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Non advanced practice MSN as a psych nurse?

Psychiatric   (506 Views 3 Comments)
by Nurse Magnolia Nurse Magnolia, RN (Member) Member Nurse

Nurse Magnolia is a RN and specializes in NICU.

1,922 Profile Views; 138 Posts

I am a new psych nurse.  I am a second career nurse who did years of community mental health prior to nursing school, but I've only been an inpatient psych nurse for a few months.  So far, I love it.  It's a much better fit than where I went originally out of nursing school.  

I have two BS degrees that mean nothing in nursing, so I am currently working on my BSN and should be done with that in a few months.  My program allows me to take some BSN classes and apply them to a MSN if I'd like and I can complete the MSN with 10 additional classes.  My BSN is 100% covered by my employer and the MSN would be covered 50%. 

My question is this - I'm 47.  I have no desire to be a NP.  I thought about administration because I like to lead, but my unit manager looks frazzled all of the time and is often sitting right next to me in staffing on Saturday shifts because someone called off so that looks miserable also.  I'd LOVE to teach (I was doing that prior to nursing school), but my husband and I plan to move to a university town in probably 5 years, and I've looked - I can't teach there without a DNP.  Which I don't have in me if I'm being honest.    My other options are things like CNL, which doesn't seem to make sense in psych or MSN in care coordination which is more like case management but I don't know what jobs I'd get in that or what happens to that if the ACA is ever appealed.  I'm starting to think that after three bachelor's degrees that's as far as I'll go.  Which after 9 years of school seems like ridiculously poor planning on my part lol (although each degree worked for me at a time in my life, and I love school, but still, come on 🙂 ). 

If you are in psych and have an MSN and it's working for you and you get paid more for that degree in your job and you think it's helpful - PLEASE let me know what you are doing.  

I'm trying to make sure I'm marketable when I do go somewhere else.  And I want a decent work life balance because I'll be older.  But I know in nursing higher degrees are a crap shoot and maybe more so in psych and I don't want to get one just to regret it later because it did zero for my career.   But if it CAN help me, I'm more than willing to do it.  

thanks all!

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120 Posts; 2,597 Profile Views

I have an MSN in nursing education. My employer paid for it 100%. I might not have gotten it if I had to pay full tuition. I don’t know how much it has helped me. I recently moved to a new state and I got lots of interviews. I don’t know if the MSN helped or if it was just because I had experience. I did find some of the classes beneficial. I got the MSN partially as a personal challenge to get a master’s degree. 

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I am also a basic bedside psychiatric nurse with psychiatric certification and MSN in education. The five years after obtaining the MSN I just worked at my regular CMH job and adjunct taught at a community college. This has led to a full time teaching job. This change is recent so too soon to know how it is going but wanted to tell you about my situation. Psy is always so hard, trying to match up skills and qualifications and has limited employers. 

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