Can a Registered Psychiatric Nurse work as an RN?

  1. I have recently started a program to become a RPN (Registered Psychiatric Nurse)
    I was just wondering if I can only work in positions that ask for RPNs and not in any for RN's
    for example, if i wanted to work in oncology at some point, for example, administering Chemotherapy, could i just take tht specific course and be allowed to work? Or are RN and RPNs very different and i would have to do seperate schooling to become an RN?
    Any information is GREATLY appreciated!

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    About Blondiemagick3

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 3


  3. by   HeartsOpenWide
    I have never even heard of an RPN. Do you take the NCLEX when you graduate? If so I bet you could get another job other than psych, if not..then not as an RN.
  4. by   Silverdragon102
    I would say a lot will depend on where you do your training and what the nursing board say. If you are training in Canada (think that is the case) then I think you will find unless you do a RN training course you are going to be restricted to working as a RPN
  5. by   Blondiemagick3
    I am in Canada, yes, British Columbia, Thank you for your response!
  6. by   Thanet
    In the UK the powers to be e 'thinking' about the use of Psychiatric nurses in such places as you discibe... as psychiatric help is the sort of stuff that the patients , and relatives would/might want... and come to think of it some staff too.

    So while you might not be 'administering Chemotherapy,' you could argue that as a Psychiatric nurse you would be able to offer a valuable service to staff, patients and relatives.
  7. by   aloevera
    what kind of boards does a RPN take??? I have never heard of this.....
    How long do you go to school for this??
  8. by   jpRN84
    Quote from aloevera
    what kind of boards does a RPN take??? I have never heard of this.....
    How long do you go to school for this??
    RPNs, Registered Psychiatric Nurses, are found in most of the provinces in Canada. They can go for either a diploma program, lasting about 3 years I think, or for a Bachelors degree program. I don't know what boards they take though.
  9. by   sioux
    I am a RPN- I did my training in the UK. I have just taken the NCLEX to register as an RN in Florida. Florida and I think New Mexico, dont care whether you're RN or RPN, as long as you have hours in each area of nursing. Passing the NCLEX as an RPN is quite a hurdle. I took my NCLEX today and am pretty sure I failed....if you want to work in general nursing I suggest you do the RN training. I want to work in Psychiatry, in Florida.
    Hope this helps
  10. by   fullhouse091
    As an RPN in British Columbia I am working as a Home Care Nurse and Part time community Health Nurse for a First Nations Band. I have taken several certified courses that provide me with skill required for both jobs. I can now immunize persons who are 5 years old and up. I can also do wound management and am a Diabetic Educator, I also have my Tobacco Reduction Counsellor Training and several other certifications. At this time I am unable to immunize infants because I don't have any Certified training in Pediatrics or Obstetrics, but am looking for the Maternal Child Course that will assist me in acquiring those competencies. I am in contact with CRPNBC whenever I have questions regarding my scope of practice.
    On another note, I have also had difficulties in my work as the field of nursing has been dominated by RN's. I have no problem with RN's, but have run into a few who portray as lower than them. I know that I have a limited scope in some areas of practice, but as other nurses do (RN's), in order for us to best meet the needs of the clients/patients we must continuously seek out education to maintain the skills required for our postions.

    As long as our competencies are met and the required skills are developed, I think we can work in areas that RN's work, except pediatrics and obstetrics.