Job outlook for new grad NPs without nursing experience

  1. I am considering attending a masters-entry program for people who have a bachelors in a non-nursing field, and am wondering how employable I will be after graduating. The program I have been accepted to does not award a second bachelors, but I will be able to become an RN after one year (I have already completed a bunch of science prerequisites). I will then complete a year and a half of speciality training to become a certified nurse-midwife. At this point, I will have no experience as a nurse (besides clinicals and integration) and I am wondering if the lack of nursing experience will make it difficult to find my first CNM job. Does anyone have experience with finding employment as an NP (or CNM specifically) without nursing experience?
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    About junipers

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 50; Likes: 4


  3. by   SkiBumNP
    As some one who has just completed a masters-entry program i can say with the utmost certainty that you will be JUST FINE!

    What many people don't like hearing is that the work as an Advanced Practice Nurse, NP, CNM you will be practicing MEDICINE not nursing.

    so pay attention in school, do well on tests, rock out in clinicals, and when you graduate be ready to learn and work.
  4. by   junipers
    Thanks SkiBum - yours is a very refreshing outlook!

    Does anyone else have similar or opposing thoughts on this?
  5. by   traumaRUs
    I just gotta say that advanced practice NURSING is just that - NURSING!

    Lol - yes, we follow the medical model but that does not denigrate our years of nursing experience.
  6. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    From zero clinical experience to a licensed provider in 2.5 years... Not touching me or my family... maybe a simple scrip for abx or something but really...

    I'm totally down with APNs but to start the process with NO clinical experience is just wrong to me.
  7. by   SkiBumNP
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I just gotta say that advanced practice NURSING is just that - NURSING!

    Lol - yes, we follow the medical model but that does not denigrate our years of nursing experience.
    Many of us do not have years of nursing experience. The medical approach is all we know.
  8. by   junipers
    The skills of nursing and the skills of a midwife do overlap somewhat, and I can see where having some nursing experience may make me a better CNM. I think being very open to learning from fellow nurses and other midwives and NPs will also help me gain skills and be a better practitioner. I want to clarify that in order to get in to one of these programs, you have to have:

    1. Life, work, and volunteer experience that shows that you are able to work with people in a clinical setting and are devoted to direct service.
    2. Great grades in Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Microbiology, Chemistry, Nutrition, Human growth and development, Statistics, and sometimes a few others.
    3. A bachelors degree (many applicants have degrees in social work, psychology, public health, woman's studies, or other subjects that make for well-rounded NPs)
    4. Commitment

    So, I do believe that I can have the basis for being a great CNM after 2.5 years of intensive (no breaks, through the summers) training.

    What does worry me is the feasibility of finding my first CNM position. Does anybody have any feedback on finding employment without working as an RN first?

    Thanks for all of the comments!

  9. by   traumaRUs
    You might contact your states APN organization for employment info.
  10. by   BCgradnurse
    I'm an FNP who completed a Masters Entry program. I had no trouble finding a job as an NP when I graduated in 2009. Most prospective employers were more concerned with my lack of NP experience rather than my lack of RN experience. Everyone in my class had jobs within 3 months of graduation. I think job prospects vary from region to region. I think Trauma's advice to contact your state NP association is a great idea. They may have job listings so you can see what employers are looking for.
  11. by   reeya
    You can find job. Some employers train you, some prefer you have nursing experiences. It is just matter of finding employers. Without nursing experience you may struggle in critical thinking initially but you will be competent as you garner experience yourself. You may take time but you'll get it. Get in a very good campus based program with labs/clinicals. Research your program what they offer. I would not go to an online accelerated program, definitely not.

    @SkiBump: No, we are not educated in medical model (PA is medical model not NP-is advanced nursing). The most important thing about having nursing experience is the critical thinking component that comes with you being a RN. No textbook can replace the critical thinking. Emergency situations handling that comes only with experience, doesnt matter if you're educated in nursing or medical model. Nursing is not just wiping butt !! Most of the skills EKG, NG tube, IV, heart/lung sounds/ability to recognize change in pt condition, differentiating early s/sx vs. late s/sx, participating while code is running comes with RN experience. Dont ditch nursing skills just by saying oh we are educated in medical models because we're not. We may be diagnostician, primary providers, mid level providers but having that nursing skill is better than none.
  12. by   t2kck
    My suggestion to the writer, it is extremely important to work at a hospital in a general med unit or cardiology unit (step down) for at least 2 years. Become proficient with physical exams, medication management and assisting the dying then consider NP school. Friends of mine after graduating from nursing school never worked as a nurse. As an NP for over 15 years, I still recall my first year after post graduate school. I can only say that had I not worked as a nurse for a few years prior to attending graduate school, I would have been out of my realm of experience. Nursing trains people to observe and experience first hand disease processes that one does not learn in nursing school. To think that one can jump from a BS nursing program without working with acutely sick patients and doctors who have not slept in 24 hours is dreaming. Nurse Practitioners are in a level of responsibility only akin to a physician. Any RN new grad who thinks they can leap in to the position in to a role as a professional nurse practitioner is nuts. I am also offended by the idea. It sounds that one role is an extension of the other by mere education. NOT. The role is entirely different from nursing. Consider medical school first. I love my career as an acute np. However, I really was fortunate. I had doctors who trained me in their private practice as though I was resident. Without my nursing background I would have been an embarrassment to my school, friends and family.
  13. by   t2kck
    Would an OB, mid-wife group hire you without nursing, other medical degree or association? Ask the people in your clinics that have a contract with your school? There was a time that nurse mid-wives graduating from Georgetown Univ. were not allowed to have practicums at Georgetown Hospital. Kaiser Permanente fired all their mid-wives. If they stayed it was for prenatal appointments and paps. Kaiser Permante is presently handing out pink slips or something to akin to this to all their nurse practitioners in the mid-atlantic region. The malpractice insurance required to hire you will be expensive. Therefore, will you qualify for malpractice? Find this out by surfing the web. If you are going to work overseas in a ministry position, than you are going to be better than no one. A mid-wife is responsible for the well being of mother and neonate. If something goes wrong you can and probably will be liable for up to 18 yrs after the baby is born. I would first find out what area you will be woking. This is the 21 century. There is the mind thought that if you regularly attend school, clinical and pass the board you will be qualified. I haven't answered your question but I think it is going to be very difficult for you to find a job.
  14. by   lweatherby
    I am a NP student at UPenn. Yesterday we had a panel of recruiters from local hospitals come and speak about how they screen candidates and what they are looking for. There were 5 recruiters there and each one said that they would NOT consider hiring a NP without nursing experience. They said that the physicians have alot of input in who they hire and they are not about to consider a NP without nursing experience. The recruiter from the pediatric hospital said she is not impressed at all by where you did you clinicals because everyone does clinicals. If you do not have nursing experience, then your application is tossed. They were much more concerned with nursing experience than with NP experience. Horrifying news for the direct entry folks.

    Having said that, I think it depends on where you are in the country as to how true that is. I can understand in Philly where there are so many good schools and they have a large applicant pool. However, in rural areas and other parts of the country there may be a smaller applicant pool and/or more jobs. They may be more willing to hire someone without nursing experience.

    I only have two years of nursing experience and I am hoping that is enough. I am from rural Texas and will be returning there to work. I am very optimistic that I will find work.

    The educators really need to tell students that it may be more difficult to find a job without nursing experience. Not because you can't do the job(that is a different forum) but because recruiters may not even give you a chance without that nursing experience.