Is it a good idea to pursue the psychiatric field of nursing?


I am wondering if it would be a good idea to pursue nursing in the psychiatric field. I am very interested in the field and have been for quite sometime. A few years ago I didn't like my job in an office; so I decided to return back to school for a second bachelors degree in nursing and afterwards pursue a masters for a nurse practitioner. To gain experience and to earn money I got my CNA license to work as an aide. I know I made the right decision to switch careers and enter nursing; I really like working with my residents. I work in the acute part of a retirement home where there are special needs residents and many Dementia and Alzheimer's. Aside from the residents; I have also a lot of personal experience with mental illness. I had a friend who is Schizophrenic, a couple of friends who suffer from depression and anxiety, as well as a girl friend who was bipolar. The main reason I am asking if I should pursue psychiatric nursing is because I also have a mental disorder myself.

As fair as my CNA job; I am a great worker. I am able to successfully work with residents that most aides cannot handle. I know how not to come across to people that would cause an escalation of the situation and still get what was needed done. There have been numerous times when another aide or worker has caused an escalation and the situation has gotten out of hand. 90 Percent of the time I am able to come in asses the situation, quickly deescalate it, and help get the resident safe as well as the other aide. Not to brag about my abilities; but we have many residents who prefer not to have a male care giver. They do not allow or like any of the other male aides to help them; yet they have no problem with me. A few even requested that I be their aide when I work. I would like to think my own issues and sensitivities have allowed me insight and understanding that has helped me.

Right now I am thinking that if I want to enter the field of psychiatric nursing; then I should try to get an aide position at a Psychiatric hospital. I am really wondering if this would be a good idea; both the new job as well being a psychiatric nurse.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

allnurses Guide

Hygiene Queen

2,232 Posts

If you are good at handling pts who are escalating, then you would be great in psych.

That ability is absolutely essential.

If you have LTC experience, then gero psych would be perfect.

I worked in LTC for years and have now worked gero psych for years.

A person, who cannot adapt their own behavior to redirect, soothe or de-escalate an agitated pt, will not be successful.

We have to rely on each other to keep each other safe.

Sounds like you have that ability down pat.

Go for it!!!!