Why should I become a Psych RN?

  1. Hello! I am graduating soon from nursing school and I want to become a psych RN however I already have a job lined up in a doctor's office. I am extremely interested in psych and truly feel like I can help people more in psych than in med surge where I am mostly tending to their physical needs. I find myself going back and forth between having a job lined up and trying to find one in psych. I would like any advice from all the psych RNs out there! What do you love about psych nursing and why would you recommend it? Thank you! I appreciate any advice!
  2. Visit bellabarbiegirl profile page

    About bellabarbiegirl

    Joined: Oct '08; Posts: 45; Likes: 9


  3. by   anotherone
    not a psych nurse. but , my advice is keep the dr' s office job then start looking for a psych job. have you checked out the psych specialty forum on allnurses?
  4. by   Psychcns
    Well..it is very interesting to be working with the mind.. And you are using your therapeutic skills--your Self--to communicate
    And when people feel understood, you feel it too..
  5. by   Fiona59
    Did you make any good connections on your psych rotation? Put out the word that your are looking!
  6. by   Sun0408
    Did you have clinicals at a psych facility? Keep the office job until you find something you are interested in. Please before you accept the position shadow a few shifts, talk with the staff and research the facility.
  7. by   tnbutterfly
    Moved to Psych. Nursing for more response.
  8. by   noctanol
    only you have the answer to what you should be. i dont think you will find your answer in this forum. imagine hectic days in the clinic, you would wish you took the psych job and vice versa. do what you think is best for you and what you think you will enjoy and get satisfaction out off in the long run. there are too many grumpy, burnt out nurses out there, follow your heart if the opportunity is present.
  9. by   bellabarbiegirl
    Thank you all for the advice and comments! I actually know someone who introduced me to the director at one of the places where I did my psych clinicals and he said he hires new grads and to contact him as soon as I have my license. I heard that the starting pay is 25/hr but I thought psych would be more because it is specialized?
  10. by   Meriwhen
    Quote from bellabarbiegirl
    Thank you all for the advice and comments! I actually know someone who introduced me to the director at one of the places where I did my psych clinicals and he said he hires new grads and to contact him as soon as I have my license. I heard that the starting pay is 25/hr but I thought psych would be more because it is specialized?
    That is better than my starting pay in psych was ($22 plus diffs), which itself was far better than the starting salaries for new grads in med-surg at the time (under $20 plus diffs). It's all relative: see what the other starting salaries are for other psych facilities in your area, as well as the starting salaries all specialties (and yes, med-surg is a specialty as well).

    Also keep in mind that you ARE (well, will be) a new grad, so you're not going to be at the higher end of the pay scale.

    And last...the highest salary isn't everything. If your heart is in psych and you have an opportunity as a new grad to pursue it, that may make taking a smaller hourly rate worth it.
  11. by   LilRedRN1973
    I am a psych nurse that works in an outpatient psychiatric clinic. I think we have about 9-10 nurses and about 8 psychiatrists (I can't ever keep count because we have residents that don't work full time and another doc who only works Mondays and Fridays). I work Monday through Friday, 7am to 4pm with an unpaid hour for lunch. Because we are a state facility, I have weekends off and paid holidays off. I make $30/hr at my current job and am classified as a Psychiatric Nurse II. My first year, I think I was making $28/hr (approximately). I've been here for 3 years. I love my job because I have the opportunity to do a lot of patient education, which my job in the ICU did not allow for :-) I also enjoy that I have an entire 1/2 hour with each client individually. I work with a terrific boss who is extremely supportive of "his" nurses and constantly goes to bat for us against the "powers that be". I did not set out to be a psych nurse but I feel this is an appropriate place for me to be and I love the work, the hours, the coworkers (it's not at all catty like I found in my previous hospital settings) and the clients.

    Our clients are fairly stable as we see them every 3 months (my doc has a roster of about 400 clients; we have a total of about 2500 clients overall). I'm not sure what working inpatient would be like as I've not done inpatient psych.
  12. by   morecoffeepls
    The only reason I went to nursing school was to become a nurse anesthetist; then I did a few psych rotations and I was hooked. If you suspect this specialty is something you would especially like for some reason (vague, specific, whatever), or that perhaps your innate nature would lend itself to, then you're probably a psych nurse. You'll have people (instructors, experienced nurses) tell you that you need med-surg experience first, but why not delve right into it if you become convinced it's what you want? I truly enjoyed clinicals in psych, and believe in the whole "authentic presence" approach to interpersonal/therapeutic communication. I was hired as a new grad as the FT night nurse on the unit where I did my first psych clinical rotation (at a great hospital with a holistic philosophy of care). I was lucky because jobs were scarce for my graduating class. I didn't expect to be paid more because psych is a specialty, but between the charge, shift, and weekend differentials, then tacking on a few bucks an hour after getting ANCC certified and climbing the clinical ladder, I make about 30-40 % more than if I hadn't bought out my tuition contract to work on my unit. It's been about 4 years and a few kids later, and I'm convinced I have found my calling. I recently started working psych home care per diem as well, which is satisfying and probably the future of nursing/health care. That all being said, if you're not convinced, or start off in psych then change your mind, you'll have some real difficulty when the time comes. I always feel like my experience has been an anomoly because I am a male nurse, but 2 cents is 2 cents. It's such an intriguing, rewarding specialty replete with moments that remind you what it means to be a human being in this world. Good luck.
  13. by   Scooby-Dooby-Doo
    I like that story...
  14. by   bellabarbiegirl
    Thank you so much for all the sincere and thoughtful advice. I can't express how much I appreciate hearing from others who feel drawn to psych as well. I have always been so drawn to psych and even more now the more interact with "psych " patients in my current job now as a medical assistant and after my rotations in school. I feel like I can really make a difference and have more of an impact than a med surge type position. I am planning on applying to a behavioral health hospital that is close to me as soon as I'm licensed. I apologize for the delayed response. I've been studying for the nclex... I take it tomorrow at 8am. Wish me luck I've worked so hard for so long and am so excited to finally be taking it tomorrow. Feels like my whole life has led up to this!