A nurse practitioner is a clinical degree. I greatly appreciate all the terrific advice and encouragement. See what the curriculums and job prospects are for each role are and which you would want to do everyday.. I will let everyone know what she says. nursing, especially np, would allow you to treat the whole person, disease entity, etc. We have a number of borderline patients who are on the most amazing cocktail of meds - I think it is almost criminal. I can think of two right now in Cincinnati and in Lexington KY. For some it is just easier to become part of a psychiatric group and have the collaberating psychiatrist there at the office. I'm an autodidact. This is the exact same thing that I have heard from PA colleagues countless times. Loan forgiveness is strongly based on the HPSA scores of practices, the higher the better. I was fortunate that I had very supportive employers, preceptors and family to get me through the program. I am working full time in the crisis response program, and it doesn't leave me with lot of extra energy for volunteering because of the level of self-care required to do my job well. Thanks Krisssy. i find psychiatry intellectually stimulating and clinical work challenging (in a good way!) Am almost decided on a year in Australia after my daughter enters college and then a relocation West where I would return to school(not exactly sure where in the West - Colorado is #1 choice right now). allnurses is a Nursing Career, Support, and News Site. If you are not already a nurse, you will need to do a BSN then get your MSN, and pass the NP boards. Your advise is very helpful, as at your age you are more familiar with these programs and what they are like. Thank you very much for your time and resources! The argument I have always heard is that the entirety of a pmhnp clinical hours are spent in psych, vs a PA's more generalist training. Krisssy. Many professionals believe that the CNS role is being phased out or will be obsolete, but their role is as valuable as any and definitely contributes to the value of nursing and in the private sector. I do very much agree with what she said. Clear and concise. I completed a grad entry program about a year ago now and work for a FQHC funded community mental health center providing primary care. they are a lot of work, but older students who know what real work is typically do very well in them. It helped me to realize exactly how excited I get learning medical stuff. Best of luck to you! I am now practicing as a PMHNP and haven't regretted the decision to pursue this educational pathway for one moment (other than perhaps because of the cost associated with completing two bachelor's degrees and two master's degrees). Nearly every patient I am encountering is medication seeking / addicted to a benzodiazepine or stimulant and isn't willing to consider non-psychotropic treatments that might have a healthier, longer lasting positive impact on their mental health. Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. It sounds like it might be easier to take on loans that come with the forgiveness package instead of trying to find a location after graduation. The MSN in psych nursing has been around for many decades, and was, in fact, the original, first advanced practice role developed in nursing (we led the way for everyone else ... :) ). Perhaps you could obtain a part-time position in a psych area while you attend school. You won't get any psychotherapy training, but as a PMHNP you shouldn't be doing therapy other than having a therapeutic dialogue with your patients. I was wondering if you could post or PM me and let me know what school you are thinking of going to. Most of the psych CNSs I've known over the years have had private, outpatient practices in psychotherapy (that's traditionally been the interest and motivation in becoming a psych CS). If the requirements for licensure have educational components that are not offered through a master's program, how else could you meet them? :). I definitely feel youb on the cost of several degrees, but it sounds like its working out well for yopu.Did your socia work work experience count as "hands on health care" experience in your ABSN application? :chuckle. Ultimately, I would recommend spending some time working as an MSW and then decide if nursing/PMHNP is right for you. I brought this up again. Of course it would probably be helpful, particularly when you graduate and are looking for a job. I read the webpage you linked to, oregonrobin, and it refers to CNS's, not NP's. Here is where I am stuck - what exactly IS the difference between a psych CNS and an NP? NY state. I think you should go to PA school. From a psychotherapy perspective, my interests are more in short term work, specifically solution oriented and cognitive behavioral modalities. I do have an appt. However, I really think the PA route will teach you what you're wanting to know. Psych NP programs are two year programs (in most schools) -- so, doesn't that basically mean that the students are getting (the equivalent of ) half a CNS program and half an NP program?? Since 1997, allnurses is trusted by nurses around the globe. But if you guys think it is a good idea for an MSW to do it, would it be ok for me too? I'm sure that there are lots of psych NPs out there who have created their dream jobs and are loving what they're doing. A couple of the programs that I applied to were willing to consider my work as a social worker as "hands on" health care experience, while a couple of others did not. Is your main interest in being a psychotherapist? Again, I really suggest spending some time in mental health first before committing to the PMHNP route. I would appreiciate everyone's opinion. Thanks for any advice Krisssy, Thank you for sharing such great information. All of the PA's I have spoken to have told me if you want to do psych, go for. The other issue is that there just don't seem to be many psych CNS positions around- that to me would be the most interesting (rather than seeing umpteen patients in one day). So, again, thanks for the great information and the lively discussion! As I think about this a little more, this was more of a problem for the PA programs that I had applied to at the same time I was applying to nursing programs. I think you're doing the wrong thing. I have been an NP for about a year and in many circumstances the employer wanted me to be strictly there for med management, but there are circumstances where they were wanting me to do individual and group therapy. Any other thoughts on good programs in the "West"? I am not interested in doing long term therapy. Then *hopefully* an accelerated BSN program, and then into a DNP program for three years. I'd have actually spent less time and only about the same amount of money and have gotten out into the workforce in a credentialed role years sooner. All of the PA's I have spoken to have told me if you want to do psych, go for NP over PA. Care to elaborate? These programs should include: 1) at least 500 clinical hours in direct patient care in the psychiatric mental health, I'm confused about the difference between, I typed up a very long reply and then it hit me that I could condense what I had to say. I am planning to begin my MSW degree at Simmons College this coming September. Hbbenton. You'll also most likely be more employable if you're seen as an experienced nurse, but that is a guess based on my experiences at the BSN level. There. Or are you going to work first and if so in what field? allnurses.com, INC, 7900 International Drive #300, Bloomington MN 55425 thanks Krisssy, everyone's opinion. When pertaining to private practice, there are many independate, completely NP organized practices out there. So I'm looking at at least 6 prerequisite courses-- 2 Chemistry, Microbiology, 2 anatomy and physiology, plus the nutrition. Because most of the psych NPs I have encountered work as assistants to the psychiatrists (I'm speaking of inpatient settings); they manage the clients' physical illnesses/complaints and do, This is very interesting to me. Whatever you decide, best of luck!