Non-nursing major graduate wants DNP!

  1. 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!
  2. 24 Comments

    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.
    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
  5. by   StangGang92
    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.
  6. by   AshleyPCA
    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!
  7. by   AshleyPCA
    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)
    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
  9. by   newRNstudent02
    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.
  10. by   StangGang92
    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.
  11. by   newRNstudent02
    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.
  12. by   StangGang92
    Quote from newRNstudent02
    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.
    This is the U of I. With the waitlist it can take that long. They have no ABSN program. Just a BSN and then a RN-BSN. Same with Coe and Mount Mercy. No ABSN. Those take 4 years (3 if prereqs are completed) because they have no waitlist, but then again are $30,000/year.

    I realize that the ABSN takes a short amount of time, but in my area, to my knowledge, those aren't around. You have to go the traditional route.
  13. by   newRNstudent02
    If the OP already has a bachelor's why would she go for a traditional bsn? That would take another 3-4 years. That's absurd. Go for the ABSN or ELM, it's faster and the wiser decision then an ADN.

    Allen college also offers an ABSN in your state. Also, the University of Iowa used to offer an ELM. I'm not sure if the program was discontinued, but something to consider.

    Knowledge and research goes along way!
  14. by   Monah86
    Hey AshleyPCA,
    I'm in the same boat. But I graduated in 2008 with a BS in Biology. To answer your question yes their are direct entry DNP programs out there. The university I graduated from has one, University of South Carolina (columbia) and I believe University of Portland. Their programs are like 5 years long or so but within the first 1 1/2-2 years or so you earn your RN and begin working while you complete the graduate portion. I'm not sure of any others, I found it hard to find any other programs to be honest. I was looking up direct entry MSN programs and found myself on the university of Portland website and saw their program, I was beginning to think USC (south carolina) was the only one who had a program like this. My high school classmate was just accepted into USC 's program but i beleive they only accepted 8 people for this spring that is. I applied but was denied so i'm focusing on direct entry MSN programs. I was accepted to an ADN program here in columbia SC but like you I too feel as if i would be going backwards. But i'm determined to become an NP with a DNP and will do whatever it takes to get there. I also want experience as a nurse in order to be a more efficient NP of course, so i guess its not too bad since i would have more experience before reaching my end goal, but i would also like for my current bachelors to count for
    Anywho....the next deadline for USC (south carolina) for Fall 2011 is May 1st and for spring 2012 its Dec 1st I believe.
    oh ya! Case western university (i forgot!) sort of has a direct entry DNP its like 3 different entry points/stages. First you get the MN which prepares you for work as a nurse then you get the MSN (specialty option) then you continue on to get the DNP. Once admitted initially you are automatically admitted into the MSN and DNP programs. Its called the graduate entry program. Look it up and get the accurate details I'm just going off of memory here. I thought about applying there but its so expensive...duno though.
    Hope this info helps!