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Does it matter what type of psych facility you worked in previously?

Posted

Specializes in Behavioral health.

Psych nursing is what I want to specialize in. I finally found a position at a private for profit psychiatric hospital. If ever want to apply for another facility such as the Veterans Administration or an academic hospital will it matter?

Whispera, MSN, RN

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

I don't see that they would be all that different!

StocktonNurse, BSN, LVN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Cardiac ICU; CV Nursing; Medical Surg; Psychiatric. Has 13 years experience.

If you are applying for a psych postition in the VA later on in life, having experience in psych is a big plus. Also, the time that you put in and how many different diagnosis you come across helps.

I was able to land a job with the VA in mental health. My background of working in a psychiatric facility was the main reason they hired me compared to other nurses whom only worked in SNF's or other areas.

Gentleman_nurse, MSN

Specializes in Behavioral health.

I don't see that they would be all that different!

I thought the same way but I read on these boards that nursing experience in certain environments is considered less valuable such a community hospital vs teaching hospital.

It just depends. If the proprietary psych facility is one with a particularly bad reputation (which some of them do have), it could hurt you more than help you.

Whispera, MSN, RN

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

so...it's not the type of facility that matters, it's the reputation of the particular facility...

Like nursing, mental health is a small "club." In any particular region, leadership of all the psychiatric facilities/programs has a pretty good idea of what all the other facilities/programs are like, and what quality of care they offer. I don't mean to suggest that all nonprofitfacilities are good and all for-profit facilities are bad, but there is often a significant difference. A number of the private-for-profit psychiatric chains have had significant scandals and ongoing problems (including legal problems) over the years. Everywhere I've practiced over the years (five states now, in 30 years), it was well-known within the psychiatric community that the proprietary facilities in the area were, let's just say, not well-respected. I have personally witnessed, in hiring, my program director interview from the perspective that someone who had been working for the local proprietary psych hospital for any significant length of time could be assumed to be comfortable with the organization's philosophy and practice standards and that meant that those individuals would be incompatible with our (nonprofit) organization's philosophy and standards. At the time, I thought my boss was being unfair and unreasonable, but, since that time, I've found myself working in (nonprofit) organizations that were more "forgiving" and welcoming to people from for-profit facilities, and have seen situations and results that gave me new respect for my previous boss' wisdom in taking the hard line on this. As the old sayings go, if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas, and choices have consequences. If people choose to work for organizations that have bad reputations (and I assure you that the people that matter will know, even if an individual nurse doesn't), that may hurt them in the future (or it might not; but the thing is, you just never know ...)

Edited by elkpark