Non-nursing major graduate wants DNP!

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    i am graduating from the university of iowa next year with a non-nursing major. i have planned to apply to an entry-level msn program, but by the time i graduate from that (2015) it will be required to have a dnp to be an np (which is what i am ultimately going for). i was wondering if anyone had any advice as to whether i should still just finish out this particular program and then apply for a post-masters dnp program after, or just begin an lpn or rn program now and later apply to an rn-dnp program instead?? my other option is to start an accellerated bsn program now and then apply for a bsn-dnp program after. i feel like starting the rn or bsn now would be like taking a step back for me, i am in my 3rd year.

    i was also curious about whether non-nursing major entry-level dnp programs exist, just like the entry-level msn ones. that would be a great option for my case! i cannot find any just by searching the web, but i figured there would be many of these types of programs emerging due to the change in minimum degree requirements for nurse practitioners, etc.

    i am just unsure of the path that is best to take in my situation. i would really like to get my dnp as inexpensively as i can, which means not 10 years from now!! i am currently taking nursing pre-req's here at iowa along with my major courses, and i was pre-medicine my first two years in college so i am well prepared for any nursing program, just not sure which one is best!

    please help!
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  4. 22 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    idk but I sure am looking out for any RN-DNP info because I plan on being a CNM-DNP when I finally finish school but I haven't even started the RN program yet! I don't think you could just walk into being a DNP without some sort of nursing theory and practice though. I personally would be scared out of my mind if someone with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice never went to nursing school. I know the direct entry MSN programs give you the nursing school the first year and then the second year on is the MSN material. SO I think your best bet would be to find a good RN-NP program and then just get your DNP soon thereafter. But I'm pretty sure you cannot avoid nursing school.
    TheChair1 likes this.
  6. 3
    and Nursing school, like Med school, is nothing like undergrad work. It's not anything like just a few papers here an exam there. People's lives are essentially in your hands and I don't know if someone should be able to just jump in and pass meds or do procedures on someone right out of an unrelated field. IMHO. Although I do understand the need for urgency lol we all need to get comfortable in the field before we are unleashed onto the population lol...sorry for the long posts but I am wired to start my journey and I am an over-helper lol
    lmac0202, fireball78, and TheChair1 like this.
  7. 2
    First of all, the 2015 DNP IS NOT required. U of I has switched their program to a DNP rather then a MSN, but there is no law saying that all NP's have to have their doctorate in 2015.

    Think of the MSN vs DNP much like ADN vs BSN. People always talk about ADN's being phased out, but never have and most likely won't be. However, many places prefer a BSN to an ADN. So in short, you could practice with your MSN, but many places will prefer a DNP as they become more popular.

    Allen offers MSN programs, but I think they are in Waterloo or Cedar Falls? I'm not sure if they are direct-entry though.

    I agree with the above poster about not wanting my nurse practitioner to not have gone through nursing school.

    My advice, go to Kirkwood and get your ADN, then enter an RN-MSN program. Kirkwoods waiting list isn't too bad as long as you have prereqs done. A girl I went to high school with got into their ADN program the fall after she graduated. She had done so many of her pre-reqs while in high school and finished up the rest the summer before she started the program.
    elkpark and Thirdwatch like this.
  8. 0
    Correction: Sorry if this caused confusion, but I STILL would be going to nursing school no matter what program I choose, theres no such thing as becoming an NP without it and I know that! You can still be a non-nursing major and get into nursing programs(Entry Level), that's what I am talking about. But what I was wondering is if there were and Entry Level DNP programs out there like there are Entry Level MSN programs for non-nursing majors.

    I have not been successful in finding any so I am not counting on it anymore I guess. But thank you for the advice, I will definitely look into Allen and Kirkwood and go from there. Heard of any good ones in MN? I would like to go back home and get in-state tuition. I have been looking but it seems as if I want to get my BSN in an accellerated program in MN it will take me almost 3 years!! Ouch. I am just looking for the fastest track to my DNP after I graduate.

    I guess this is what I get for changing my major/career choice halfway through my undergrad!
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    The Entry Level programs prepare students in unrelated fields by the way, hence "Entry." So yes, they do allow students to "jump" right into nursing school and start preparing for a nursing career, just as long as you have certain pre-requisites, which I do. (Just to be clear about the fact that I WOULD be going to a nursing school)
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    yea I was just confused when you were asking about entry level DNP....because I only know of entry level MSN programs lol. Wasnt trying to be rude but you would be surprised how many people think they can just skip NS lol
  11. 1
    Hi Ashley, there are a few entry level masters programs for NP. Like the a previous poster mentioned, you do about 12 months of bsn level work and take your nclex then, you go straight into the MSN-NP portion. Samuel Merritt offers a program like this and i'm sure there several other universities that offer the same. Eventually, you can go for a DNP.

    Stang mentioned going for a ADN first. I don't recommend that. If your grades are good enough go for either an ABSN or ELM. The job market is tough. You need a BSN minimum in this competitive job market.
    Gator Girl 2000 likes this.
  12. 0
    Quote from newRNstudent02
    Stang mentioned going for a ADN first. I don't recommend that. If your grades are good enough go for either an ABSN or ELM. The job market is tough. You need a BSN minimum in this competitive job market.
    I just mentioned the ADN based on the area. U of I is where she is now, and as far as I know, it is very competitive to get into their nursing program and may take 5 - 6 years to get the BSN. The other two local colleges (Coe and Mount Mercy) are BSN programs, but about $30,000/year. The community college doesn't have a bad wait list and is the cheapest option. Plus the hospital I work at hires a lot of ADN (Kirkwood specifically) nurses.

    Although I agree a BSN is the way to go if you are pursuing a NP, there are RN-MSN programs that the OP can go through if they decide to go through Kirkwood to obtain their RN.
  13. 0
    5-6 years for a BSN? where did you get that number. Most ABSN take 11-16 months, and an ELMs can range from 2.5-3.5 years.


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