I REALLY want to be a psych nurse, and i'm close to graduating with some questions!

  1. Hello,
    Out of all of the rotations I have completed at clinicals, I have to say that I enjoyed the psych unit the best. I've always had an interest in mental health and I felt like I was at home when I was there, it was as if I didn't dread being there, I actually WANTED to be there. I looked forward to going to the psych unit every week. A few questions of the psych nurses.

    1. What do you enjoy most about your job/dislike?
    2. How much do the entry level nurses get paid in your area?
    3. Is it difficult to get a position in psych nursing, I was thinking it would be difficult because I would think that the burned out nurses in the hospital would want a change, not that psych nurses never get burned out but the hospital appears to burn many nurses out so I would think a position in this field would be difficult to attain.

    And feel free to add any more comments you wish to share about your job.
    Last edit by CrystalClear75 on Nov 2, '06
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    About CrystalClear75

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 648; Likes: 362
    Nurse
    Specialty: Ltc

    23 Comments

  3. by   CrystalClear75
    Quote from tlcmel
    Hello,
    Out of all of the rotations I have completed at clinicals, I have to say that I enjoyed the psych unit the best. I've always had an interest in mental health and I felt like I was at home when I was there, it was as if I didn't dread being there, I actually WANTED to be there. I looked forward to going to the psych unit every week. A few questions of the psych nurses.

    1. What do you enjoy most about your job/dislike?
    2. How much do the entry level nurses get paid in your area?
    3. Is it difficult to get a position in psych nursing, I was thinking it would be difficult because I would think that the burned out nurses in the hospital would want a change, not that psych nurses never get burned out but the hospital appears to burn many nurses out so I would think a position in this field would be difficult to attain.

    And feel free to add any more comments you wish to share about your job.
    Okay, you don't have to answer ALL of the questions, mainly, I would like to know...if it's easy to find a job as a GN...please answer that at least, I'm really excited to work in that area you have no idea:spin:
  4. by   suzy253
    I can't answer your specific questions as I'm not a psych nurse but I'm thinking you should really go for it. as you said, you've always been interested in mental health and really liked your experience there instead of dreading it. Sounds like your heart is in it.
    Hopefully some psych nurses will answer your other questions for you.
    Good luck
  5. by   RN BSN 2009
    My mom worked at a psych hospital for 25 years and loved it, the only problem is that a couple times she was physically assulted by one of the patients because they actually made it out of restraints.
  6. by   CrystalClear75
    Quote from suzy253
    I can't answer your specific questions as I'm not a psych nurse but I'm thinking you should really go for it. as you said, you've always been interested in mental health and really liked your experience there instead of dreading it. Sounds like your heart is in it.
    Hopefully some psych nurses will answer your other questions for you.
    Good luck
    Thanks for the reply! I'm just wondering how great the chances were on getting a job in the area.
  7. by   suzy253
    I would think your chances are pretty good. When I was doing my psych rotation (which I enjoyed by the way, but ended up going med surg/telemetry), ppl from human resources were encouraging us to apply for staff nurse positions in the facility.
  8. by   CrystalClear75
    Quote from suzy253
    I would think your chances are pretty good. When I was doing my psych rotation (which I enjoyed by the way, but ended up going med surg/telemetry), ppl from human resources were encouraging us to apply for staff nurse positions in the facility.
    Yay! You don't know how HAPPY I would be if I were hired right out of nursing school. I haven't inquired about a job in my area just yet, because I didn't graduate..I will in December. I heard that you have to have 2 years of med surge experience. I really want to go into this right away, i absolutley love it. A nursing student in my class told me a psych unit was hiring and was paying 17$ an hour but she was unsure if they hired GN's. I guess I should call and find out myself. I just wanted to see if it was possible and I didn't look like an idiot calling. I know med surge nurses get pain 24$ in my area so that is a pay cut but I don't care....psych nursing wouldn't seem like work to me, i know that. I especially want to work with dual diagnosis patients with a coexisting mental illness/addiciton. My father was an addict so I'm very familiar with the necessary steps it takes to recovery. I dream of being a nurse conducting those AA meetings with people who are in the process of recovery. Does anyone know if an associates degree would be efficient enough for that? I guess i'm afraid to look stupid...still being a student making phone calls.
  9. by   epg_pei
    Quote from tlcmel
    1. What do you enjoy most about your job/dislike?
    Likes: The time I can spend with people doing therapy and seeing results; nurses who help me get better.
    Dislikes: The amount of time I have to put up with complete jerks who have no desire to engage in a therapeutic relationship and are just taking up a bed.
    Quote from tlcmel
    2. How much do the entry level nurses get paid in your area?
    Entry level RN here is about $24/hr
    Quote from tlcmel
    3. Is it difficult to get a position in psych nursing, I was thinking it would be difficult because I would think that the burned out nurses in the hospital would want a change, not that psych nurses never get burned out but the hospital appears to burn many nurses out so I would think a position in this field would be difficult to attain.
    It is virtually impossible for a new nurse like me to get a full-time permanent psych position at my hospital. I buy lottery tickets a lot more often now.
  10. by   RN1263
    I'm a 3rd sem. rn student and I wish more psych nurses would answer your post??? I also am interested in psych and would like to know the answers to your questions from a variety of psych nurses.
    Hope you get some more replies?
  11. by   augigi
    You'd be better just calling the hospital you want to work at and getting specific advice. I doubt they'd consider anyone who wants to work there as an "idiot"!!
  12. by   Tank'sMom
    Call the hospital! Go to their web sight, check the job postings with their requirements. Gather all the info you can.
    I've only been a psych nurse for 8 months. I still feel like I have a lot to learn. I do wish that I had some more med-surg experience. Medical issues do arise often even though we are a "non-medical" unit.
    The base pay at my hospital is 19.25 right now. And as far as demand for nurses, my supervisor is always looking for a dependable one.
    What I love about my job- every day is completely different. I'm on a crisis unit and you never know what will happen.
    What I dislike- working with personality disorders... if you ever have, you know what I mean.
    Good Luck!!!!!!!!
  13. by   njmonsterboi80
    I went directly into psych nursing as a GN 3 months ago and didn't have much difficulty getting a position. It might depend on your geographic location and caliber of hospital you're dealing with. When I looked around in Manhattan I got the med surg experience talk, but it doesn't seem to be much of a problem in NJ. Some of the psych hospitals in Manhattan are highly rated and I suppose the best hospitals dont want inexperienced nurses running around (NYU, Columbia).

    I work at a psych unit attached to a hospital, so we make just as much as medical nurses ($29/hr in NJ).

    If you like dual diagnosis you should look into working in addictions, that might interest you. I'm sure there's lots of dual diagnosis there. Otherwise, you'll have plenty of MICA (Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers) on the floor. Good luck, feel free to send questions.

    Marc




    Quote from tlcmel
    Yay! You don't know how HAPPY I would be if I were hired right out of nursing school. I haven't inquired about a job in my area just yet, because I didn't graduate..I will in December. I heard that you have to have 2 years of med surge experience. I really want to go into this right away, i absolutley love it. A nursing student in my class told me a psych unit was hiring and was paying 17$ an hour but she was unsure if they hired GN's. I guess I should call and find out myself. I just wanted to see if it was possible and I didn't look like an idiot calling. I know med surge nurses get pain 24$ in my area so that is a pay cut but I don't care....psych nursing wouldn't seem like work to me, i know that. I especially want to work with dual diagnosis patients with a coexisting mental illness/addiciton. My father was an addict so I'm very familiar with the necessary steps it takes to recovery. I dream of being a nurse conducting those AA meetings with people who are in the process of recovery. Does anyone know if an associates degree would be efficient enough for that? I guess i'm afraid to look stupid...still being a student making phone calls.
  14. by   IMustBeCrazy
    <edited to move to appropriate thread>
    Last edit by IMustBeCrazy on Nov 9, '06

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