RN vs. Psychologist - page 5

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   boulergirl
    Ya know, if I COULD "follow my bliss", I'd be sitting in bed all day poring over old issues of Victoria magazine and watching episodes of "Chef"! But, I have this pesky little thing called BILLS.

    I guess there are two ways to approach the harsh realities of life--especially when you're single and have only yourself to rely on for income:
    1.) Allow life to make you cynical and miserable. Become a victim of your circumstances and let everyone know about it. I've been using this approach for the last four years and the only outcome? I've just spent four years of my life stuck in a rut. If Dr. Phil asked me, "How's that workin' for ya?" Umm...welll...:stone
    Or...
    2.) Find a way to go after what you want even if it means change, sacrifice, or approaching your dream differently. Lately I've been looking for ways to enjoy life outside of my job (without spending too much money). I'm still stuck in a job I don't care for, that doesn't pay worth crap, but it bothers me less. (I'll get out of there eventually, but I'm learning that there's no easy way out. I live paycheck to paycheck, so I can't just quit. My parents have suggested to me that a move might be the jumpstart I need. Who knows?

    My mother has a hobby she absolutely loves. She rubberstamps and makes greeting cards, using different techniques and papers. She's very good at it, and this is her outlet for her artistic abilities. However, she is also a wife and stay-at-mom and her family takes priority. Although Dad makes a good income, Mom is always looking for ways to save money so the family can live comfortably and there's still money for Mom and Dad's hobbies. She's VERY frugal. The word "victim" is not in my mom's vocabulary. She has reminded me more than once that "your feet are NOT nailed to the floor". I'm just beginning to grasp that concept.

    Sorry so lengthy, just wanted to give my thoughts on the whole thing. LPNtoRN, look at both career options with eyes wide open. No matter what career you choose, it won't be all fun and games, but the right one will fulfill you enough to make it worth the crap-ola you have to deal with (and every job has its share of crap). Okay, time to get off my soapbox now...
  2. by   Jo Dirt
    You sound like you came straight off the Dave Ramsey Show...I like Dave, though, so that's a good thing!
  3. by   boulergirl

    You sound like you came straight off the Dave Ramsey Show...I like Dave, though, so that's a good thing!
    Oh boy, sounds like my parents have indoctrinated me well!!
    They are Dave Ramsey FREAKS, especially my mom. She likes folks who "tell it like it is" so Dave's style clicks with her. My parents sent me some CD's of his show in the hopes that I'll gain some enlightenment. Apparently it's working! LOL
  4. by   Jessy_RN
    Quote from LPNtoRN
    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 psychologist and teaches a night class once a week for his own enjoyment). I did some comparing and school psychologists make more money, they get out on school breaks, they sit on their butts for a large part of the day...and from what I have seen psychology is a pretty easy subject.

    Which do you think would be better? Should I switch fields and get my master's degree in psychology with hopes of getting a lush job or do you think it would be better and more predictable to stick to the old ball and chain of nursing?
    Or could a person do both?

    Decisions, decisions...
    A FRIEND OF MINE GRADUATED WITH A MASTER'S IN PSYCHOLOGY, TRUE THEY MAKE MORE MONEY BUT YOU NEED TO REALIZE THAT MOST OF THEM HAVE TO HAVE THEIR OWN OFFICE AND PAY SALARY WAGES TO HIS/HER EMPLOYEES, AND ALL THE OTHER COSTS. SHE TAKES HOME A LOT LESS, THAN MY AUNT WHO IS A RECENT ADN GRADUATE. YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK IN TO THAT. TAKE CARE AND GOD BLESS.
  5. by   INFJ
    Of course, everything does have to be your own decision, but I can tell you my experience. I have my Masters in Counseling Psychology. I am now in school for my BSN. The school that I went to for my Masters has a history of making things seem *wonderful* in the psychology field. This is just not the case. Jobs that aren't totally crappy are hard to come by, even with a Masters. School psychologists do have a great job...but, those jobs are the ones that people stay in until retirement. There really aren't many of those "cushy" jobs out there. Again, things must be your own decision, but I am finding Nursing to be more along the lines of what I was looking for...especially if helping people is your whole reason for working. There is also the awesome flexibility in Nursing...you aren't just strictly tied to anything for your whole career.

    All of this to say to make sure to do your research. That's where I failed and now I'm doing BSN, which is what I should have done in the first place when my gut was telling me that Psych was wrong for me. You can't listen to what the professors say, because in my case it was baloney! Good luck to you!!
  6. by   Nemeth
    You better talk to some school psychologists. They from what I know are over worked having to deal with more than one school a piece in the public school system, with little support from the local board of ed's that are under funded and so scared of law suits that the psychologists hands are usually tied to help the kids who really need help. I also have been told the pay is not what it should be, I think you should do more research.

    Good luck KIM

    QUOTE=LPNtoRN]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 psychologist and teaches a night class once a week for his own enjoyment). I did some comparing and school psychologists make more money, they get out on school breaks, they sit on their butts for a large part of the day...and from what I have seen psychology is a pretty easy subject.

    Which do you think would be better? Should I switch fields and get my master's degree in psychology with hopes of getting a lush job or do you think it would be better and more predictable to stick to the old ball and chain of nursing?
    Or could a person do both?

    Decisions, decisions...[/QUOTE]
  7. by   madore57
    If you want to sit on your butt all day, become a Psychologist. If you want to run around all day and do physical work that requires a lot of knowledge, become an RN.
    Eilleen.
  8. by   WorLDBank
    Whoever says School Psychology is not a growing field is misinformed! I know three school psychologists, personally, two of which currently have their doctorates! I understand when comparing SP's to nurses, nurses DO get more of the jobs and have good chances at starting at a high salary due to the crucial shortage..but SP is truly the best next thing.. Cushy? Not close. Lucrative? Very.
    The SP who has her specialist degree, a close friend of mine, who is on her way to a doctoral program, does not quite enjoy it because she is tied to the schools and "owned and operated." She used to tell me though that it also has a lot to do with where you work, suburban or city, public or private, but of course the cities will have more openings and there, the jobs are tougher..
    Those who have their PhD in School Psychology.. well the world is their oyster. PsyD's they just hold more power in the schools.. They are doctors and so department of eduction gives them flexibility and options. Those are the only type of SP's that if they want can be hired full time by most suburban and rural districts... (urban, you will likely be working in more than one school..) School Psychologists are also working in hospitals..(do the research) but the positions are not as plentiful. They could be professors in undergrad education, undergrad psychology or graduate school programs. They are also administrators in schools, (after experience.) One of the women I know currently works at the Recovery District in New Orleans where they are begging for SP's... this is actually going on most of the country, but they are now looking for PhD's or PsyD's as APA (american psychological assocition) is requiring it. NASP (national association of school psychologists) have to adjust their standards.
    And pay?? PhD School Psychologists start off in their $60,000. (I did the online research after hearing people in the field say the same thing.) Masters level, $45... (not much of a difference but good on the school schedule.) If you do psychological assessments on the side, least you can make is like $200 for each additional assessment, (through a small private practice or through contracted services.) It also obviously varies though by state. You also have to enjoy writing about a student once you test them, SP's type up about 10 reports a week!!!! It is true that they work hard .... From what I've noticed...this job seems like a job for young, ambitious folk without a family since those I know are young and ambitious and love their jobs!!!! Those who don't like it are those who took it BECAUSE of the "school schedule" idea and was disappointed they took work home. In nursing obviously, if you work more they pay you for it and you could leave it at the hospital..
    It must be odd that Im rambling about this field.. but I just kept shaking my head concerning the lack of knowledge about the School Psychology field!!!! The fields in psychology to be worried about are the others like clinical or counseling, but still people follow their dreams and do what they want to do, so be it..
    So if that's what you want to do, go ahead..Don't be discouraged by nurses. Many who discourage others for a good opportunity are those who wish they could do it themselves but can't!
    DO your research & You have to find school psychologists in your area and ask them for yourself about the real deal!!! You could even email some folks in the field online.
    To sum it up, nursing along with SP are great fields. Nurses work just as hard as SP's, the only difference is respect.
    By the way.. Im on my way to the field.. Wish me the best!
    Check out these links.
    http://www.school-psychologist.com/schpsy.html
    http://gradpsych.apags.org/jan05/schoolpsych.html
    http://www.usnews.com/articles/busin...e-summary.html
    Last edit by WorLDBank on Feb 25, '08
  9. by   WorLDBank
    Those websites will tell you more about the job duties of SP's..
  10. by   WorLDBank
  11. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from INFJ
    School psychologists do have a great job...but, those jobs are the ones that people stay in until retirement.
    My father-in-law is a prime example. The Newark, NJ school system couldn't get rid of him! Finally, at age 78 he was forced to retire when his driving became so reckless we had to go up there and take his keys.

    For the longest time after we brought him down here he would ask us if the school called wanting him to come back to work. He just didn't understand how they rejoiced to get rid of him, he thought he was irreplaceable.
  12. by   WorLDBank
    .... That is funny. You're right, the jobs that are good have SP's in them till retirement, they don't leave! The baby booming age is coming up in about the next 6 -10 years though where they WILL be retiring.. so opportunities will be out there and due to the growing concerns of mental health in the schools, there are new positions opening up, even if they r not always those "great ones."
    Im certain with my drive I'll get one I'll stay in till retirement!!! Well maybe not on my first attempt!
  13. by   Therapist4Chnge
    This has been an interesting read to say the least! :chuckle

    Undergrad psych and graduate level psych are very different animals, so it is important to do research into the field if you are looking to do it at the graduate level. The vast majority of psych jobs require at least an MA/MS, so YMMV in making any kind of money with just an undergrad degree. Frankly the coursework for undergrad psych tends to be a joke compared to graduate level because you just learn the basics in undergrad.

    School Psych. is a good area for growth, though it is far from easy work. Friends of mine are school psychologists and they definitely hustle for their jobs, but in a different way (very much "hurry up and wait" depending on what kind of assessments/reports they need to do).

    Clinical Psych. is a great area too...though very different than the previous careers, as well as contrasting from being an RN. I have a lot of respect for nurses because they have to put up with a lot, but sometimes they can be rough on the rest of us too! Clinical Psych. is doctoral training and takes typically 6-7 years of training before licensure....but once licensed they can practice independently.

    One of the biggest hurdles into clinical psych is getting into a doctoral program, as they are the most competitive doctoral programs to get into (2%-3% acceptance rates for top programs, 5%-10% for mid-level programs, and 10%-20% for the rest).

    Ultimately each degree/job offers a different set of Pro's/Con's....so it is important to figure out what fits your lifestyle. I chose clinical psychology because of the in-depth training and flexibility I'll have to pursue a few different career goals. Money is obviously still a factor when considering careers, but anyone who can find their niche tends to do well for themselves.
    Last edit by Therapist4Chnge on Sep 3, '08

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