Another potential new grad psych RN


Hello! I am soooooo happy to be posing in the psychiatric nursing section!

I am a new grad (Dec 2016) and newly licensed in Missouri. I have known all the way through nursing school that medsurg or ICU was not for me and LOVED my psych rotation. Now I finally have the opportunity to interview for a position at a psych facility and I am SO happy to have the chance to work in a unit that feels so natural to me.

Any advice on how to really nail this interview? Any special trainings I should look into, specific to psych nursing? I don't mind paying for trainings on my own. I was planning on doing ACLS/PALS on my own just to kill time until I got a job. Should I? Or is there specialized training that I could look into? My professional background includes working as a 911 operator and then I trained as an EMT. I also taught childbirth education for 12 years, so I do like mother-baby, too. Those jobs are even more difficult to find as a new grad, though.

Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!


34 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

Hi HeyLove,

Although I was not a new grad in psych nursing when I first started as an RN, I quickly became an inpatient psych RN early in my career. My recommendation would be to become a CPI Provider (or take an equivalent class in non-violent crisis prevention) and to make sure your CPR BLS certification is up to date. Both certifications were required to work on the inpatient psych unit at my local hospitals. From my experience, ACLS/PALS would not be too useful for psychiatry--ACLS/PALS certifications were NOT required on the inpatient psych unit (Pediatric or Adult), and BLS certification should be sufficient (codes were RARE on the inpatient psychiatry units). It might be helpful to ask your potential employer which certifications are required for the unit you are interviewing for. My advice would be to emphasize your passion about psychiatry during the interview and try to recall any significant experiences with psychiatry patients or during your psychiatry rotation. Best wishes during your interview!

Has 6 years experience.

I got the position on the adolescent psych unit!

This is going to be fantastic!

Specializes in Psych, Peds, Education, Infection Control. Has 15 years experience.

Congrats on the offer! Adolescents are a challenging but often rewarding population. You want to knock their heads together sometimes (in a tough-love sort of way), but other times they can be absolutely delightful. Just remember to set caring but firm boundaries with them and as much as you and your coworkers may joke that you feel like their parents, you're not and you can't be - no matter how much some of those kids NEED a parent like you. That's easier said than done, but find a co-worker whose style you like and observe how they do it, then see how that can be incorporated into your own work. :)