Education is one of your favorite things, which explains why you have both a licensed practical nurse diploma and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Now that you have both these achievements under your belt, you might be thinking how to make the most of these two credentials. You have a number of options, some of which might require a little more education.
Acceleration in Nursing
If you want to broaden your horizons but stay in the nursing field, consider an accelerated nursing degree. These programs are specifically designed to allow someone with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree to become a registered nurse. You could graduate with a bachelor of science in nursing in as little as 11 to 18 months, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. If you really want to move up, go on for the accelerated master’s degree, which can put you in position to become an advanced practice registered nurse or nursing executive.
Much of your knowledge in psychology could be useful in careers dealing with people. Your nursing background could also be a plus. Pharmaceutical sales, for example, require excellent people skills and a knowledge of pharmacology, according to the O*NET Occupational Information Network, as well as knowledge of the specific drugs your company has to offer. Human resources in the health care field might be another possible way to combine your skills and knowledge from both areas. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that human resources specialists typically require a bachelor’s degree, and your familiarity with the clinical aspects of health care can help you zero in on the skills and knowledge required for health care positions.
Psychiatric technicians work in a variety of mental health facilities, where they provide therapeutic care to people who have mental illnesses. As a psych tech, you might lead therapeutic activities, administer medications, admit or discharge patients, monitor vital signs or restrain patients who become physically violent. Educational and licensing requirement vary by state, according to the BLS. At the time of publication, Arkansas, California, Colorado and Kansas required psych techs to be licensed. It might be necessary to complete an accredited educational program -- although your psychology and LPN courses could be all you need in some cases -- pass an exam and pay a licensing fee.
Maybe you’d rather strike out on your own. If that’s the case, you could become a nurse entrepreneur. The sky’s the limit in this field, depending on your interests and skills. Among other possibilities, you could invent devices that make nurses’ work easier, become an educational consultant or start a business as a certified cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructor. If you’re not ready to start your own business, the University of New Orleans notes that careers that could make use of your unique skills might include becoming a case worker for child protective services, an administrator for a group home for the mentally retarded or a management position.
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing: Accelerated Nursing Programs
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Human Resources Specialist
- O*NET Occupational Information Network: Sales Representatives, Chemical and Pharmaceutical
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Psychiatric Technicians and Aides
- American Heart Association: How to Become an AHA Instructor
- University of New Orleans: What Can You Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology?
Beth Greenwood is an RN and has been a writer since 2010. She specializes in medical and health topics, as well as career articles about health care professions. Greenwood holds an Associate of Science in nursing from Shasta College.