Considering switching to psych after 24 years in pediatrics


  • Specializes in Neonatal ICU, Pediatrics, some ER. Has 23 years experience.

I have been a pediatric and NICU nurse for 24 years and over the past several years have worked with an increasing number of kids and families with significant addiction and other mental health comorbities.

I have really felt drawn to these populations of late. Do you think it would be possible after all these years to transition to psych nursing successfully?

I am also thinking about switching to psych after Peds.

I am researching into it now. :)

Absolutely! Many of my colleagues had 10-20+ years of experience in PICU and various pediatric specialties before transitioning to psych. I started in child/adolescent inpatient psych as a new grad RN, and it has been tremendously rewarding. I really can't picture doing anything else.

Specializes in Psych, corrections.

Definitely, my old nurse manager worked in L&D for decades before she switched over to psych. I absolutely loved working in mental health and also drawn to this population. I worked with many nurses who were judgmental against this population and there because they were "stuck", so I think you would be a great asset to them.


183 Posts

Absolutely. I did peds (NICU/PICU/Peds ER/Peds Float) for 15 years before moving into Psych. It's been a relatively smooth transition as well.


49 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 29 years experience.

I did it after 36 years working NICU! Best decision ever! I feel like a nurse again. Management in my old unit went to crap and all they worried about was ‘don't make the parents mad, that will affect the HCAPS score'

Pug RN

65 Posts

Specializes in Neonatal ICU, Pediatrics, some ER. Has 23 years experience.

Exactly! HCAP has made it that nurses can't even do necessary things because they may offend someone.

Specializes in Psych, IV antibiotic therapy med-surg/addictions. Has 6 years experience.

I'm doing it as a new grad nurse. I will be cross-trained in peds, adult, and chemical dependency. Eventually I get to avoid geriatrics-yay! I can't wait!