Registered Psychiatric Nurses Make a Difference in People's Lives

"When people hear that I’m a psych nurse, their first question is often “Why did you pick that field?” (Usually followed by “I could never do what you do!”)

I tell them that I chose psych nursing because I felt I could make a difference in the lives of individuals and their families, and in the community itself.  Mental health is just as important as physical health, and I believe that more awareness and acceptance need to be brought to the forefront.

Like many others, I hope that the number of RPN students graduating each year continues to increase. Just as there is a shortage of RNs, there is also a shortage of RPNs. We play a necessary and pivotal role in the mental health and well-being of many people.

As the opportunity for retirement gets closer for many RPNs in the next few years, there needs to be an equally steady influx of graduates.  This will allow for adequate and successful means of promoting mental health, instilling a sense of hope, and providing opportunities for recovery to all individuals whose lives are touched by mental illness or addiction.

I know I’ve made a difference as an RPN when I have clients/patients hold my hand and say thank you!  Some shed a tear when they are discharged, because they have received such good care from the whole nursing team and care staff.

I know I’ve made a difference when I get a hug and a heartfelt thank you from a family member.  I know that our therapeutic trusting relationship has begun to develop, and I know I’ve begun to make a difference, whether big or small, in people’s lives."

Stephanie Thompson RPN