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Career Frustrated

Posted
Solcita Solcita (New) New

Hey guys,

I been MIA for a while but now that I'm back online I must admit, I am career tormented and frustrated. So a few months back I decided I wanted to become a psychiatric nurse. I still have this desire in my heart. However in the meantime I have a lot of downtime and often find myself beating myself up emotionally because I hold a bachelor's degree in psychology but can't find a job and the nursing program I'm interested in doesn't start anytime soon. I often wonder if I will get looked down upon by fellow psychologists when they see me on the path to mental health nursing instead of the typical everyone wants "masters degree in counseling". I don't want to be seen or treated as less than a mental health professional because I have chosen the nursing path. I love and admire nursing and nursing professionals. And I'm afraid of loosing that psychology edge I love so much as well. Please help, I am a compass with no direction and I'm frustrated with myself because although I want to be a psych nurse I don't want to be judged or looked as less in the mental health field....:(

I can't imagine what you feel. But I read what you said and thought wow.

BA in psychology, this woman has an edge!

why because you are entering mental health nursing with a knowledge of people's minds and behaviour. Which is highly useful in psychiatric nursing.

Can I ask why you did not get a MA in counseling? was it the grades, I ask because so many with psychology enter psych nursing.

I remember in the info session that there were many with a BA in psychology entering psych nursing.

In fact at the school I went to the guy highlighted for the program in psych nursing had a BA in psychololgy and is now an intake nurse at a mental health and addictions area in the hospital. Looks really cool!

I look at psych nurses with great admiration, they help people when they are really sick.

I can't imagine what you feel. But I read what you said and thought wow.

BA in psychology, this woman has an edge!

why because you are entering mental health nursing with a knowledge of people's minds and behaviour. Which is highly useful in psychiatric nursing.

Can I ask why you did not get a MA in counseling? was it the grades, I ask because so many with psychology enter psych nursing.

I remember in the info session that there were many with a BA in psychology entering psych nursing.

In fact at the school I went to the guy highlighted for the program in psych nursing had a BA in psychololgy and is now an intake nurse at a mental health and addictions area in the hospital. Looks really cool!

I look at psych nurses with great admiration, they help people when they are really sick.

I am also looking into masters programs in psychology. The problems are 2: number one it is very expensive to get a MA in whatever field of psychology you pick. The second problem is that the pay of many mental health counselors is not that great. Plus I don't see myself all day in an office just counseling people. I want to be more active in helping people get their life together.

Thank you for the complement of me having an "edge".:)

I am also looking into masters programs in psychology. The problems are 2: number one it is very expensive to get a MA in whatever field of psychology you pick. The second problem is that the pay of many mental health counselors is not that great. Plus I don't see myself all day in an office just counseling people. I want to be more active in helping people get their life together.

Thank you for the complement of me having an "edge".:)

ooh some important information to look at there, the bolded part.

Yeah MA counseling programs are expensive and the times economically can be tough, at least where I live.

Sounds like you know what you want.

no problem ;)

I am a psychiatric nurse and am currently starting my masters in psychiatric nursing. I only wish I had the wealth of knowledge that you have before entering my program. The fact that you have that and that you are so passionate about helping people with mental illness will take you SO far in your career. You will make a wonderful nurse. There are many avenues you can take in psychiatric nursing. I did acute care for the first few years to get that type of experience under my belt, but now am working as an assertive community treatment outreach nurse and am very happy and well respected in my role. I also wanted to do an MA in counseling, but love nursing so much that I didn't want to limit my education and opportunities. My advice would be to go ahead and do the nursing program and focus on the reason you are doing it (helping people with mental illness) and less on how other professionals will look at you. If you are confident and proud of your accomplishments and your role, then you will be respected. I am confident that you will succeed as a psychiatric nurse based off of your education and passion for the field. There are lots of people who become nurses who don't have the empathy that should accompany it.

Psychiatric nursing is exciting, stimulating, and rewarding. Go for it and good luck!

Barnstormin' PMHNP

Specializes in psychiatric. Has 4 years experience.

I am slightly, well, completely offended that you think other will look down on you for being a *cough*....nurse. I am a nurse and I work with techs that are psychologists. They are pursuing nursing in the desire to become Psych NP's. Once you become a nurse (if you have what it takes and can pass the NCLEX)you will hopefully have a great deal of pride about who you are and what you are doing, it's not a career for the weak or fainthearted, no matter where you work. I am sure your background in psych is the perfect stepping stone to become an NP if you so desire, but be warned, NP's are still NURSES.

Whispera, MSN, RN

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

Everyone wants a Master's degree in counseling? If that was the case, so many people wouldn't be going into nursing after getting their BAs in psychology.

I've worked as a psychiatric nurse several places. The therapists didn't look down on the nurses at all! We were team-mates, there to help the patients get better, not to be status competitors.

The Master's-prepared therapists also earned lots less per hour than the RNs who didn't have a Master's degree. That seems to say that the administration appreciated nurses more, doesn't it?

You can always get a Master's in psychiatric nursing later, if you want to do therapy with your patients. As a generic RN, you can use therapeutic communication with your patients, but therapy will be outside your scope of practice...

smoup

Specializes in psych/dementia.

Another person with a BA in psych planning to go in to psych nursing. I have gotten asked why I didn't get my MA in counseling or my Psy.D. Cost is a big factor as well as time. Not to mention nursing offers me so many more choices and paths if I ever want to leave psych, which I don't think I will.

macfar28

Has 20 years experience.

I've been a psych nurse for almost 17 years and started with a BA in Psychology. Truth be told, while I graduated cum laude from a strong university, I didn't get into the 3 grad schools to which I applied. My mom was a career nurse and it just seemed like a natural progression to apply to nursing school. I think you should stay on your path and do what you want to do! I also have had, and at times still do have, the experience of our counselors looking down upon the nursing staff. Don't let this deter you. There will always be nay-sayers with any profession. Folllow your passion and go for it. It will take time but it will be worth it in the end. Best of luck.

Stephalump

Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience.

I'm a psych nurse with a degree in psychology as well. It was probably the best decision I could have made. I finished NS with zero debt and I make more money than I could hope to make as a therapist. PLUS I get to combine my love of mental health with my love of medicine. I don't technically do therapy, but I have way more therapeutic contact with my patients than the rest of the treatment staff in my inpatient setting.

As far as respect goes - I don't expect to be respected by a psychologist as an "equal," psychologist because I don't have the training they do. A BS does not a psychologist make. I expect to be respected as an equal member of the treatment team - I have training they don't have, as well. And I've gotten it, for the most part. I work closely with psychiatrists, and they have nothing but respect for the job we do. 👍

PeacockMaiden

Specializes in psychiatric nursing. Has 3 years experience.

I just want to add as a psych NP you can legally do therapy with clients. Psych NPs are usually used for med management, because that's what insurance pays more for, but they can indeed bill for therapy services too.

gzussu

Has 3 years experience.

Technically, you can't say "my fellow psychologists" because youre not a psychologist. A psychologist is a psyD. (RNs don't really appreciate cna's or medical assistants identifying themselves as nurses so I can understand if a psychologist will not appreciate being equated with a therapist with an masters degree or less).

Because you have the education in mental health, you have the knowledge and understanding to be an effective psych nurse. We have several student nurses who do clinicals on our unit with BA in psychology. And they show their enthusiasm unlike the student nurses who have their goals set on medical. I'm just an ASN. I work with mostly BSN's. But I am the main treatment team nurse. Our team, you know, the psychiatrist, psychologist, pharmD, etc, does not value me any less just because I am an ASN.