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New Grad Psych Nursing

Psychiatric   (1,078 Views | 5 Replies)
by JennaRM JennaRM (New) New Pre-Student

181 Profile Views; 6 Posts

As I near the last couple of months of my nursing program, I keep coming back to psych nursing. Nursing is my second degree, I have my first in Biopsych, so I am really interested in the theory aspect as well. 

Can anyone offer me advice on psych nursing? Are there usually psych nursing new grad programs, or is that mostly for other types of nursing? I have heard it is great to start as a new grad on night shift, is this also the case for new grad psych nursing? Is it fairly easy to get a job as a new grad psych nurse? (I live in southern CA)

Thanks in advance for any and all advice and info 🙂

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Irynka has 1 years experience.

1 Post; 11 Profile Views

Try applying into community long term facilities. They are usually short of nurses and will gladly hire new grads.

good luck

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10 Posts; 150 Profile Views

I work at a very large urban hospital that has an Adult & Adolescent Behavioral Health new grad RN Residency.  People are divided on the whole Med/Surg for a year or 2 OR just go for Psych right off the bat if you know you’re heart is in BH.  

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TCASII has 8 years experience as a ADN.

198 Posts; 3,925 Profile Views

I'd be surprised if they wouldn't hire a new grad RN for a psych job.  Around here, they'll hire anyone, regardless of past experience.  I wouldn't start on NOC as an RN working in psych.  Medical is a different story.  You'll learn faster on days.  All you'll do on NOC is chart review/audit, med pass, admits and trivial stuff.  I worked NOC for 5 years and I am glad to know how to do old school audits; however, computer charting has changed a lot of that.  Day shift will expose you more to actual patient interactions, discharges, admits, providers, and possibly groups.  When you get admits at night they're almost always irritated about being awake and don't really want to tell you much.  Doing NOC also exposes you to providers who low-ball on meds during crisis or sometimes don't answer the phone.  The providers we have on call at my current facility are a joke.  Patient has BHT in a choke hold - "Okay, give them 5 mg of Haldol PO

I think it'll depend on where you live in terms of how many patients you have or what your exact duties will be.  We always get 10 patients and 95% of what we do are treatment plans, charting, and administrative work.  The problem is, the RN is supposed to also pass meds and do assessments.  There just isn't any time for all that, and the part that gets put on the far backburner is the patient interaction.  Med pass is a "Hey, here's your meds" and the assessment is a "Doing OK?".  Because at the end of the day, all they care about is our charting and treatment plans.  As you can tell, I'm a bit disillusioned with mental health nursing.  Most of the patients are only personality disordered, and that's cluster B (e.e, antisocial and borderline).  We rarely get true bipolar patients, schizophrenics, or others that are substance-induced.  It's unfortunate because on paper, the field is fascinating. 

Hopefully SoCal is better.  I've heard the hospital in California that is part of my corporation is much better. 

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7 Posts; 574 Profile Views

As a new grad nurse, I got my first psych job offer before even passing boards. I first got a job in an outpatient community based setting, and worked my way into an inpatient acute psych unit. It was interesting to see patients in the community setting and I really felt that it helped me with my inpatient nursing abilities. Some hospitals like HCA, have the StaRN program for new grads, but I feel that orientation was enough for me. Psych is kind of like other nursing where you either you love it or you don't, and you learn as you experience it. Congratulations on finishing nursing school and good luck to you!

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Slappy619 specializes in Psychiatric.

10 Posts; 957 Profile Views

For Southern CA, psych RN: 

Try Patton State Hospital (in San Bernardino) or Metro State Hospital (in Norwalk) It's a state job. Good pay and great benefits. Arrowhead hospital in Colton has a new grad RN program specifically for Psych. That job is with San Bernardino county. Good luck, I may be your co-worker in the near future.

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