They're teaching you all that stuff because the role/expectation of a psych NP is that you can provide primary care to people and take responsibility for the physical effects of the meds you will be ordering for people. That's the "NP" part of the role (same as psychiatrists all completed all of med school and are (supposedly!
) competent to do physicals and treat people's basic medical problems in addition to their psych problems). Psychiatrists don't get to only
study psychiatry, and the psych NP is supposed to be the mid-level version of the psychiatrist. Hence, the nose-looking and spleen-percussing ...
Prior to the quite recent development of the psych NP role, psych advanced practice nurses were all clinical nurse specialists (CNSs). (I've been a child psych CNS for many years now). Our education was exclusively in the psych end of things -- I received extensive, rigorous, in-depth training in psychiatric evaluation, diagnosis, and psychotherapy of children and adolescents (and families), but absolutely nothing
about physical assessment, pharmacology, or pathophys -- because that was not an expectation of the psych CNS role. I've never had Rx authority, don't want it, and wouldn't take it if you tried to make me. I've lived and worked in states where I could
have gotten Rx authority, and did not pursue that option. But times have changed -- apparently
, great demand for a nursing mid-level provider with
Rx authority in psych has emerged, and the psych NP role has been developed -- and designed to be v. different from the traditional psych CNS. Actually, because the Rxing part is the part that can kill people if you botch it
, I notice that most of the program curricula I've looked at (purely out of curiosity) look like most any NP program, with a couple little psych courses tacked on, almost as an afterthought, it seems.
Rx authority is a huge responsibility, and requires a lot of in-depth educational preparation to be done safely and competently. I'm sure that thought is not much comfort at this point in your education, but once you graduate and get certified, you'll have a lot more control over shaping your career as you choose. Nearly everyone spends time in their (nursing) graduate program wondering why they have to study what they're being made to study, same as we all wondered why we had to learn so much of the stuff we had to learn in our original nursing programs. Later, after you're out in the real world, you start to see why you had to learn all that stuff. Best wishes with your studies and career!