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Advice for potential RN

Psychiatric   (607 Views 6 Comments)
by hope77rn hope77rn (New Member) New Member

1,065 Profile Views; 12 Posts

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Hello all,

I am currently working on prerequisites in preparation for applying to a local ADN program in nursing.  I have a bachelor's (and career) in another field (education) and am a career changer in my early forties.  I have little interest in traditional bedside hospital-based nursing, but am very interested in psych and/or addictions nursing.  I strongly feel that both of these areas are such important societal issues and I have great empathy for those who suffer from these diseases.  I also know its definitely not all healing rainbows - there's a lot of darkness that surrounds both addiction and psychosis.  For those of you who work in the field of psychiatric nursing, do think it's reasonable for me to attend nursing school with the specific goal of working in psychiatric nursing immediately upon graduating?  

 

Thanks for your input!

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umbdude has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Psych/Mental Health.

914 Posts; 14,077 Profile Views

On 3/8/2019 at 1:17 PM, hope77rn said:

For those of you who work in the field of psychiatric nursing, do think it's reasonable for me to attend nursing school with the specific goal of working in psychiatric nursing immediately upon graduating?

Yup. Obviously there's a risk of having such narrow focus without actual experience working with this population (you might not like it in the end). But if your gut tells you that you will enjoy working with this population, trust it.

I made a career change to nursing in my late 30s mostly because I was drawn to psych. I worked as a psych tech (aka mental health worker) during nursing school, loved it, and went straight into psych nursing after I got my RN license.

Be aware that psych RNs do need to know all body systems and populations because psych is just one aspect of a person. Most of the psych patients I work with also have serious chronic medical issues and these issues often arise while they're in our care. 

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Heylove has 1 years experience.

195 Posts; 4,112 Profile Views

Absolutely.   It was while I was in nursing school and my first day of my psych rotation that I absolutely knew I wanted to work in psych.  

The downside is now it appears that I won't get the chance to work other specialties since I have only worked psych... I have applied to other units in order to advance my career opportunities but because I am no longer a "new grad" I am not eligible to go through "new grad" training for ED/ICU.  I haven't tried med-surg yet.  

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umbdude has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Psych/Mental Health.

914 Posts; 14,077 Profile Views

4 hours ago, Heylove said:

The downside is now it appears that I won't get the chance to work other specialties since I have only worked psych.

Yes it's harder to either switch out of psych or get medical experience if you start in psych right off the bat. I think maybe try med-surg or even SNF.

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15 Posts; 99 Profile Views

On 3/8/2019 at 10:17 AM, hope77rn said:

For those of you who work in the field of psychiatric nursing, do think it's reasonable for me to attend nursing school with the specific goal of working in psychiatric nursing immediately upon graduating?  

 

 

Yes, definitely! I knew that I would love psych nursing and that's where I started after graduation at the age of 49. I did leave for six years and worked Med/Surg, Home Health and insurance nursing. Now I am back working in psych and this is were I belong. 

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KJoRN81 has 5 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Med Psych; hospice & tele previously.

143 Posts; 6,993 Profile Views

Sure! I am going into my 5th year of nursing, & have branched out into Med Psych nursing. I know that isn’t too common, but my teaching hospital has a unit like that & I have very much enjoyed it/the patients. It’s definitely challenging, medical aspects aside.

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