Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner...please help

  1. Hi, I am returning to school this year...and I am torn between psychology and nursing. Currently, I'm a psych nurse, LPN, for the VA hospital Miami. I am stationed on PTSD...and I find my job very rewarding. After nearly 5 years of working on my floor, I'm determined to work permanently in psych. I've considered going back to school to become a psychologist, but I don't want to be in school for the next 10 years or more.

    Which leads me to this question....As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner...would I be required to work on a medical surgical floor for a while before working in my specialty?
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    About ex1140

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 160; Likes: 26
    from US
    Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience in Mental Health


  3. by   GinaCat
    i really doubt that. i think it would be a positive thing that you have specialized in psych for a long span of time. My psych professor in college was a psychiatric NP and she did not do "staff" nursing. Psych all the way. I would consult a program that you like and ask them what the requirements for admission are, and then consult your board of nursing to make sure there are no requirements to practice. I doubt it though. Good luck!
  4. by   ex1140
    Thanks so much...will do.
  5. by   myelin
    The market for psychologists is extremely saturated, thanks to many degree mills (Argosy, Antioch, and the like). PMHNPs are paid more and go to school for half the time... and there are more jobs. It seems like a no-brainer to me, unless you're absolutely in love with psychology in particular and see that route as the only route in mental health that can satisfy you.
  6. by   HouTx
    Depends, doesn't it - on whatever educational pathway you take. Once you become a PNP, your job requirements will undoubtedly be limited to that specialty area/role. But getting there . . . the process will dictate the requirements. I would urge you to pick a pathway that includes a BSN along the say because you may run into problems with license 'portability' between states because most BONs still require an undergrad degree from an accredited school in order to become licensed.

    Best of luck to you!
  7. by   NPAlby
    PsychNP all the way. ESPECIALLY since you are a nurse already and on a psych floor.
  8. by   NPAlby
    Oh and to answer one of your questions once I finished my masters and received my PsychNP i went to work at a mental health clinic. There's none of that "doing time" at a medical/pcp type position. Thats of course after I got my RN, BSN blah blah blah. But even as an RN i pretty much went straight into psych and not med surg.
  9. by   ex1140
    Thanks...I really appreciate ALL the feed back. You guys are the best...God Bless.
  10. by   priorities2
    One other thing to consider though is if you want a career in research. If you do, psychology PhD programs are very research-focused.
  11. by   Tinabeanrn
    You should be able to work at your current Job once you get your RN and have no need to make the dreaded Med/surg stop, lol . Good choice btw. Best of luck to you! Should be exciting
  12. by   harmonizer
    Depending on what you want to do. There are many things that psychologist can do but psych NP cannot eg. neuropsychological testing and other types psychological testings which are very important diagnostic tools. I would recommend doing both if you have time and the money. There are diploma mills in both psychology and psych NP fields.
  13. by   RNGO4IT
    What diploma mill is there in psych NP's? PMHNP and FMHNP prescribe meds and psychologist don't....I would go with the aforementioned NP programs!
  14. by   DrZaphod
    I would say Psych NP unless you are very interested in psychometric testing. The reason for this is that the reimbursement rates for psychologists through insurance are either significantly less or even not reimbursable. When I was making this decision, I consulted with my Uncle, who is a clinical psychologist. He said that because things for the foreseeable future will be a medical model, it helps to be able to prescribe, and insurance is reimbursing more and more for NPs. Unless you can get into a practice where you don't accept insurance and can just bill as you please, NP makes more sense from that perspective.