June 11, 2012
Nuring offers something for everyone, but too few nurses gravitate to the mental health field. "We can always use more qualified psych nurses," said Benjamin Evans, RN, DD, DNP, APN, PMHCNS-BC, associate vice president of behavioral health services at Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus, N.J. "But not a lot of folks come out of nursing school with an interest in psych."
Robin Krajewski, RN, MSN, NPP, director of network development and management at PSCH in Flushing, N.Y., has found people fearful of working in behavioral health.
"There’s still a stigma about mental illness, and people are afraid," Krajewski said.
However, she adds, the field needs more people with the skill to understand what others are going through and the ability to coordinate all aspects of the patients’ care.
"Nurses look at the whole person and have an advantage in working with people," Krajewski said. "I’d say to nurses, give it a try."