Published Oct 14, 2001
You definately can get a Psych job right out of school. I know how you feel. All through nursing school I wasn't even sure I wanted to be a nurse because I hated Med-Surg. I didn't find my niche till we got to our Psych rotation. I have been an RN since May 2000 and went right into Adolescent/Pediatric Psych. I am very happy were I am and I encourage you to pursue psych if that is what you wish to do. Don't worry about the year of Med-Surg that everyone tells you that you need. I don't feel that it has hurt me at all that I did not do it.
You most certainly can obtain a position in Psych straight out of school... I think the Med-Surg rotation might be helpful, but I don't believe it is mandatory. From a management perspective, I look for new grads with good refs, superlative interview skills (ie. can think on their feet, this you gotta have), and desire and interest in this specialty. Go for it!!:) :)
Morghan, RN in Wichita, Kansas
I went right into psych after graduating nursing school. I worked in a large teaching hospital so we got the mentally ill with coexising medical problems. So although my med/surg skills are not good enough to work easily on a med/surg floor, I have seen my share of iv's, tube feeds, VRE, OB, cancer, recovering GSW, post op, enemas and vomit.
Psych is really a lot of fun and if you want to go into med/surg which is a specialty of its own later on, feel free. It is not a pre-req like everyone told me before I went into psych.
Of course you can start out in psych, but I hope you reconsider. One year of med/surg experience would make you a much better team member. Many psych patients have medical issues to be addressed as well. Believe it or not you will be caring for your share of psych patients on med/surg units.
I went into pediatric home care taking care of terminally ill children right out of school then I went into psych nursing a few years later and I love it. I know med surg would not be easy to jump in to now but if you keep up on new techniques and treatments you should be ok. Psych nuses rock. PS. I work with kids in a behavioral health center now and I do some medical stuff. Med surg is not for everyone.
Josefin, BSN, PhD, RN
I´m going directly into adult psych when I graduate in June. All of my med/surg rotations have been in a big teaching hospital so I feel, like Aerolizing, that I have seen a lot of med/surg care too. Psych if what I like most, I worked there last summer and enjoyed it a lot. So eaven if I do understand that it´s not right for everyone, it feels like it´s right for me.
I work with 2 nurses who got psych nursing jobs right out of nursing school. They have been there 7 years and love it. I, on the other hand, have had 3 jobs and am now going into psych. For me it was best to have worked in another area so I know about other areas of nursing; now I am happier in psych nursing and appreciate it more. Do whatever feels best for you.
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