psych. nursing: must have msn?

  1. Hello,
    I've got a bachelor's degree in psychology, spent a year in grad school for psychology, now I've switched my major to nursing (I specifically want to get into psychiatric nursing).
    The problem is, I will have to spend 1 year fulfilling the pre-nursing requirements and then to get the bsn will take 2 more years. I know "time flies by when you're having fun " but an additional 2 years on top of this for the msn to specialize in psych nursing, may be a bit much, PLUS I really need to start earning money sooner than later.
    My question is, are any of you working in mental health but just have a bsn? If so, are your duties more so like bed-side nursing for the mentally ill or do you do other things as well?
    Thanks for your help.
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    About pnurseuwm

    Joined: Jul '03; Posts: 164; Likes: 8


  3. by   lucianne
    I have a BSN and work on an inpatient psych unit. If you need to earn money, you can do that while working on your MSN--if that's what you ultimately want to do. Why don't you read the thread about what psych nurses do? It's about psych nursing at the bachelor's level (don't let it scare you off!). You don't actually do therapy or lead groups with a BSN, but you do provide therapeutic activities and communication. If you want an MSN, most school require at least 2 years of clinical experience in the field of psych/mental health nursing before you can take graduate level clinical courses.

    Good luck with your education.
  4. by   a-rose
    i am very interesting in what you study in psychology. i like psychologyvery much!
  5. by   cat_psychnurse
    Not that a BSN isn't the way to go, but perhaps there may be another option for you. I am an AS degree nurse who works at a free standing psych hospital. One option that I am pursing is the RN to MSN program offered by a Maryland University. Basically, you still get both degrees, and the admission criteria are a little higher, but the master's level core courses are taken in place of the bachelor's level cores. It will hopefully allow me to take at least one year off of my education. And, since you already have so much education under your belt, the time frame may be significantly less for you. Good Luck though in whatever path you choose. Cath
  6. by   nurse2be in ny
    Look into some of the accelerated programs that are around (do a Google search; you'll bring up a lot). They're specifically designed for second-degree students. You'll still need to do some pre-reqs, but the amount of time you'll spend getting the nursing degree itself will be considerably shortened. Some school even have programs that are a combined BSN/MSN.