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