Psychology is a fascinating field of study, and the study of the human mind and behavior is relevant and useful in almost any profession. But in today’s economy, it can be difficult to find work that puts your psychology degree to work. If you are a recent college grad with a degree in psychology, you may be exploring creative ways to put your knowledge to use in a field that offers a secure professional future.
Nursing is a great place to start. Just as we outlined how to become an RN with a bachelor’s degree in biology, there are many ways that you can also leverage your bachelor’s degree in psychology into a successful and rewarding nursing career.
Nursing allows you to be in a healthcare environment while applying your knowledge in the field of psychology. In fact, your academic background puts you at an advantage and prepares you for an accelerated program’s course work. More than preparing you for school, the soft skills acquired in earning your bachelor’s degree in psychology will prepare you for a career in nursing.
Read on to discover why you should consider a career in nursing, and learn how to become a nurse with a psychology degree.
Your academic background in psychology likely prepared you quite well to get started on the road to becoming a registered nurse through Roseman University’s Accelerated BSN program. You may have already completed some of Roseman’s accelerated nursing prerequisite courses during your undergraduate coursework, or at the very least you are familiar with the material.
For example, you will almost certainly have completed the psychology prerequisite, and your study of biopsychology will have familiarized you with different systems of the body. This will make the material in your nursing prerequisites and courses come more naturally than a student without your psychology background. You also will have already had experience in labs, using the scientific method as part of your school work. Again, this sets you apart from your peers with less experience in social science.
In addition to a cross-over in theoretical knowledge, you may already have some experience in a healthcare setting, perhaps in an internship or externship program. This will be valuable as you transition from purely theoretical work into your labs and clinical rotations.
Perhaps more important than your academic preparedness are the soft skills you acquired while earning your bachelor’s degree in psychology. While your overlapping academic studies will prepare you well for nursing, your knowledge of psychology and how different people think and behave will give you an edge in nursing school and as you progress in your career as a nurse.
The ability to empathize and communicate with people is one of the most critical components of being a great nurse. You will not only be communicating with your patients, but you must also be able to effectively and technically communicate with doctors, and then relay this information to patients, their families, and other parties. As a nurse, you will be at the nexus of a patient’s treatment plan and caregiving experience. Each situation will require a different style of communication. This requires a great deal of empathy, especially in high stress situations. Your nursing experiences will draw upon your background in psychology, especially in dealing with situations such as conflict management and grief.
Career & Specialties
While the skills and knowledge acquired during your bachelor’s degree in psychology will carry over to your daily activities as a nurse in any field, there are several nursing specialties that will put your psychology background to use more specifically.
The list of psychology-related nursing tracks includes:
- Psychiatric nursing – The most obvious correlation to the study of psychology, psychiatric-mental health nurses (PMHN) are specially trained to address the mental health needs of patients with problems such as bipolar disorder, depression, dementia, schizophrenia, and psychosis.
- School nursing – School nurses work with school-age children, not only providing care for basic illnesses and wounds, but also offer care in terms of educating students on self-care strategies and, when necessary, intervening and working with families to ensure the health and safety of students at home and at school.
- Faith community nursing (FCN) – Also referred to as church or parish nursing, faith community nurses serve faith community groups not only in caring for the physical body, but also take the spirit into consideration, providing holistic mind-body-spirit care.
- Hospice nursing – Hospice nurses employ a great deal of empathy and compassion, intimately interacting with patients and their families in the most difficult seasons of life. Hospice nurses draw upon the ability to navigate grief and uncertainty, both with their patients as well as their patients’ loved ones.
- Home care nursing – Like hospice nursing, home care nurses become intimately involved in the care and treatment of patients. Home care nurses work closely with one patient in the comfort of his or her home, often interacting daily with the patient’s family and loved ones. It is critical for home care nurses to be empathetic and earn the trust of a patient to enter his or her home.
A career in nursing offers opportunities beyond patient care as a registered nurse. In addition to the nursing specialties listed above, there are a wide range of career advancement opportunities for nurses with a background in psychology.
Many nurses, including psychiatric nurses, go on to earn their master’s or doctoral degrees within a specialty or in healthcare administration. Earning your BSN is the first step in a wide range of opportunities that come with a career in nursing.
Where to Start
If you already have your bachelor’s degree in psychology, you may be eligible for Roseman University’s 16-month accelerated nursing program. During your first advising appointment, your advisor will learn about your background and nursing goals in order to help you determine if our program is the right fit for you. Your advisor will then schedule a follow up preliminary review of your unofficial transcripts, and you will set a target start date for the program. From there, you will fulfill any necessary prerequisites before applying to the program. Although the process may seem daunting, your advisor will be there to guide you through every step of the way – so don’t delay!
Call 866.891.1754 to speak with one of our advisors today and learn how to become a nurse with a psychology degree through Roseman University’s Accelerated BSN program! You could be just 16 months away from a new and rewarding career in nursing.