What should be my next step?

Specialties Psychiatric


Hi all,

I'm graduating in Dec 05 with a B.S. in Psychology, i've been planning to go onto grad. school in psychology until i found out about psychiatric nursing. I'm wondering if any of you can give me some idea what is psychiatric nursing about and what's a typical day is like? What kind of education do i need? As i said, i'll have a B.S in psych and I'm planning to get an ADN in nursing and become an RN first. I thought about accelerated BSN but there are so many prereqs and it's going to take me at least a year to finish about 50 credits prereqs because i don't have too much biology background. If i've go take about 50 credits of prereqs, i might as well just do an ADN program and take the RN exam first. I've heard that usually hospitals will provide tuition reimburstment, i can pursue more education by that time. Does it make a big difference between ADN and BSN...i mean if i want to be a psychiatric nurse, do i need more education than that? Or do i need some other experiences before becoming a psychiatric nurse? Please educate me because i have no knowledge in this area, thanks a lot! Any suggestions/advice would help!!

Btw, i'm thinking of moving to TX Houston, any idea about good nursing program and job outlook for RN?



374 Posts


The ADN after the BS in Psych will work to get you into nursing. I followed a similar route, getting a ADN after I had complete a BA in English Lit. The BSN is a better education however. To be a psych nurse you need to be a nurse first. The job psych nurse's is to be the person on the treatment team with the general health care knowledge, who also knows how to deal with psych patients.

I graduated with my BA and could not get work so I took a job as a night orderly in a general hospital so I could go to evening classes to add a teaching certificate to it. I found I hate dealing with masses of adolescents. But being part of the nursing team was fun. When I went for a short intensive ADN I already had thousands of hours of hospital experience. It was only after I had worked a year as charge nurse on a med/surg unit and was working in an inner city ER that I realized I had a good "touch " with psych pts. When an RN position came open on our psych unit, I took it. That was 20 years ago.

Unless you have reason to believe you would like to be a nurse I would advise staying in school in the psych trac and going for either a MSW or a PhD-psych. In either of those positions you will earn a salary comparible to an RN and have more presteige.

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