Student Profile: Crystal Epstein


Who you are?  Where are you from? Where do you go to school?
My name is Crystal Epstein.  I grew up in Columbus, NE and have been a student in the UNMC College of Nursing for the last 7 years. I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner and a 3rd year PhD student.

Why did you choose to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner?
Prior to nursing school I happened to get a job working in an inpatient psychiatric clinic as a technician. I ended up really enjoying the job and the patients. It was very rewarding. Had it not been for this experience I might have never considered going into psychiatric nursing.

Where do you hope to practice when you’ve completed your training? Why there?
I am not sure yet. Wherever there is a need…which seems to be anywhere. I am interested in practice, teaching and research in psychiatric nursing. Unfortunately my husband and I will be leaving Nebraska next year (he will be starting his residency somewhere), but perhaps we will be back to Nebraska someday.

What is the one thing you wish you knew about the behavioral health field before you ended up down this career path?
There is often a degree of uncertainty when it comes to finding what will best help a patient. What works for one, might not work for another. It can be discouraging for both the patient and the health care provider. Hopefully in the future more mental health research will help to eliminate some of this uncertainty.

What is one interesting/quirky/fun/unique thing we should know about you?
I have been a vegetarian for the last 10 years, and I am left-handed.