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Should I choose a career in clinical psychology or mental health nursing?

I've written two personal statements to go uni next year. One is for psychology the other is for mental health nursing. I don’t know what to decide on. My cousin recently failed an exam twice on her doctorate in clinical psychology and could no longer continue. I’m 24 and I don’t want to waste x amount of
years of my life studying psychology only to possibly fail the doctorate. Should I study mental health nursing instead?
Original post by Kaya3
I've written two personal statements to go uni next year. One is for psychology the other is for mental health nursing. I don’t know what to decide on. My cousin recently failed an exam twice on her doctorate in clinical psychology and could no longer continue. I’m 24 and I don’t want to waste x amount of
years of my life studying psychology only to possibly fail the doctorate. Should I study mental health nursing instead?


You could fail at nursing also, actually there is pretty much nothing you cant fail at. So with that in mind, what would be worth trying at and failing at?

Regarding the doctorate, that takes many years to get to and actually has one of the highest pass rates of any vocational or healthcare training, it is kind of why it is hard to get on (they know exactly who they want and have a good idea of characteristics suitable enough to do it). Sorry for your cousin, the training is very tough though but these things do happen sometimes.

Follow your interests or avoid failure and do nothing your choice.

Greg
Career wise, the thing to consider is that you can qualify as a RMN in as little as three years whereas it takes at least 6 years (as a bare minimum) to qualify as a psychologist. Healthcare settings are also always crying out for nurses and it can be an incredibly rewarding role. However, until you start climbing the ladder, the pay isn't great for what the job entails and the 12 hour shifts can be very draining. You also have to deal with a lot of abuse and difficult situations being in a patient facing role, and it still involves some sort of physical health nursing alongside the mental health side.

Psychology is a great career with significantly better pay, but that's reflected in the amount of experience and qualifications needed to actually qualify. The doctorate is very competitive but from my understanding jobs are relatively easy to find afterwards. Shift wise, psychology is a better work/life balance as you'd do the standard 9-5 working week but overall is less patient facing (if you were to work in a psychiatric hospital, for example) than nursing roles.

It really depends on what you what you're passionate about. Remember you can complete a degree in mental health nursing and still go into psychology by doing a conversion course, and likewise you can get a BSc in psychology and do an MSc in mental health nursing, so theoretically you can still get into the other if you change your mind.
Don’t shy away from what your gut truly wants to go for. You might regret going the alternative route down the line as it‘ll never be what you ‘truly’ wanted to do.
Original post by Kaya3
I've written two personal statements to go uni next year. One is for psychology the other is for mental health nursing. I don’t know what to decide on. My cousin recently failed an exam twice on her doctorate in clinical psychology and could no longer continue. I’m 24 and I don’t want to waste x amount of
years of my life studying psychology only to possibly fail the doctorate. Should I study mental health nursing instead?

@Kaya3
Career wise, there are a lot more opportunities within mental health nursing, and also a variety of pathways in order to get into it. To be a clinical psychologist you would need to do doctorate level study which is very very competitive to get into.

Marc
Arden University Student Ambassador

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