RN vs. Psychologist - page 2

I am currently in college to become a registered nurse but tonight the teacher who teaches my psychology class has mentioned that there is a shortage of school psychologists(he is also a school... Read More

  1. by   Tweety
    Now I'm reading Zen's note above mine, and it seems you indeed might not have realistic expectations about the position. Again, good luck.
  2. by   Ross1
    I too was a bit concerned about that quote, "That they make good money, sit on their butts all day, get long breaks and have an easy cirriculum might not be realistic"
    You know, that is really offensive. I'm a second career student nurse. I will have my RN in 2006 but I already have a MSW. I'm very familiar with the work of clinical social workers (cause I am one) as well as psychologists, family therapists, counselors etc. We don't sit on our butts all day and while we don't have the physical demands of nursing, we clearly have our fill of emotional demands.

    The one thing that I've noticed from working with nurses for 13 years and now being a nursing student: You really are a tough bunch.....very hard to please....always criticizing other professions.....believing that you know more.........and frequently criticizing each other (blame things on the night shift, day shift, supervisor....etc etc etc).

    Secret: we don't do that in other professions.....we at least not to the extent of nursing
  3. by   Tweety
    Quote from Ross1
    The one thing that I've noticed from working with nurses for 13 years and now being a nursing student: You really are a tough bunch.....very hard to please....always criticizing other professions.....believing that you know more.........and frequently criticizing each other (blame things on the night shift, day shift, supervisor....etc etc etc).

    Secret: we don't do that in other professions.....we at least not to the extent of nursing
    I do think because nursing school is so tough, and the work is so tough, we nurses get a little arrogant that we're the hardest working people out there and better than others. A little bit of the martyr complex too.

    Heck, when I was a secretary and a waiter I worked just as hard. My hardest job was working as Assistant Manager of Pizza Hut while I was in nursing school.

    I have to disagree with the thought that we are more critical than other fields and complain more about the other shifts. I've seen that in other jobs I've had. The worst being when I worked for a major insurance company's regional office. It was dog eat dog there.

    We all come to the plate with different tastes and different life experiences though, so if that's how you feel and that's your reality then that's your reality.
  4. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from Ross1
    I too was a bit concerned about that quote, "That they make good money, sit on their butts all day, get long breaks and have an easy cirriculum might not be realistic"
    You know, that is really offensive. I'm a second career student nurse. I will have my RN in 2006 but I already have a MSW. I'm very familiar with the work of clinical social workers (cause I am one) as well as psychologists, family therapists, counselors etc. We don't sit on our butts all day and while we don't have the physical demands of nursing, we clearly have our fill of emotional demands.

    The one thing that I've noticed from working with nurses for 13 years and now being a nursing student: You really are a tough bunch.....very hard to please....always criticizing other professions.....believing that you know more.........and frequently criticizing each other (blame things on the night shift, day shift, supervisor....etc etc etc).

    Secret: we don't do that in other professions.....we at least not to the extent of nursing
    Well, I guess I shouldn't have made such a brazen comment. I'm very sorry. My father-in-law retired last year at age 79 as a psychologist for the Newark, NJ public school system (before that he worked for the Brooklyn, NY pubilc school system). He gave his diplomas from college to my son (he has them hanging in his room) and it is true that school psychologists are regulated by the board of education not psychology.
    My father-in-law admits himself he had a lush job, getting paid more than $50.00/hr. Each extra case he took over he got an extra $300. He loved working with the kids but he still admits this is true. He said he hated to quit his job and move closer to us (but he could no longer drive himself) and he keeps telling us he is going to go back to work. He jokes with us, "you don't have to know much to do what I do." He says "psychology is just theory, anyway, you go by the seat of your pants and if it sounds plausible go with it, because psychology theories change with the wind."
    The psychology course I am taking now is not required for my nursing degree (child psychology) but I have taken several psychology courses to keep my GPA up and would only need a few more to graduate with a BS in psychology.
  5. by   vortex72
    If you are just looking for an easy job where you can "sit on your butt" then look for another career. You could start a web-based business or become a security guard.

    If you really are interested in nursing as well as psychology, I would recommend getting your RN. Then you can always become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. They function at the level of and MD Psychiatrist and have prescriptive authority. They can also make more money than a PHD psychologist(with less schooling).

    I once worked with a guy in CVICU that was working on his psychNP. He found a great government grant which paid for his school AND gave him a nice stipend of spending money each semester. All he had to do was work in a specified underserved area for 3 years and all the debt was forgiven. I think his starting pay was going to be around 70k in Missouri which is pretty decent.
  6. by   Jo Dirt
    Wait a minute, Vortex...are the psychNP's the ladies I see come into the nursing home dressed like they came out of Bloomingdale's with lap top computers and going over patient charts leaving suggestions, for example, that we increase so-and-so's Zyprexa or make another kind of psychotropic med change?

    We envy those women there. They come in and use their lap tops, sometimes ask us a question about someone's mental status, then they go out to lunch, come back for a little while, then leave. That wouldn't be a bad job to have, either.
  7. by   Tweety
    LPNtoRN, you make it sound like they are ladies who lunch. You also might not realize that they too can put in long hours, be overworked, be on call and work weekends, and be overburdened with high client loads. Hopefully, they also spend time talking to the patient and counseling them as they also are making medication adjustments.

    We have Pyschologists come into our facility as well and they may look relaxed, but they are driving all over town, all hours of the night and just when they think they are done, they get beeped for another consult.

    Don't simply another profression by how it appears is what I'm saying.

    Find something you're passionate about whatever it is, rather than looking at appearances and looking at what "appears" to be.

    But I'm a work junky. I love working hard, as much as I complain about it. I've never had a cushy job in my life. Soon perhaps I'll be ready, I'm getting old. (And if you read my posts about my job of late, I have been working hard. LOL).
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 9, '04
  8. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from LPNtoRN
    Wait a minute, Vortex...are the psychNP's the ladies I see come into the nursing home dressed like they came out of Bloomingdale's with lap top computers and going over patient charts leaving suggestions, for example, that we increase so-and-so's Zyprexa or make another kind of psychotropic med change?

    We envy those women there. They come in and use their lap tops, sometimes ask us a question about someone's mental status, then they go out to lunch, come back for a little while, then leave. That wouldn't be a bad job to have, either.
    i suppose it's what your priorities are.
    some people strive to make big $ w/minimal work.
    others strive to do the best job possible, regardless of $.

    to each his own.
    for me, i would go nuts if i sat down all day.
    i hope to work until the day i die.
  9. by   zenman
    Quote from Ross1
    We don't sit on our butts all day and while we don't have the physical demands of nursing, we clearly have our fill of emotional demands.
    I found psych nursing to be equally as draining as any other kind of unit.

    The one thing that I've noticed from working with nurses for 13 years and now being a nursing student: You really are a tough bunch.....very hard to please....always criticizing other professions.....believing that you know more.........and frequently criticizing each other (blame things on the night shift, day shift, supervisor....etc etc etc).

    Secret: we don't do that in other professions.....we at least not to the extent of nursing
    You nailed us (some of us)!
  10. by   Sheri257
    Funny: The psychology majors I know are now going into nursing because they couldn't find jobs as psychologists. Go figure. I'd do some serious research on the job market before making that decision.

    I NEVER rely upon teachers, students, or anybody else about job opportunities and salary, because people always exaggerate this stuff ... i.e. how much they make, how great their job is, etc.

    I always look at hard data from the labor department, salary.com, etc. because rumors are just that ... rumors and exaggerations. I can't tell you how many people have exaggerated how much money they make.

    Also, just because one person may have a good job, doesn't mean there are plenty of those same jobs available and that you would have the same opportunity once you graduate. You have to carefully assess the situation and sort out fact from fiction, supply and demand, etc. before making any major decisions.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Oct 10, '04
  11. by   Thunderwolf
    A School Psychologist requires as Masters degree. A Clinical or Counseling Psychologist requires a Doctorate. This is the general rule. Even so, what prevents you from having both (RN & Psych Degree) if you so choose. At this point in the game, it depends how much time you want to devote to being in college. When you are in grad school, many programs dictate that you work no more than 20 hours per week while attending. It also depends how much in loans you can afford to shoulder. My experience in the field is that many salaried positions often entail MORE work or time than a position which is not salaried (getting the most out of their dime...sort of speak). Again, at this level of education (masters/doctorate), comparing a psychologist vs advanced practice nurse income is appropriate, maybe in guiding your decision. Good luck in your decision.
  12. by   Antikigirl
    I had to giggle in total agreement!!! Yes...nursing can certainly be a real bummer (to quote an old 80's phrase since I can't put the actual word I was thinking! LOL). But Psych! Oh man, okay...ya like being bit, scratched, hearing stories that fill your dreams in the bad way....hoping to help against what you think is rational vs the human condition? Uhmmmmmmm I will take nursing over Psych! Trust me!

    I took a large stent in Psych..I thought it may help..and wow..the ONLY place I worked for in precepts that thought I was a DOC not a nurse! LOL..and I was a student! Then there was the day...a sweet old lady came up to me and was fondling my breasts..Okay not good..but she was very..ummmmmm confused and called me Hal..her husband....okay fine but only once!

    Then we had a little chap from STATE...he tweeked out..and I was such a new nurse that yes..I was there going...ummmmmm breach of civlity code...can't hold him like that..can't give inapsine like that!!!

    TILL!!! The old lady I was fending from danger BIT me on the left breast! Okay that gal did it! I didn't harm her in any way...my facial expression and kind grasp of my own breast lucky reminded her of something she knew was wrong! I ran to the med cart..said..sorry outloud "&*&K this!" and got inapsine...the doc said "bless your heart!!!!!!"..and I said..Bless my breast dude...you will be examining the damage in a min!!!!!!!!

    Lets just say...patient that was being unruley was controlled, the breast enfactuated lady was fine and actually for once in her treatment remembered what she did and was heartbroken..which I talked to her about and cleared it all up (I have a scar~!!!)..and said..just be good to you...don't do what you wish to others! (she died of a stroke 15 days later....poor dear).

    Oh yeah..the patient that caused the whole uproar...turned out to be okay once his 'recreational drugs' wore off..and he was a NURSE! Wow!

    But that is cool...considering the docs thought I was one of them..and I was able to order meds without actually knowing I was (which I fessed up to ...and they said..wow! And nothing more go figure..LOL!)....

    Um and that is the DAY in the life of Psych!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!

    Take it if you want it....but I say...ummmmmm not worth my breast!
  13. by   Pomfrey2006
    Well I have my bachelors in psych, been in the MH field for 11 yrs, and now back to school for my BSN. Choose wisely. All of these previous posts state a lot of "truths" about the professions. Psych tends to require more schooling for less money, most states only really value a degree in social work and with the degree in psych one usually needs to go on for their doctorate if you want to make any money. Most of the folks in my current profession usually need to hold down two to three different jobs (which are usually on call). Some of the clients can be violent, and consider being spit at on a regular basis. Most of the clients are not really cured they are managed. It seems like a revolving door. In nursing you have many oppurtunites to care for a lot of different people and actually SEE them get better! Then again if you are a school psychologist you only have a certain group of kids that will graduate and then you will get new kids. Different faces same problems! In my area of the country PA, a lot of the jobs within the school systems tend to be who you know and not what you know. A lot of the jobs in MH tend to be dead end and a psych degree does not offer a lot of flexability. I feel the world is your oyster having the RN or BSN, and having a psychology background I feel is a nice compliment to the nursing degree. The bottom line is only you can choose what you want. I am choosing to get out of the MH field because I need to find something that is more satisfying and I feel nursing is what will do it for me!!

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