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Complete career switch...Help!

by Jai&Rob1 Jai&Rob1 (New) New

Hello All,

So I recently made the leap to pursue a nursing degree. I say leap because up until about a few days ago I was certain I would be applying for my masters in Social Work - with a concentration in Mental health. But due to some issues, decided to take a different direction. With that being said, I am starting fresh; literally need the PRE-REQS since my B.S. in Criminology did not require all those science and math courses. Eventually I want to get into Mental Health! My goal is to take as many of the pre-reqs during a semester as I can, but I understand it is best to take it easy withe certain courses. My goal is to start up in October....

This what I am thinking for the first semester:

Med Term


Chem I


----Would taking Micro be too much?


*Is there a way to specialize in mental health or is that only possible upon graduating?

*Coming from a completely different field, what is the best order of coursework for the pre-reqs?

* What courses would be best to take concurrently and what courses would be advised to not take during same semester?


Has 1 years experience.

At this point I assume you have researched some nursing schools and KNOW what their prereqs are. The courses you listed you will be taking thus fall seem like rather manageable. I would, however, not add micro. You already have chem, which, I am sure, has a lab component. Also, stats may be rather challenging if your math skills are not on point. You said yourself, better go slowly.

Since you already have BS, I think the best course of action for you is to go ABSN route. Yes, you can also apply to ASN, and, or generic BSN programs, but ABSN programs are faster, yet a bit more expensive. As far as your desire to specialize in mental health/psych, I do believe you have to get your RN/BSN which will allow you to find a job on the psych floor where you can care for psych patients. As far as YOU actually practicing it, you need a Master's (Like NP).

I hope I was able to answer your questions.

shibaowner, MSN, RN, NP

Has 1 years experience.

You can't specialize in psych in undergrad nursing school. However, most programs provide some choices in clinical rotations. For example, in my BSN program, during our public health course I asked to be in a clinical which focused on community mental health. There is also usually a final "capstone" clinical and you can work to get a psych rotation (I did). Everyone also has one psych rotation as part of the general nursing program. Good luck!

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

FutureNurseInfo pretty much has it - check the nursing schools you want to go to for requirements, get your pre-reqs done and then working on getting your RN. I agree that the load you have for fall looks manageable but I would not add micro on top. Figure out the job market for your area and your fiances to figure out if ADN, traditional BSN or ABSN is the best option for schooling for you personally. All will lead to a general nursing degree. It is possible to continue your education in the future (MSN, DNP) and specialize in mental health.

As far as working in mental health before completing your RN: look at local psych units/hospitals for employment criteria, you may be able to work as a mental health tech, behavioral health therapist, or other unlicensed assistive role while taking pre-reqs and during nursing school.