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Does a degree in psych or counseling complement a degree in psych nursing in NYC?

Psychiatric   (1,790 Views | 7 Replies)
by vonconz vonconz (New) New

1,192 Profile Views; 5 Posts

Hi all!

I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me. I know I want to do psychiatric nursing. I had been on track to apply for accelerated nursing programs in November, but I recently started a new job at a university (unrelated to nursing). In this position, I qualify for tuition remission, which unfortunately I can't apply to nursing because clinicals are during the day during work hours. I can however, get a masters degree in psychology, counseling, or social work while still working. I'm wondering if one of those degrees would complement my planned nursing degree and future career, or whether I'd just be putting off my nursing plans unnecessarily. I know NYC is a highly saturated area, and that it is very difficult for new grads to get jobs. I know for sure I want to go for psychiatric nursing, so I was thinking that maybe getting another degree would be a good addition to my nursing education.

I would love to hear from anyone who has any thoughts or advice for my situation. Also, I would love to hear from any psych nurses about their experiences in the field!

Thank you so much for your time, and I hope to hear from you!

Best.

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Stephalump has 2 years experience and specializes in Forensic Psych.

2,723 Posts; 15,269 Profile Views

Unless you can get your master's for free, I wouldn't bother with it.

Any extra education can be helpful, but overall, I think it's extremely unnecessary to pursue your masters before nursing school.

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Whispera is a MSN, RN and specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

3,458 Posts; 28,578 Profile Views

Those degrees would help you as a psych nurse, but are not necessary, and might even keep you from being employable. A facility might not want someone with an advanced degree if it can get someone without one....budgetary thing. However, becoming a social worker might be a route to take, without becoming a nurse. It would give you the therapy skills a social worker has. While psych nurses, unless advanced practice, don't do therapy, they do therapeutic communication. Social workers do too.

What draws you to psych nursing? What's your other degree in?

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106 Posts; 3,589 Profile Views

In the info session I went earlier in the year for psychiatric nursing.

The lady holding the session told me that psych nursing is not a sit and talk job all the time.

She told the group that there is also personal care involved. Many people where I live that get into psych nursing have a BA in psychology. Those psychology credits transfer into the psychiatric nursing program.

Whispera is right, social workers do use therapeutic skills, but I bet they have an MA in social work to be able to work in hospitals and more so with psychiatric patients.

In my area the BSW would land you a casual job posting in medical social work.

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5 Posts; 1,192 Profile Views

Hi Whispera!

Thank you for your advice. My BA is in English, but I had an outside concentration in psych. I'm interested in psych nursing because while I do like the idea of therapy, I'm also very interested in the holistic approach that nursing allows - it seems like nurses are involved with all aspects of patient care, and are able to see the patient as a whole, and how certain physiological issues could be contributing to any mental illness. I also like how nursing can be so changeable throughout your career, you can work in a hospital or in private practice, or as an educator etc. I am sure there are so many other things nurses can do that I don't even know about! That possible career evolution excites me, I'm not sure it is the same with social work.

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5 Posts; 1,192 Profile Views

Hi Stephalump,

The thing is it would be free! That's why i'm struggling so much with this decision. It seems like an opportunity I shouldn't waste, but at the same time I feel like putting off nursing is a mistake. If it made me more competitive, it would be great. But, as whispera said it might be detrimental in reality!

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Stephalump has 2 years experience and specializes in Forensic Psych.

2,723 Posts; 15,269 Profile Views

Hi Stephalump,

The thing is it would be free! That's why i'm struggling so much with this decision. It seems like an opportunity I shouldn't waste, but at the same time I feel like putting off nursing is a mistake. If it made me more competitive, it would be great. But, as whispera said it might be detrimental in reality!

Honestly, if you want to be a nurse, go be a nurse. No other programs wk prepare you for the role of a nurse, and there are less demanding ways to make yourself competitive WHILE on the nursing track.

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ladyvp05 specializes in Operating Room.

110 Posts; 6,069 Profile Views

You either want to be a counselor or a nurse. My sister became a psych nurse because she always wanted to work in psych. Well the bad thing is she hates nursing. She ended up going back and getting her masters in mental health counselor and completely left nursing for her real passion.

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