Legally blind and considering psych nursing


Hello all,

I'm not sure if this is the best place to post this, but here goes. I'm currently in the midst of finishing my MS in psychology. I had intended on becoming a clinical psychologist; however, I've been considering becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner instead. I was wondering if anyone could give me a better idea of the differences between being a psych NP vs being a psychologist. I know the main difference is that psych NPs can prescribe psychotropic medications, thus that's their main focus, but can they also do psychotherapy?

I do realize I'd need to earn my RN license first, which brings up another issue. I'm legally blind; I have 20/200 vision in both eyes and a visual field of roughly 10Ëš and 15Ëš. With that being said, is nursing school even a realistic option? Thank you all for your help! :)

roser13, ASN, RN

6,504 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

Do you require any accommodations for your studies? For instance, are you able to work with a standard computer screen, or do you require magnification?

Do you drive?

verene, MSN

1,790 Posts

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

Is your vision correctable with glasses or other devices? What sort of accommodations do you need in regard to sight? If you are able to function with reasonable accommodation then nursing school is still a possibility. I know a few nurses who are legally blind with out glasses but with glasses or other minimal accommodations see well enough to do their jobs competently. So your sight may or may not be an issue.

A psych NP is trained to assess, diagnosis, and treat mental health conditions. A PMHNP can do psychotherapy but their training is substantially lacking in psychotherapy when compared to a clinical social worker, counselor, or psychologist. Psychologists can also offer psychological testing which to the best of my knowledge PMHNPs cannot.