What helped you to prepare to be a NP?

  1. Hello there! Just wondered if I could get some feedback from NPs who could share what experience/training helped prepare them for the NP role. I am a home health nurse (1.5 yrs) and a former tele nurse (1.5) and have been accepted into the Adult NP program starting this fall at KSU. I wonder if I should consider returning to floor nursing to freshen up on my skills (I was using more skills in the hospital than I am in home health). Any suggestions/ideas/input would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you and have a blessed day!!!
  2. Visit lvan0904 profile page

    About lvan0904

    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 42; Likes: 34
    RN Tele Med/surg; from US
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in Adult NP- post acute care


  3. by   traumaRUs
    My first question would be: what do you plan to do with your NP? What type of setting do you see yourself in? A particular hospital or practice?

    Then...with that knowledge I would tailor my experience to fit the job. Does that make sense?

    I will be honest though and say that the best laid plans....you know how that turns out...lol.

    I wanted to work in an ER setting once I got my APN. So...10 years in a level one trauma center plus some years eleswhere and voila....I'm a nephrology APN!

    No jobs when I finished school. So, in order to be successful you have to be flexible too.
  4. by   lvan0904
    I can see myself in a hospital setting, and at this point I have interest in cardiology, but I am receptive to seeking out new experiences. Unfortunately my position in home health has become more centered around charting and less on patient care and learning/enhancing skills so I have applied for an ER position and an ICU position. I'm wondering if one of these jobs could offer benefits toward prepping me for the NP program with the exposure to a variety of patients and nursing care.
    My other question is- if you set your sights on one particular field- say cardiology and there aren't many jobs available and cardiology was your focus throughout your training as an NP- how difficult is it to switch focus to another area - say neurology?
    If you have any other input, I would be very appreciative. Thanks for responding!!!!!
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Glad to help.

    I did my clinicals in the ER, a nursing home, inpt with a surgical FNP, inpt with a pulmonary CNS and didn't do ANY clinicals in nephrology. Before I got this job, I had never even seen dialysis done except in the ICU.

    When I started to interview (2006) there were no jobs. I put in apps everywhere. I interviewed at a derm practice to run their acne clinic. Didn't get that job because I lacked selling experience - go figure. I interviewed at a surgical practice but didn't get that job either. The ERs didn't want mid-levels. So...when I interviewed at the nephrology practice, they liked my skillset of being able to handle myself in emergencies and the fact that I worked in a level one inner city ER for 10 years. Many of the pts I saw in the ER are now my dialysis pts - lol.

    They thought that I could handle myself with a rather rough crowd.

    So....what I guess I'm rambling about is: it might not be the direct experience you have in clinicals but rather the more intangible people skills that you bring to the position. Does that make sense?
  6. by   Teacher First
    I agree with traumaRUs, get to know yourself well, and plan for the unexpected. I had over 30 years of nursing experience in CCU, ER, MICU, cardiac rehab, and teaching. It all provided me with a great foundation to enter the NP realm. And please remember that no matter how much you think you know.....you don't know what you don't know, and be open to lifelong learning!
  7. by   lvan0904
    Thank you traumaRus- that does help. I assumed that whatever your clinicals centered around, that was the particular field that you would enter as an NP. From what it sounds like, the career options are open and clinicals provide valuable learning/training experience (but do not necessarily result in a career in that particular field of experience). That is refreshing to find out. I thought I would be sort of pigeon holing myself. Just wondering- if I am hired in a field that I did not have clinical experience in during the NP program, how would I be trained/prepared?

    Teacher First, I appreciate your input "no matter how much you think you know.....you don't know what you don't know, and be open to lifelong learning!" 'll tell you- to be honest, I am feeling concerned about: 1. my lack of experience in nursing (particularly w/ high acuity patients) 2. my level of comprehending pharmacology and pathophys (which I am willing to put in the work and study my butt off to refresh and retain the material).

    I am willing to change fields in nursing to expose myself to a variety of patient care and higher level of acuity in order to enhance my skills and comprehension. Any tips for resources to use during the NP program would be much appreciated. I thank the both of you so very much....the realization of entering into the NP program is a bit overwhelming so the more preparing I can do on my part will hopefully place me in a better place for learning and succeeding in the program. Again, thank you and any input is greatly appreciated!!!!
  8. by   traumaRUs
    Sorry I didn't get back with you sooner. When you get ready to get your first job, especially if it's a new field. I had five months of orientation which sounds like a lot but you have a lot of responsibiliy too. Besides it takes a long time to get credential led at hospiTals too.
  9. by   Phoenix2010
    I agree that diversified experience is a huge plus when beginning practice. NPs have to possess a great deal of autonomy and self-confidence. A "slippery" shoulder for things to slide off of helps as well. Good luck!

  10. by   lvan0904
    Thanks traumaRUs and Phoenix2010! Any advice/suggestions is much appreciated. I'll be starting the NP program this fall and I'm just trying to find ways to gain experience that could be helpful toward preparation and serve as helping toward a marketable position once I graduate.

    If you think of any other tips that helped you in school (study aides/resource material, etc), success as an NP, and or in job placement, I'm all ears.

    Thanks for your time and hope you all are having a great holiday weekend! Take care & God bless!!