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New Grad in Geriatric Psych


Hi Everyone!

I hope everyone is staying healthy and sane during this difficult time! This is a little bit of a lengthy post just as a warning..

I just recently graduated from an Associate Nursing Program in Connecticut. I was a CNA during nursing school to get some patient experience and to put on my resume but otherwise, I have little to no experience since I did a career change. My program didn't exactly forewarn us about the absolute need for a BSN in our state. Where I am, most hospitals are Yale owned, and they want you to have your BSN. So, to make a long story short, I am enrolled in a BSN program and preparing to take the NCLEX at the end of this month. My only offer because of this has dilemma been Geriatric Psych. I have applied to countless Med/Surg positions and no luck. Even the kind lady I was in touch with from HR said that most hospitals are looking for BSN graduates first. So, basically, I'm ready to take what I can get. This position is at a Yale owned hospital that I feel I can really grow in and of course the pay and benefits are much better than if I stay at the nursing home I was a CNA at and work as an RN there. But I also am conflicted because I don't know if I'm rushing things. Do I just wait until I take the NCLEX (and pass) and include that as well as my enrollment in a BSN program and keep applying to Med/Surg positions? I keep hearing that it's recommended that new grads do at least a year on a Med/Surg unit to learn.. or do I take my chances with Geriatric Psych? I'm not exactly opposed to the idea of it, I do like the geriatric population, and psych was my strongest course in nursing school, but I've read on multiple forums it's a very tough area of nursing, especially as a new grad. Any advice would be very helpful!!

Depending on the type of geri-psych floor, you might still get a good opportunity to handle medical problems. On my capstone during nursing school, I did a lot of IVs, foleys, had dialysis patients, fractures... all on top of the psych stuff. It was a lot of fun and I would highly recommend it.

If your floor is entirely behavioral, I would still recommend it as you'll still be getting experience with the older adult population. You'll learn valuable assessment skills physical and mental health. Also de-escalation skills will be great. I think that geri-psych would be a great addition for your experience. See if you like it too!