Graduating Soon - Having Doubts

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am a student that will be graduating in May 2017. I currently work as a Tech in a Psychiatric Unit. I am very thankful at this position as it is my first experience in the medical field. It is assumed that I will continue on as a psychiatric nurse by family and friends as I already have my "foot in the door". I initially thought so too. I am now having doubts as I want to make sure that I keep the skills I have obtained recently. New skills medically is very limited in our Psych units. I really enjoy the cardiac and ICU units that I have previously done clinicals. So as a new nurse is it better to start with a "for sure" position in Psych or solidify my skills and knowledge on a med/surg or tele floor? I plan to eventually go for a MSN but finances need to fall into place first. I have family to support, a young child and teenager, nursing school and work to balance. Any advice would be appreciated. I have asked a fellow employee at my job and I am weighing the options. I don't really see this as a "bird in the hand" scenario but many are trying to make me feel that way.

    Dear Having Doubts,

    Congratulations on your upcoming graduation!

    Your intuition is right. I would not stay in Psych just because you are there now in a different capacity.

    Psych is a narrow field, and going straight into a narrow field may seriously limit your options later. You will not ever have difficulty going from Cardiac or Med Surg to Psych;
    you may very well have difficulty going from Psych to Cardiac or Med Surg later on.

    Start applying for other opportunities now. Hope this helps, my friend

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,382; Likes: 4,117


  3. by   gettingbsn2msn
    I just told my son who is graduating in May with his BSN to get his grounding in med surg for at least 2 years. I would tell you the same. You can always work PRN in Psych. Many more doors will open for you with a background in med surg. The exception, I believe, is if you plan to get your PMHNP. That is the only reason I would remain in Psych.