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Hate Medical Nursing! I want Psych!

Psychiatric   (3,316 Views | 7 Replies)

CardiacRNLA has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Tele/Interventional/Non-Invasive Cardiology.

4,476 Profile Views; 139 Posts

So here's the deal, prior to nursing school, I worked in psychiatric case management. I worked with MDs, SWs but not really the nurses. I did however, have great relationships with the nurses. I loved that some of the nurses ran groups and the fact that one of the main nursing roles is communication. I love psychopharmacology and learning about patient's lives. I was torn between SW school (to ultimately be a therapist) and RN school. Obviously I chose RN school. After, I took a medical position, and I hate it. I hate that I don't spend time with my patients. I hate the grueling physical toll. I hate that medical nursing is task driven.

I was offered a psych nurse position and I feel I want to take it. I am nervous because I was told there were less career opportunities in psych than medicine. Also I am guilty because of how I feel about medicine. I feel like I am taking the easy way out (not saying psych nursing is easy by any means!). Should I stay with this medical position or do psychiatric nursing? Maybe I am buying into the biased thinking towards psych nurses? Admittedly, I feel like people would see me as less of a nurse. Stupid, I know. I am just torn :(

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1 Article; 1,068 Posts; 24,935 Profile Views

Do what will make you happy for years to come and what will be best for you and your career plans.

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MrChicagoRN has 30 years experience as a RN and specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care.

2,589 Posts; 28,801 Profile Views

Many times you will have many of the same time demands as on the medical floors.

In terms of respect, if you're a nurse who's really knowledgable & dedicated to the specially, you'll get plenty of respect. In fact twice in the past week I've been contacted by medical nurses who needed information who needed information in handling relatives in crisis.

It's your call, go where you'll be happiest.

Edited by MrChicagoRN

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fawnmarie has 15 years experience and specializes in Psychiatric Nursing.

282 Posts; 10,630 Profile Views

My advice is to go for it! I took a psych nurse position in 2003 and I still love my job! I had a background in long term care and wanted to do something different. The book "The Bell Jar", by Sylvia Plath, which I read as a teenager, instilled in me a fascination with mental illness. I am still intrigued by the human mind, it is just so interesting and amazing to me. I can truly say that I love what I do, and how many people feel that way about work? I never know what is in store for me when I walk in to start my shift. Yesterday a patient managed to escape, but he was recovered about 20 minutes later walking up the road! Absolutely, follow your heart and switch to psych!

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xenogenetic specializes in Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Nursing.

271 Posts; 9,554 Profile Views

Well, its either stay in medical nursing to please others and be miserable, or go into psych nursing and make yourself happy...just decide which of these people are most important and make the choice. As far as opportunities, if you like psych nursing then you can go onto being a psych nurse practitioner, which is one of the highest paying, least physically demanding of any of the NP specialties. I am like you, I did not like the cookbook, task oritented med/surg nursing environment during my clinicals in nursing school and hence went right into psych nursing after graduation and have never looked back with regret. There are many different opportunities in psych nursing even if you don't go for your masters and become an NP. I used to work in an outpatient community setting, mobile crisis, and inpatient substance abuse...so you can have a variety of settings as an RN.

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MeiLana specializes in OR.

91 Posts; 3,068 Profile Views

I agree with Xenogenetic. I had 7 years in birth before I went to nursing school and all my friends (huge support network) thought I was going straight for CNM, which, at the time, I was. OB clinical convinced me otherwise. It was a shock to my friends when I sought positions in another area of nursing -- but I had to tell them. It disappointed several of my closer friends who are birth workers, but they aren't the ones who have to live my life and they acknowledge that and want me to be happy. Also, I've read a bunch of wank about how the job I was offered isn't "real nursing" but a) don't care and b) don't care. Why care what other people think? Ever since I got that job offer, I've felt like it's Christmas for me every morning. IF that's the job you want and the job that will light up your world, take it and be happy.

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128 Posts; 7,248 Profile Views

I can't give you the "right" answer, only you yourself can decide that. Your predicament was the exact opposite of how I was feeling, but I understand where you're coming from.

I'm a new nurse, but I've always loved psych. I many times had thought about becoming a therapist (and have been told I would be great at it) however, I really had the "call" to become a nurse. Although I will be going back at some point in time (even if only part time) for my RN. When I made it through school I just knew I wanted, and had to become a psych nurse. However, I also needed to eat, so I applied for jobs EVERYWHERE. In every single nursing field I could think of, and thought to myself that I was "taking the easy way out" and not being "true to myself" because, I know my heart and passion are in psych nursing.

-Luckily, I just happened to formally accept a position today (after a grueling week-long anxiety ridden waiting period, and I still have follow up paperwork to complete etc) working with psych patients/patients with substance abuse dependency...at one of my dream jobs.

- Anyway (the point of my rant, I'm sorry) The only advice I can truly give you is that NOTHING feels as good as when you know you are doing something, and heading in the direction that you just KNOW in your soul you should be in. Nothing beats knowing that you get to do your inner soul's work, and fulfill your inner passion. In fact I personally could care less if someone thinks I'm "less of a nurse" because I'm a psych nurse (and an LPN psych nurse at that! lol) It won't matter to me, because I know that I'M making a difference in a patients life, and my whole entire heart is in it, because it is what I love to do, and everyday I will get to help another patient and be there to care for them in their time of need.

There's nothing that anyone on the outside could say to me, that could ever compare to being able to fulfill what I know I was born to do, and how that feels on the inside.

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Barnstormin' PMHNP has 4 years experience and specializes in psychiatric.

349 Posts; 15,100 Profile Views

"Admittedly, I feel like people would see me as less of a nurse." Why does this fear persist? I remember feeling the same way when I switched to psych.

I have done the ICU thing, now I am in psych, and currently pursuing my PMHNP. I couldn't be happier. I am truly talented at psych and enjoy the challenge of the specialty immensely. I anticipate getting a great job when I graduate making 6 digits starting pay ( I have 2 places waiting for me to graduate). I have experienced ZERO condescension from my fellow nurses, RN's and grad students alike, we all recognize it as an underserved, desperately needed specialty. I am sought after for my future skills, the FNP students are already sizing each other up as competition.

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