with, in addition to developing a practical knowledge base. Right now my clinical rotation is in adult and geri inpatient psych - I love it, but I may very well also like child/adolescent, and we won't be rotating in those units.

    I am seeing a great deal of comorbidity, and that medical conditions are inseparable from psychiatric conditions certain rings true in this particular population. Right now my knowledge of medical conditions is totally textbook, un-applied ....so I think I am indeed leaning towards work in a medical context before applying to a psych NP.

    I'm not overly concerned that this would hurt my application, but wonder if I should be. Out of curiosity, anyone out there have trouble getting into Psych programs with a non-psych nursing background? Any recent acceptances to report that did not work in a psych unit first?

    I may also call schools directly, but it seems admissions counselors typically give me the 'of course you'll be accepted' story Looking for a realist perspective not shiny advertising


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