Hit upside the head with a brick..........How did this happen???????

  1. I have just been hit upside the head with a brick...........How did this happen:uhoh21: I just finished my Psychiatric rotation in RN school which was an in-patient psychiatric hospital and I worked with adolescents and who knew that I would love it.
    My love has always been the ER and I graduate in December and believe me before I started this rotation I was kicking and screaming thinking ewwwwwww I'm not going to like it but have always tried to keep an open mind.
    And the funny thing is I told my DH that my biggest fear before the rotation is that they would tell me something like "You would make an excellent Pschy nurse:stone and guess what on my last day they told me just that and offered me the preceptorship program and believe me I was shocked.
    DH is concerned because it is an hour drive to the facility and the preceptorship is 6 months long with some really great benefits while i finish my last semester of RN school.
    Here is my dillema which i'm getting input from everywhere. My father says if you specialize now that is the only thing you are going to be able to do in two years from now and what about all the skills you have worked so hard to learn in school and the sacrafices you have made with your family (I have 4 children and a hubby who travels all the time and I'll be 40 in July) like none of us have made any sacrafices to go to school. But is there any truth in that. They tell me it takes a special person to be a Pschyiatric nurse and it is not for everyone and the staff at this facility told me that by the end of the rotation you either love it or hate. They said you know it's not a good fit if you feel like a square peg in a round hole. The pay wasn't an issue I just loved it so much but yes once again DH said what kind of money is it and I told him I didn't know and he said But he's been through so much to get me through nursing school that the pay needs to be worth it.:uhoh21: And he really has been really supportive these last 3 years so I feel like I need to take his feelings in to consideration.............
    So I guess what I'm asking is for some input and tell me what to expect and skills and how in the hell did this happen :spin:
    I know this is long and I really appreciate any input that you guys can give me as I am really confused.

    Thanks for listening.........Ruthie
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    About NurseKratchet

    Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 15


  3. by   lucianne
    I was 40 when I graduated from nursing school and I also fell in love with psych during that rotation (before that I thought I wanted to work in peds or L & D). I also got the "you'd make a great psych nurse" line from my clinical instructor. I went straight from school to an inpatient child and adolescent unit without doing the med-surg stop along the way. I knew that I wanted psych and had no interest in anything else, so I felt that at my age I wanted to go straight to the area I loved. There have been times--but not many--when I have regretted not getting more general experience along the way.

    Sometimes the money isn't as good in psych as it is in some specialties like critical care, but it isn't so much worse that it would be worth doing something you don't like just because the pay is better. You have to balance having a job you love with a couple of extra dollars an hour. The commute time would be an issue for me, because I hate to drive when I'm tired, and the price of gas is pretty high (and not likely to get a whole lot lower).

    Ultimately, you're the one who has to go to your job every day. Not your father or your husband. Decide what will make you the happiest and go for it.

    (and welcome to the fellowship of psych nurses!)
  4. by   KaroSnowQueen
    I can't address the psych nurse/medsurg nurse part of it as I have never done psych. BUT I can address the commute. If you have a job you like that pays comparable wages, the drive is worth it. I drive two hours round trip every day, and wouldn't work anywhere nearer to home. I like my job, it is much better than other jobs I have had closer, and the drive is worth it.
    That said, call some area hospitals, and see what their average starting rate of pay is and compare it to what the psych place offers you. Call the psych place and tell them you would like a few more details, such as pay while in orientation, pay afterwards, etc. Weigh them all together and see what comes out. I know in my area of the world, psych and geriatrics pays more than med surg anywhere.
  5. by   NurseKratchet
    Hey all thanks for the replies I did get a phone call today from the facility and they added more information after the preceptor program. The preceptor program has many perks also such as starting pay would be $14/hr + differential while I'm still in school and $1000 sign on bonus, paying for state boards and an additional study course to prepare for state boards and you work 20 hours a week side by side with an RN and this program is 6 months and then after you pass boards the pay is $18.50/hr + $1.00 for weekends and $2.70 for nights plus they are considering paying my mileage if i drive back and forth which would be about 110 miles round trip + benefits and annual raises so I guess I'm wondering does this sound like it is a reasonable amount to start out in Psych.........I've heard many different wages in missouri but just wondering what kind of other offers are out there and to get a feel if this a good offer and I'm still going through the pros and cons........I had no idea how hard these decisions would be to make...

    Have a great day!
  6. by   lucianne
    It sounds good to me, but find out what new grads in other settings nearby start at. I think most of your state is similar to mine economically and those wages are comparable to here, but if you're in an urban area they might be low. Also consider how long the shifts are. A 2 hour round trip commute might be manageable on 8 hour shifts but I don't know about 12 hour shifts--I know I wouldn't be able to do it (heck, after some shifts I have a hard time driving 15 minutes to get home).
  7. by   purplemania
    I say go with your heart. Don't worry about the skills. You can always re-learn them and that is the easiest part of nursing anyway.