Pursuing nurse practioner degree without RN experience - page 3

by huangsoRN | 12,861 Views | 30 Comments

Hi everyone, this is my first thread. I just passed my NCLEX in mid september and is wondering if it's a good idea to pursue nurse practitioner degree without RN experience? Also, how's the market out there for nurse... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from analong
    @jollie

    thank you so much. i have applied to a direct entry program. it seems that the only negative thoughts come from "seasoned rns." from posts that i've read, they seem to convey the idea that "seasoned rns" are the best and never make any mistakes. yes mistakes can be dangerous, but doctors make mistakes, "seasoned rns" make mistakes, and yes nps make mistakes. but just to discount someone because they have not spent 20 years right next to a patient seems unfair. to me it airs on the side of jealousy and comes off very arrogantly. if you are good your good, if you are bad your bad. this includes doctors and nurses. the rivalry needs to stop.
    perhaps the only negative thoughts you've paid attention to come from seasoned rns, or perhaps you've just developed an attitude against seasoned rns. as an rn of more than three decades experience, i will admit to you that we all make mistakes. everyone -- experienced nurses, inexperienced nurses, physicians, nps and everyone else. as far as i know, though, no one is suggesting that you spend "20 years right next to the patient." we're advocating that you have some bedside experience before going on to become a nurse practitioner. five years would be ideal, two might be adequate and anything less is just not good enough. this is neither arrogance nor jealousy -- it's an educated and experienced opinion.

    frankly, anyone who dismisses those who disagree with her as "airing on the side of jealously" comes off pretty arrogantly in my book. (did you mean "erring"?) i can assure you that i'm not jealous of anyone who wishes to become an np. if i wanted to be an np, i'd go off and obtain the necessary education to be one, and i think most of us seasoned nurses for whom you seem to have so little respect would agree.

    i would suggest that whether or not you spend some time at the bedside before rushing off to an advanced practice degree, you can learn an awful lot from the seasoned nurses you encounter. unless you're too arrogant to listen to them.
  2. 0
    I understand where you are coming from. When I was getting ready to graduate nursing school just over a year ago I thought that I would put in my two years as a bedside nurse and then I would go right back to school to get my master's because I know I really want to be an NP. BUT...after a year on the floor I have realized what I couldn't have possibly known before...How crucially important bedside nursing experience is to be a good nurse practitioner and that it's going to take probably at least 5 years before I feel like I have the experience, knowledge, comfort level, and expertise to be the excellent NP I know I want to be.

    So can you go straight into getting your master's? You sure can. But you don't even realize what you don't know because you haven't even been on the floor yet. Seriously, nursing is something that the more you learn the more you realize how little you know. I still study after my shifts. I am constantly doing CEU's, reading research, and will be going to my first conference this year. I want to sit for the CCRN exam as soon as I can. So I am still accomplishing things. I am working as hard as I can to learn as much as I can. But NOTHING beats the experience @ the bedside. No book, no conference, no degree can replace it. So please I urge you to work at least a year before you make the decision to go back to school. I'm sure this is not what you want to hear but it's the truth. I also feel like going straight to getting your master's you'll miss out on the joys of being @ the bedside. The dynamic is SO different as an NP. I wish you all the best in your journey!
  3. 0
    Quote from ruby vee
    perhaps the only negative thoughts you've paid attention to come from seasoned rns, or perhaps you've just developed an attitude against seasoned rns. as an rn of more than three decades experience, i will admit to you that we all make mistakes. everyone -- experienced nurses, inexperienced nurses, physicians, nps and everyone else. as far as i know, though, no one is suggesting that you spend "20 years right next to the patient." we're advocating that you have some bedside experience before going on to become a nurse practitioner. five years would be ideal, two might be adequate and anything less is just not good enough. this is neither arrogance nor jealousy -- it's an educated and experienced opinion.

    frankly, anyone who dismisses those who disagree with her as "airing on the side of jealously" comes off pretty arrogantly in my book. (did you mean "erring"?) i can assure you that i'm not jealous of anyone who wishes to become an np. if i wanted to be an np, i'd go off and obtain the necessary education to be one, and i think most of us seasoned nurses for whom you seem to have so little respect would agree.

    i would suggest that whether or not you spend some time at the bedside before rushing off to an advanced practice degree, you can learn an awful lot from the seasoned nurses you encounter. unless you're too arrogant to listen to them.
    youprove my point. you are just lurking waiting to find mistakes so that you canmake yourself feel more important. i donít get it. so, from your logic isuppose you would not see a first year doctor or dentist? unless of coursethere was a "seasoned" doctor breathing down their necks. after all"they don't know what they don't know." or is it perhaps justprejudice against the young nurse practitioner because she has excelled without30 years of bedside care. the prejudice against new nurse practitioners is whatis arrogant. why not offer support. physician assistants, of whom are mostly male, still make more in somestates, just because they are male. how much bedside care experience do theyhave before practicing? would schoolssuch as vanderbilt and emory, even employ such programs if they werenot proven. these programs are not easy. this is advanced material taught by topprofessionals at top schools. how do you know how much experience is "goodenough?" are we all made of the same fabric? plus a nurse practitioner isnot necessarily doing the same job as an rn. perhaps next time you are peekingaround the corner trying to prove that the nurse practitioner did not cross her"t" you should try learning something. i suggest that whether or notyou spend some learning from that which you are against, you try to learn anawful lot from the nurse practitioner you encounter. unless of course you aretoo arrogant.
    i donítneed to go to work every day facing prejudice and grudge heartedness. if we should offer assistance to each other, nomatter 1 year or 50 years, nursing offers something new every day. why notsupport each other?
  4. 0
    Quote from jpeters84
    I understand where you are coming from. When I was getting ready to graduate nursing school just over a year ago I thought that I would put in my two years as a bedside nurse and then I would go right back to school to get my master's because I know I really want to be an NP. BUT...after a year on the floor I have realized what I couldn't have possibly known before...How crucially important bedside nursing experience is to be a good nurse practitioner and that it's going to take probably at least 5 years before I feel like I have the experience, knowledge, comfort level, and expertise to be the excellent NP I know I want to be.

    So can you go straight into getting your master's? You sure can. But you don't even realize what you don't know because you haven't even been on the floor yet. Seriously, nursing is something that the more you learn the more you realize how little you know. I still study after my shifts. I am constantly doing CEU's, reading research, and will be going to my first conference this year. I want to sit for the CCRN exam as soon as I can. So I am still accomplishing things. I am working as hard as I can to learn as much as I can. But NOTHING beats the experience @ the bedside. No book, no conference, no degree can replace it. So please I urge you to work at least a year before you make the decision to go back to school. I'm sure this is not what you want to hear but it's the truth. I also feel like going straight to getting your master's you'll miss out on the joys of being @ the bedside. The dynamic is SO different as an NP. I wish you all the best in your journey!
    Thank you, I appreciate your encouragement. Unitedness-not separation-is what will help us to fight diseases such as cancer and not each other. Thank you.
  5. 2
    I don't think you need it depending on specialty. If you work in labor & delivery and plan to work there as an NP, it's no necessary, but it would definitely help. If you prefer primary care, working on an oncology unit may not give you as much experience as a scribe or emergency department RN. Think about other providers. Do they require RN experience-MD, DO, PA? There's just a huge bias and stigma nurses place on those who do not have the "right" experience. Also, one may be a great RN, but not so great NP or vise versa. Don't stress over it too much
    myelin and AnaLong like this.
  6. 0
    Quote from Aniva
    I don't think you need it depending on specialty. If you work in labor & delivery and plan to work there as an NP, it's no necessary, but it would definitely help. If you prefer primary care, working on an oncology unit may not give you as much experience as a scribe or emergency department RN. Think about other providers. Do they require RN experience-MD, DO, PA? There's just a huge bias and stigma nurses place on those who do not have the "right" experience. Also, one may be a great RN, but not so great NP or vise versa. Don't stress over it too much
    Thank! There is an undue bias against us.
  7. 1
    I feel like a few people in this discussion do not realize that MDs and DOs get literally 1000s of hours of training before they become independent practitioners. It's called residency and it consists of at least 80hrs per week, 49 weeks per year for at least 3 years! That's not even considering the 100s of hours logged during the last 2 years of med school. I can't speak for PAs but it is my understanding that they also must be trained for 100s of hours prior to graduating and they aren't even as independent as NPs are.

    No one on this forum seams to be trying to discourage the OP from becoming an NP...I think it's great that he/she wants to do it! All we are saying is that it is wiser and safer for the OP to get a few years of clinical experience before becoming the sole practitioner responsible for treating disease processes that he/she has never seen in person.
    RN Sam likes this.
  8. 0
    I think some people are unaware of the hours of clinical hours a student NP has to have before becoming independent practitioners.
  9. 0
    I think nurse anesthesia requirements get it right-the vast majority of them require one year of experience-no more and no less. It gives you time to apply and begin to refine the knowledge and skills learned in nursing school, plus other skills not necessarily acquired in school like time management and intuition. More than one year may or may not be an asset, some nurses with 30 years of experience have essentially repeated their rookie year 30 times, others have grown, others have just reiterated poor patterns and habits, others have harbored disdain for new nurses-especially those that seek advance practice and/or non-bedside careers.

    So in short, I say if possible, work that one year in LTC. After that, work prn or part time as you pursue graduate study. You will have a few years under your belt by graduation, which will make you more competitive and possibly advance your skill/knowledge base.

    Best wishes! Keep us posted!
  10. 0
    I'm a seasoned APN (6 years) and do not have personal experience with APNs that don't have years of experience.

    That said, the argument that as an NP student you get enough hours to be clinically competent is hogwash. My first program was 700 hours and my second program was 600 hours.

    Even with 1300 hours AND 14 years experience, I was just as green as they come - lol.

    Even when you graduate with your nice and shiny MSN and certifications, you are beginning again as a novice.


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