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The Psychiatric Nursing Profession...a thread to begin learning about it

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatric, Behavioral Health. Has 32 years experience.

I wish to give credit were credit is due....Thanks, danu3, for locating this website, which will be very helpful to members who have questions as to what the psychiatric nursing profession is all about.

American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)

If other members are aware of additional websites that "promote psychiatric nursing as a profession", please post them here for our members who are still learning or may have an interest.

mona b RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Child/Adolescent Mental Health.

Thanks for the link.:)

sirI, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB. Has 30 years experience.

i wish to give credit were credit is due....thanks, danu3, for locating this website, which will be very helpful to members who have questions as to what the psychiatric nursing profession is all about.

apna link

if other members are aware of additional websites that "promote psychiatric nursing as a profession", please post them here for our members who are still learning or may have an interest.

hello, thunderwolf,

this link might serve a useful purpose for this thread.:)

http://www.allhealthnet.com/nursing/psychiatric+nursing/

Thunderwolf, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatric, Behavioral Health. Has 32 years experience.

Thank you, Siri.

as a newbie to this site, I am very interested in this topic. Hope to see this thread grow. Cathy

Do you think it would be a mistake to go directly into psych nursing?

Dawn

Hey Everyone!

I'm just entering school for nursing after a short (5yrs) career as a paramedic, I'm interested in RPN. Every job has its perks and downsides, I'm generally interested on how being an RPN has affected your life in a positive and negative way whether you deal strictly in mental health, persay, addictions or forensics..etc.

I've looked at a number of websites so I'm now just looking for personal experiences/opinions.

Thank-you all so very much :)

Paramedic80

Thunderwolf, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatric, Behavioral Health. Has 32 years experience.

Do you think it would be a mistake to go directly into psych nursing?

Dawn

There are various thoughts about this. I encourage you to read the threads already posted. It has been discussed.

Thunderwolf, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatric, Behavioral Health. Has 32 years experience.

My friend...this is exactly what we discuss on the board. The ups, the downs, the advantages, the disadvantages, the successes, the failures. Spend some time reading in the forums....you will get your answers. Most, if not all, speak from their own experiences.

Wish you the best.

Hey Everyone!

I'm just entering school for nursing after a short (5yrs) career as a paramedic, I'm interested in RPN. Every job has its perks and downsides, I'm generally interested on how being an RPN has affected your life in a positive and negative way whether you deal strictly in mental health, persay, addictions or forensics..etc.

I've looked at a number of websites so I'm now just looking for personal experiences/opinions.

Thank-you all so very much :)

Paramedic80

Do you think it would be a mistake to go directly into psych nursing?

Dawn

It depends on what you want to do overall.

It used to be that you had to have one solid year of med/surg to be able to look at anything fun like CCU, ICU, NICU, etc. There are exceptions to that now, but they involve more medical focus, not less.

Psych is a whole 'nother animal from most nursing specialties. You learn a completely different kind of assessment and there is a limited emphasis on the medical side of things. Mostly meds, side effects, interactions, EPS, and the like.

There is a medical component to caring for eating disorder patients, bipolar patients, AODA patients, etc., but it's a means to an end and not an end in itself. Think of the reverse situation. A cardiac patient might need a psych consult to deal with depression, but that's maybe 10% of their care. A psych patient may need a medical attention to such matters as a tube feeding for an eating disorder patient or lab draws to monitor the liver function of someone on Depakote or managing withdrawal for a detox patient, but the main focus for your patients will be the mental/psycho-social/emotional realm.

The low level of medical emphasis doesn't reduce your need for med/surg background (or at least, med background). Because you'll have less exposure to medical situations on a psych unit, I think you actually need to have a stronger background. The nurses I worked with were all a bit concerned that their skills were starting to suffer after a few years on the unit. The ones who fared best when they wanted to go back to a more medical setting were the ones who had the best med/surg foundation.

The reality is that psych tends to burn people out, at least temporarily. Some nurses take breaks and come back. Some reach their limit and move to a completely different field. Many hospitals refuse to even look at nurses who don't have that magic year in med/surg.

I did all right with just six months, but I also had years of assessment experience as an EMT, and I took a two month refresher course to re-tool my thinking.

Maybe you can contact hospitals in your area and see how they would react to a nurse who wanted to get back into a medical area if she has only psych background.

I wish you well.

Hello,

I am currently in my Psychiatric rotation in Nursing School and it is pretty interesting I must say! We have to do a presentation type of activity for the clients, which is to consist of some type of therapeutic game or activity and I have been trying to come up with something that they would enjoy, but need a little help. Does anyone have any ideas? Maybe some of you had to do this type of project and found something great to do, if so could you share your ideas with me, I would really appreciate a hand on getting my brain pumping with more ideas. Hope to here from you.

Nurstobe

crb613, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg/Tele/ER. Has 7 years experience.

Hello,

I am currently in my Psychiatric rotation in Nursing School and it is pretty interesting I must say! We have to do a presentation type of activity for the clients, which is to consist of some type of therapeutic game or activity and I have been trying to come up with something that they would enjoy, but need a little help. Does anyone have any ideas? Maybe some of you had to do this type of project and found something great to do, if so could you share your ideas with me, I would really appreciate a hand on getting my brain pumping with more ideas. Hope to here from you.

Nurstobe

We did a game copying bingo...took all the meds that most of the people on the unit were taking. Made a bingo board w/drug names in the spaces. Then put all of these drug names into a bag, and pull them out. If you have that name on your board you get that block/space. When you name the drug you give anyone that wants to a chance to tell you what it is/how it works or makes them feel. I was amazed...most know their meds. It was a good learning tool for everyone, and they enjoyed it. We used sugar free treats for all when it was over....so no loosers. Hope that helps you.

transducen, BSN, RN

Specializes in TELE, ICU. Has 5 years experience.

Is the salary the same as other nurses? Salary.com come says they earn less.

MarkRN

Specializes in Psychiatric, Geriatric, Cardiac. Has 7 years experience.

Is the salary the same as other nurses? Salary.com come says they earn less.

From my experience, salaries are mainly comperable if not the same for psych nurses who are employed at hospitals with inpatient psych units as are other nurses in that same hospital. If you plan on working in the outpatient setting, salaries may be a bit lower. State psych hospitals usually pay well, and from what I hear, have excellent benefits (as do most state government jobs). I don't have much experience with the VA/federal gov't psych positions, but I would imagine the pay is pretty good there as well. Of course, salaries are often based on years of experience and ANCC certification as well. Hope this helps.

rys77

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 5 years experience.

Originally Posted by Paramedic80

Hey Everyone!

I'm just entering school for nursing after a short (5yrs) career as a paramedic, I'm interested in RPN. Every job has its perks and downsides, I'm generally interested on how being an RPN has affected your life in a positive and negative way whether you deal strictly in mental health, persay, addictions or forensics..etc.

I've looked at a number of websites so I'm now just looking for personal experiences/opinions.

Thank-you all so very much :)

Paramedic80

From my experience, psych nursing can be very challenging, but rewarding. I find that we often have a high burnout rate because we deal with such challenging clientele. We can be sworn at, hit, punched, kicked...etc., and still come to work the next day and listen to Joe Doe speak about how horrible his life is and how we wants to kill himself. It's not a profession for the faint of heart. However, with that being said, it can be very rewarding when you see a client deal with a very difficult issue...as psych nurses, I feel we are often undervalued, but provide an amazing service with care.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask me.

Cheers and good luck!

Ryan

Hello everyone,

Quick question, Would it be feesable to do a 30 unit RN minor with a BA psychology then apply for FNP/PMHNP?

Just wondering, I am just leaving the service and have about 84 credits toward a psy BA, it just seems to be a waste if I have to do a whole other BSN right along with it.

thanks,

Mark

Do you think it would be a mistake to go directly into psych nursing?

Dawn

Yes do Psych. nursing first as a separate unit, ie. to become a psych RN is a great way to go.:uhoh3: It certainly prepares you for the other areas of nursing and life in general! It prepares you for dealing with people - not just the nuts but also the 'certified sane'. I can now appreciate completing my three years in-hospital psych training which was followed by two years training in mentally and physically disabled area then finally general medical/surgical nursing. (I have met only a few who have actually completed all three in any order.) Now of course all nurse training is done through university. A pitty I feel there's nothing like working during your training!

I will probably get a few answers to that!

Mister Chris:chair: :specs: :uhoh3: :jester:

knittwhit

Specializes in Behavioral Health. Has 27 years experience.

Thank you for posting the site and promoting the importance of involvement in professional organizations. It is something I had taken for granted prior to enrolling in school for my masters. It has really been an eye opener. I am a member of APNA.

I recently had to write an editorial on "scarce resources" and chose the impact of the nursing shortage on the specialty area of psychiatric nursing. I found some very interesting articles in JAPNA. It was good to see how active the journal is in making nurses aware of the crisis which is looming on our horizon. Pretty scary stuff.

Hi,

I am new to this forum. I am considering getting an MSN as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I have 1 1/2 yr of professional counseling but decided that the program was too long and too expensive. Also that a MSN was a better route as far as options.

When I look in the ads for jobs, I see very very few ads for psychiatric nurse practioners. I live in Columbus, OH. Is it difficult to find work? What kind of positions are out there. Eventually I want to have a private practice.

Thanks.

sst17

hi, I am a new grad (graduated 2 yrs ago, and just passed boards finally). I am starting my first nursing job in adolescent psych on Monday. I am so glad there is a forum for this topic. I feel like I know nothing! I just know I want to work with kids, and hated med-surg.

Ally

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