Running head: RETURNING TO SCHOOL TO BECOME A PSYCHIATRIC NURSE 1 Returning to School to Become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Denyse Collins University of South Alabama RETURNING TO SCHOOL TO BECOME A PSYCHIATRIC NURSE Returning to School to Become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Introduction There is great benefit and reward in returning to nursing school. Returning to nursing school has a positive, transformative, and life-changing effect.

This essay will explore factors contributing to nurses returning to school, barriers that returning nursing students might face, 2 support required for successful completion, and my plan for a successful outcome in becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Discussion Nursing is a career that continues to demonstrate long-term demand. It can improve job security and provide long-term security. In some Oregon hospitals (I reside in the state of Oregon), the minimal educational requirements for Registered Nurses will soon be the Baccalaureate degree. Accordingly, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing recognizes the Bachelor of Science degree in nursing as the minimal educational requirement for professional nursing practice” (Blais & Hayes, 2011, p. 4). Nurses returning to school learn more about the profession they’ve chosen. Delightfully, this may result in a change of perspectives of their previously conceived ideas of the meaning of nursing, the world around them, and themselves. Education enhances self-confidence and one’s sense of purpose. Being able to say, “I did it! ” provides a great sense of accomplishment.

In addition, returning to school helps one to improve computer skills, writing ability, and organizational skills. “Although RNs felt they returned to school as skilled, knowledgeable and professional practitioners, they reported growing beyond their expectations in areas of knowledge and professionalism, which they felt led the to become more effective change agents and patient advocates”(Orsolini-Hain, p. 1). RETURNING TO SCHOOL TO BECOME A PSYCHIATRIC NURSE 3 Finding the time to devote to school and studies is a major concern for nurses returning to school.

Distance-based and on-line programs aren’t easier or less intensive than a traditional school setting. Managing time for study, work, family, self-care, and maintaining a home and garden, can be a real balancing act! Finding money for school may also complicate matters. There are several financial aid sources. Some of these are tuition reimbursement from employers, scholarships, and federal grants and loans. The adage “it takes a village,” can be (humorously), applied to the support one needs to be successful, in returning to, and completing school.

While it is not a requirement of success, having the support of family, friends, professors, and classmates, greatly enhances the educational experience and creates comfort and ease during times of stress. My personal plan for success in completing the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner program includes time management and organization in regard to study and preparation, becoming proficient in computer skills as an on-line learner, maintaining self-care, and continuing to take pleasure in the process of returning to school.

Conclusion The benefits of returning to school, for a higher nursing degree, are enormous. They are both tangible and intangible. One can improve their status in the job market, attain greater degrees of autonomy, and experience the thrill of knowing one has achieved their dream. Furthering one’s nursing education enhances one’s career and nourishes a sense of self-worth and purpose. The end result is enhanced quality of life for one’s self and one’s nursing practice, which in turn, benefits others, and ultimately makes the world a little better place.

RETURNING TO SCHOOL TO BECOME A PSYCHIATRIC NURSE 4 RETURNING TO SCHOOL TO BECOME A PSYCHIATRIC NURSE References Blais, K. K. , & Hayes, J. S. (2011). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives (6th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Orsolini-Hain, L. (2008). What’s all the Fuss? Working towards a Baccalaureate or Graduate Degree in Nursing. Retrieved from http://www. nsna. org/careercenter/fuss. aspx 5