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Is This for Me?

Psychiatric   (731 Views 11 Comments)
by Lmm1988 Lmm1988 (New Member) New Member Student

81 Profile Views; 3 Posts

Hello, everyone. I have just begun my second semester of nursing school. Aside from the stress and overwhelm felt due to the schooling itself, my bigger stress comes from a worry that I am not on the right path. To be honest, I never wanted to be a nurse; it was never my passion. I was a psych major who became fascinated with biological sciences, became a TA for Anatomy & Physiology, and got pressured into nursing school. I was more interested in therapy, education, and research within biobehavioral health, but so many people influenced me into nursing. "It is steady, it pays, there are opportunities," is what caught me. (I have spent a decade of my life struggling to put food on the table, even working two jobs, so please understand why stability became important.) The problem is, that while I am very fascinated by learning pathophysiology and educating others about it, I do not enjoy the nurses role in clinical. I do not enjoy performing the skills, the stressful environment, the documenting, the poisonous and belittling attitudes of other nurses(eat their young) and doctors; nursing has made me feel very depressed. I don't really want to be a nurse. The only thing that has kept me is the prospect of perhaps becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner, but it seems ages away. Is it worth going through the next two years to complete by BSN if I don't enjoy this? Does a psychiatric NP get to do much counseling and therapy and educating? Have much autonomy? Or is it mostly medication management. Please help. I cannot afford to waste any more money. I don't want to live a life of stress and exhaustion when this is what I wanted to teach others how to maintain 😞  

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10 Posts; 370 Profile Views

I didn’t want to leave your comment unanswered. I tell people all the time to be a nurse you have to want it. That being said I wouldn’t quit immediately. If your goal is psy NP. Go for it. Do research on what they do. Ask your teachers about it . Tell them your concerns. Go to NPs and talk to NPs who work psy. I wish I could give you a better answer. Talk to your psy professor too. I hope this was some help. Either path you chose good luck.🍀 

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Zookeeper44 has 8 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych.

85 Posts; 1,981 Profile Views

I feel like I had sort of a similar path.  Took me til in my early 30's to complete 1st degree (psychology).  Very interested in doing academia/research, got accepted to several PhD programs.  Ended up getting master's in counseling instead (quicker, easier, many more realistic job options).  Later got nursing degree and did psych nursing (trying to get back to it) because it deals a little more with the biological aspect, and because it pays more. 

To me it is the most pragmatic of the choices, as the research field takes years to get into and then you are extremely limited as to where you can work. You can make $75,000-$80,000 easily (that's in GA) for 40 hours/week, after a few years' experience as a psych RN.  I didn't "want" to be a nurse, either, but if stability is what is important to you, it is a good route if you can keep things in perspective.  I would never want to be any other type of nurse than psych.

From what I know of the NPs in psych, they are being utilized mostly for med management, h & p's in the hospital.  No therapy.

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

15 Followers; 1 Article; 6,341 Posts; 78,330 Profile Views

If you're lost, stay put.

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Let go and let God.

Allow The Fates to lead you. Don't make the Fates drag you. 

Bloom where you're planted.

Do what you like. Like what you do.

Good luck and the best to you, Lmm!

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3 Posts; 81 Profile Views

Thank you all for your responses. Contrary to the belief about most millennials, I do not know how to utilize technology very well and don't know how to respond individually. But I really appreciate your responses. I am going to try giving it a little more time. Today I woke up feeling overwhelmed with anxiety and dread, and had a few more anxiety attacks throughout the day, all due to nursing school. I've been told "this is the norm," but I feel like my light is dimming and my happiness is decreasing significantly. I will attempt to find a way to cope better with nursing school, but if it continues to effect me like this, I can only imagine that it will continue like this beyond school? Maybe not. Maybe school is just absolute hell? Either way, as someone who is interested in psych and promoting mental health, I have to be compassionate and caring of my own. 

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On 8/31/2019 at 11:49 AM, Zookeeper44 said:

I feel like I had sort of a similar path.  Took me til in my early 30's to complete 1st degree (psychology).  Very interested in doing academia/research, got accepted to several PhD programs.  Ended up getting master's in counseling instead (quicker, easier, many more realistic job options).  Later got nursing degree and did psych nursing (trying to get back to it) because it deals a little more with the biological aspect, and because it pays more. 

To me it is the most pragmatic of the choices, as the research field takes years to get into and then you are extremely limited as to where you can work. You can make $75,000-$80,000 easily (that's in GA) for 40 hours/week, after a few years' experience as a psych RN.  I didn't "want" to be a nurse, either, but if stability is what is important to you, it is a good route if you can keep things in perspective.  I would never want to be any other type of nurse than psych.

From what I know of the NPs in psych, they are being utilized mostly for med management, h & p's in the hospital.  No therapy.

Zookeeper44, if you had to do it over again, would you have gotten your nursing degree?

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17 Posts; 231 Profile Views

Lmm1988, what kind of attitudes from other nurses have you seen in your clinicals, thus far?  Mean and hateful nurses and doctors who eat their young is what makes me nervous about the profession, as well.  I'm pretty sensitive, and fear what kind of emotional toll it would have on me if my coworkers weren't civil.  

Thanks.

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llg has 42 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

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The idea that people are supposed to love their jobs and get a lot of inner satisfaction, self-actualization, etc. from them is actually a fairly new phenomenon in human history.    I doubt that the majority of people living in past centuries expected that.   They took a job to make money to buy the things their families needed.   There is nothing wrong with that.

Perhaps if you think about that for a while, the idea of working in a field you don't love for a few years won't seem so bad.   Think of it as a stepping stone to get you something that you want later.    That's how I got through nursing school -- hated 90% of it.   But have had a reasonable nursing career for the last 40-some years.

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Zookeeper44 has 8 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych.

85 Posts; 1,981 Profile Views

If I had it to do all over again, from say the age of 20-21, I would probably not become a nurse.  Actually, my first year and a half of college right out of high school was nursing school, and it didn't go well for multiple reasons.  However, while in psych nursing clinical, I fell in love with psych.  At that point, I wanted to switch over to a psych major and then pursue a PhD.  I did not have that opportunity, so didn't finish my bachelor's until much later.  Ideally, I would have gone straight through to PhD and done research or possibly clinical psychologist at the time I was first in college.

Given the particular circumstances I had to work with...I still often regret my choice to NOT pursue the PhD opportunities that presented themselves in my early 30's...but as llg said...I have made the best of it and it has served my family pretty well, which for me is the real reason I work.

FWIW...IMO, psych is unique as far as the type of personalities that seem to be attracted to work in that field.  They seem to *generally* be a little kinder, easier to work with, more team players (you HAVE to be in psych or you'll get hurt), more sense of humor...etc.  The docs are even easier to work with.

Feel free to PM me if you have any more specific ?'s, and good luck to you!

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17 Posts; 231 Profile Views

On 9/5/2019 at 11:16 AM, Zookeeper44 said:

If I had it to do all over again, from say the age of 20-21, I would probably not become a nurse.  Actually, my first year and a half of college right out of high school was nursing school, and it didn't go well for multiple reasons.  However, while in psych nursing clinical, I fell in love with psych.  At that point, I wanted to switch over to a psych major and then pursue a PhD.  I did not have that opportunity, so didn't finish my bachelor's until much later.  Ideally, I would have gone straight through to PhD and done research or possibly clinical psychologist at the time I was first in college.

Given the particular circumstances I had to work with...I still often regret my choice to NOT pursue the PhD opportunities that presented themselves in my early 30's...but as llg said...I have made the best of it and it has served my family pretty well, which for me is the real reason I work.

FWIW...IMO, psych is unique as far as the type of personalities that seem to be attracted to work in that field.  They seem to *generally* be a little kinder, easier to work with, more team players (you HAVE to be in psych or you'll get hurt), more sense of humor...etc.  The docs are even easier to work with.

Feel free to PM me if you have any more specific ?'s, and good luck to you!

Thanks so much for such a great response, Zookeeper44.  So helpful.

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I don't know why this will not let me reply individually, but anyhow.. 

I do understand the whole "your job should be your passion!" idea is relatively new in human history and is also somewhat privileged. I have spent all of my adult life bartending and waiting tables, with the exception of two jobs which were great and meaningful but did not pay. But for me, I don't know if I can handle the stress level, the lack of kindness that comes with the nursing field. The fact that "nurses eat their young" is a known phrase is despicable to me, and oh how I've seen it. Yes, I get that there are bad apples in every job, but this is a job where someone's LIFE is in your hands and the amount of responsibility is extreme, so it makes a bigger difference when your coworkers treat you like shite.

So, this weekend presented a new challenge to me and now I feel absolutely depleted. I suppose I had a nervous breakdown about nursing. I was unable to push through it and just study. I became really depressed to the point of being unable to make myself a cup of coffee let alone memorize meds. I've never been this bad before, and I attribute it to nursing school. I don't know what to do. I don't want to go on antidepressants just to get through this; I am not passionate enough about nursing to do that to my body's chemistry. I don't know how to force myself against my mental health to continue forward in this program. People say, "yeah but its only a little more than a year," but that is for my ADN, not even BSN, and each week for me is grueling. I feel I'm losing my joy as time goes on 😞  I'm not trying to sound "whiny." I have worked extremely hard all my life and have had two jobs consistently while I've been in school. I had a 4.0 (before nursing) and had over 80 credits in other subjects. Sometimes I think on my way to clinical... if I just get hit by a car, I won't have to go.... is nursing really worth feeling these ways? 😞  

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