med/surg X 1 yr, considering doing psych nursing

Specialties Psychiatric


Specializes in Med/Surg.

Hi! I have always been interested in psychology. I was originally going to be a social worker prior to having my second son in 1998. AFter he was old enough to get into school I decided to complete my education in nursing instead, and suffice it to say I graduated in 2009 with an associates degree in nursing. In 1997 I graduated with an associated degree in behavioral sciences.

I went into nursing because as a single mother, I felt it was the only way I could put a roof over my childrens heads, and also due to the economy I knew I needed good job security. Having said that, I was hired last year into a youth acute unit at a state facility nearby, but I also got hired into a med/surg floor..the busiest, most hectic floor of the hospital (truthfully) and I decided to accept that first and my plan was to get one year of med/surg experience to ensure (or atleast to HELP ensure) some what stable job security. I have learned a lot..a tremendous amount, and in no way do I regret the decision. However, in no way does this mean I like my job, in fact I hate going to work every day :-(

I am hoping to move in six months due to family issues, however, I am so miserable at my job I am considering applying at the local state psych facility I was originally hired prior to my first year of nursing experience in med/surg, (so that the last six months of my time can be spent hopefully getting a REAL taste for something I have always been interested in). In regards to if I do move in six months, do you feel this experience would be a help or a hinderence when beginning my new job search IF I do end up having to move? Thank you! Oh, and if I wait six months to start that job at the state facility to find out if I do end up having to move or not, that job will still be there because unfortunately for them, they have constant openings. Thanks! Also can you tell me the pros/cons of working at a state facility vs a hospital setting? Thanks!

P.S. Some of my friends are very negative about this psych facility...when i ask why they just have a negative attitude about psych issues in general, and/or they are very much afraid of the environment (perhaps rightly so, as they do get some of the worst cases/violent people/extremely unstable).

My other interests are public health, and womens health as I feel those are the other two areas I have a lot to offer. Psych nursing, women's health, and public health nursing are all areas that all my friends can easily see me excelling in, and also I do see that for myself in either of those settings as well.

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years).


It sounds as though, from your experiene, that you have a pretty good handle on reality. You've got a good year of some solid Medical Nursing under your belt. Now you want to try other areas. Sounds like a plan.

In the past, prospctive employers have noted my varied background by commenting, "You've had quite a lot of dfferent experience." I took this to be a good thing. You be the judge.

The best to you, sameasalways.


Specializes in Psych.

Hi. I work for a state run facility and I can tell you a little about what I think are the pros and cons. The pros: We are in a union, which means that once you are hired, it is very hard to be let go because you have the union backing you always. Another thing I like is all of the vacation and sick time you get being a state employee, as well as the retirement benefits. Depending on the facility, if you put in 20 years you can retire with a full pension. Other facilities it is 35 years or age 60. The starting pay rate is much higher as well. For example, when I started, I got offered a job at a local hospital on a psych unit for 17.00/hour. I got offered the job I am currently in and it started at 24.65/hour, that's a tremendous difference. Plus, we get 2 raises a year, which brings me back to the union. That is in our union contract. I would say the cons is that while being in a union is great in ways, other ways it is not. Everything is based on seniority. If you are newly hired you are on the bottom of the totem pole until people above you quit, transfer, or retire. So, when it comes to vacation selection you get last picks, also when promotions come up, they are usually based on senority. Also, you have to pay monthly union dues that come out of your paycheck. I would say the thing I dislike most about working where I work is our schedule. We work 7 days in a row with 2 days off, then work 3 days with 2 days off. We also have to bid into shifts due to the union. I am currently on 3-11 shift. If a daylight spot opened up and I wanted it, I could bid on it but if someone with more union senority wanted it they would get it before me. I hope I've helped a little and if you have any more questions I'll try my best to help ya out!

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