Advance practice R.N.

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    I am an R.N. currently working toward my BSN. I am really interested in pursueing an advance degree. At the university I am currently attending (one I am not comfortable mentioning) I was accepted into there Family Nurse Practitioner program. Unfortunately, although I have done extremely well in my course work there I am less than impressed with the education I am recieving. I realize that when obtaining an advance degree the expectation is laid on the student to be more independant, but during this last year I've felt more like I was spinning my wheels, due to unclear instruction, multiple syllabus changes, hand outs not being referenced in the syllabus as guides for assignments, and instructors not providing outlines for exams but giving them anyway. In any case its taken alot of time and money to get to a place where I can go to school so when its time to graduate I want to feel confident in my abilities to provide someone with great care. My question is,is this standard for graduate and postgraduate programs because at this point I am really considering withdrawing from the program - Not something I really want to do because it will be another year before I can get into another program. In addition, am I doing the right thing by going for my NP, I chose the FNP program because I felt I would be more marketable, but am I making a big mistake? I realize its my decision in the end but for those that have their NP already what would you have liked to know before making the career change - I am really interested in holistic and preventative care? And lastly what are some good schools to attend in Southern California?
    Thanks!
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    First off, I'm an ACNP so I have little knowledge regarding the details of what is included in the program for FNP's. But I think you definitely have a valid reason to be concerned. The role of an advanced practice nurse, particularly that of a nurse practitioner, is not an easy one. The responsibilities are enormous and a high level of competency as a clinician is necessary to safely provide care to your patients.

    How do other students feel about the program? Is there a general concensus that you guys are not getting the education and training you need to adequately function in a future FNP role. If this is the case, maybe the students can collectively bring up this issue to the program director of your school. Even if the program director is aware of the issues and may possibly be the reason for this lack of organization in the program, I am pretty sure somebody higher up such as a Dean of Academic Affairs or an Assitant Dean would be available to listen to your concerns.

    How are your clinical rotations? Is it allowing you to apply lessons learned in the didactic portion to clinical practice or are they just as disorganized? I would also try to find out how the school's graduates fared after graduating from the program. How was the passing percentage for the FNP certification from examinees coming from your program? How long did it take the graduates to find a job considering other extraneous factors such as the availability of job opportunities in your area?

    I would do the above steps and exhaust all you options before making a decision to transfer to another program. In the end, it may be a lot of hassle for you to transfer to another program and get credits for courses you've already taken but that might be something you have to do in order to be absolutely certain that you will be better prepared as a future FNP.

    Good luck.


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