Aug 16, 2018
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Hi Everyone!

I am only one year from completing my PhD in Counseling Psychology. I've had the opportunity to do clinical work on teams with Psych NPs and sort of became inspired and interested in this field.

Any advice on applying to programs? I would likely search for a direct entry as I do not have a nursing background. The accelerated format would be ideal since I've been in school for nearly 10 years.

Has anyone done this before? Psychologist and then returned to school to also be a Psych NP?

I live in an area where there's a general shortage of mental health care, especially in psychiatry.

I'm curious to hear from others.. any thoughts/advice would be appreciated!

Thank you :)
 

pamac

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Mar 31, 2010
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Some states are actually providing an avenue for folks like yourself to have a limited pallete of medications to be able to use in clinical practice after candidates take some additional coursework. That might be the least painful approach to having a shot at prescribing. The alternative is for you to attend a direct entry program, which you should be prepared to put all of your time into for the 3 years that the programs usually run. They fast track you through RN training, which means no time for much outside of your training. Then they move pretty quick through the NP portion, and that also involves full time study. Then you have the program being quite expensive (often easily breaking the $100k mark). And then you have living expenses. I’m not sure if there are 2 year DE programs, but if there are, expect even more single minded dedication and considerable expenses associated with your coursework.


I feel if you have your heart set on becoming an NP, there is a better way, especially for someone like you. I’d do an accelerated bachelors degree that one can complete in 1 year, and which you would probably get into fairly easily, and also be able to get into a cheaper one since you could probably be pretty competitive. Then, upon graduation, I’d immediately start an affordable Np program while you work as an RN. That will get you through in about the same amount of time as a direct entry, and it will be considerably cheaper, while giving you some field experience and employment while you work on your NP. And I would certainly forgo getting a DNP (another circumstance where anyone requiring a DNP is out of touch). I honestly think my suggestion is the better alternative to a direct entry or almost everyone.


Overall, I think you might be approaching a “glutton for punishment” label if you try to get an NP, but I don’t know anything about your circumstances or endurance. But I’m a bit of a glutton myself, so I can’t cast stones. I think you’d be a well rounded mental health clinician if you pull off your plan, but you are going to feel like you are back at square one.


So think outside the box a bit. Another advantage to my suggested plan is that you can probably find a closer accelerated BSN program than a DE program, which I think would be valuable for you to stay near where you can network with the people you know.

Question for you... how much do clinical psychologists or counselors make? Just curious.
 
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