Soaking up all advice before starting Direct Entry MSN

  1. I have had quite an interesting year. I graduated college in December with a BS in Biology(cell physiology) and a minor in Chemistry. I applied to 6 PA Programs and 1 Direct Entry MSN Program. I did not get selected for any of the PA programs and barely got into the MSN Program. I have read nearly every thread about the Direct Entry programs on here. For a while I debated whether I should re-apply to PA school but called each school and they made it seem like it would be a tough long road due to my low science GPA and that the MSN Program will get you to the same goal professionally, just a different path, as if it was a gift from above to even get into the Direct Entry program.

    I love the nursing profession. I was a CNA for 2 years and just loved it. I know I will make a great nurse practitioner with a strong science foundation and a love for nursing.

    I am going to pursue this program, I just want to put my worries to rest before starting the program. I know others are weary about graduates from Direct Entry programs but, I am a very dedicated self motivated individual and I hope to change the minds of those people. If I gain 4-5 years of RN experience before taking on the role of an NP, wouldn't this be a sufficient amount of experience and credibility? My best friend just graduated from a prestigious university with a BSN and she said some of her classmates were starting their DNP in the fall. I feel this is the same concept with even less RN experience and years from now I feel as though what route you took to get where you are doesn't really matter, it's what you do with it.

    I just want to be sure to get a job. My father is a Doctor and I don't think he would let me go through with this program if he didn't feel it would result in a positive healthcare career outcome. My other concerns are only getting a RN license instead of BSN and the whole idea of the DNP shift which would add another year onto my schooling.

    Overall, I just want to be respected and get the job of my dreams as either a Women's Health NP, Oncology NP, or ER NP. I'm so excited to start and I know 4 other girls in the program but there's a little voice in the back of my head that doesn't want to be judged for the rest of my life simply because of this program. Any thoughts? I really would appreciate constructive opinions.
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    About IrishCandy

    Joined: May '13; Posts: 2; Likes: 1

    7 Comments

  3. by   BCgradnurse
    Hi,

    I am a Direct Entry Grad and have been working as a FNP for 4 years. Yes, there are a lot of haters out there, but work your butt off, do well, and let your performance speak for itself. I have never worked as an RN. NP jobs were plentiful when I graduated and RN jobs were scarce, so I went right into a primary care NP position and have never looked back. I found that I did not use most of what I learned in the RN portion of my program. The NP role is very different and requires a different skill set. I think RN experience would have been benificial and helpful, but IMHO, was not absolutely necessary. I have precepted both Direct Entry and traditional NP students and did not find a difference between those with RN experience and those without. It is very much individual to the person him or herself. I have never had any issues with MDs, PAs, or other providers about being a Direct Entry grad. Sadly, it is other nurses who have been most resistant. I understand that DE is the not the traditional path to NP, and some have concerns. Like any other educational program, there are good DE programs and not so good ones. Make sure the program you attend has a good reputation and provides you with good clinical experiences. Find out about their NCLEX and NP board pass rates, and job placement rates. If you're satisfied with the program, then stop listening to everyone else, be prepared to work harder than you ever have in your life, and be proud of what you accomplish. Then, when you're done, let your performance do the talking.


    Best of luck to you.
  4. by   Dembitz
    Everything that BCgradnurse said (except I've only been working for 4 months). I'll also add, I'd advice AGAINST working as an RN for 4-5 years after finishing school. You'll be 4-5 years removed from any practical or educational experience as an NP. Maybe some benefit if you're going to be an ACNP, but not all the helpful if you're going to be in primary care. New grads are enough as a risk as it is, I doubt anyone would want an "old" grad NP with no recent NP experience.
  5. by   BCgradnurse
    Quote from Dembitz
    Everything that BCgradnurse said (except I've only been working for 4 months). I'll also add, I'd advice AGAINST working as an RN for 4-5 years after finishing school. You'll be 4-5 years removed from any practical or educational experience as an NP. Maybe some benefit if you're going to be an ACNP, but not all the helpful if you're going to be in primary care. New grads are enough as a risk as it is, I doubt anyone would want an "old" grad NP with no recent NP experience.
    I would also add that if you work as an RN while you are a NP, you are held to the level of the NP license. This can create liability issues if something occurs which is out of the scope of practice for an RN, but falls within that of an NP, and you "should have known better".
  6. by   studentnurserachel
    I am an RN who had 1 yr of ICU and 5 yrs L&D experience which has been of minimal value as a FNP in primary care, I think inpatient experience matters more as ACNP or if you choose to work in acute care setting. I have worked with a few direct entry CNMs who were fantastic, I think they were even more controversial because so many people think midwives ought to have L&D experience.
  7. by   IrishCandy
    Thanks everyone! I'm very blessed to have the wonderful opportunity to ultimately become an NP. You are helping put my worries to rest. And I guess I should have clarified that the RN experience I was referring to would be done while getting the masters part time and then once the MSN is completed I would switch to the NP role. Do you advise against this? I was told from alumni from my particular program that I should almost guarantee on doing the MSN part time and working part time as a RN.
  8. by   Annaiya
    IMO, 4-5 years RN is experience is overkill by a lot. 1-2 years is plenty, and if you're looking to only do primary care then I really don't think you need any. If you really want to work in an ER, then I would say a couple of years of ER RN experience would help you get a job there. Working also helps with your contacts for networking for preceptors and jobs. The thing with RN experience is you spend a great deal of your time focusing on things that you absolutely don't need to know as an NP. Especially depending on where you work. When I worked nights on the floor, 95% of my time at work did nothing for my future NP career. Whereas, if you started working as an NP right out of school, everything you did at work would be helping you learn your job. I think it is far more important to focus on school, learn everything you can and get really good grades. When you graduate, be flexible in terms of finding a job. You may need to relocate if you're in an area where it's really hard to get jobs. But it seems silly to do a direct entry program, but then not become an NP any faster than doing a traditional program.

    If there are other reasons, like financially it's better to work as an RN while going to school, then that's great. But I wouldn't suggest focusing on RN experience, just for the sake of experience. What you are doing and learning in school will be far more beneficial than changing diapers, getting food and drinks for patients and calling pharmacy asking where your meds are. Good luck to you!
  9. by   kguill975
    Just throwing my opinion in. I've seen many direct entry grads working inpatient, but not in the ER. If ER is truly where you want to be, I would inquire in the ER forum, and see if any of the nurses have worked with NPs without ER experience as a RN. I'm sure you'll get plenty of feedback. Good luck

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