Advice Needed - page 2

by jdewkz | 2,748 Views | 17 Comments

Hi. I have a problem that I need some advice on. I have a B.S in a non-nursing field and I really want to be a Nurse Practioner. There are 3 programs in my area that have MSN (w/concentrations in NP) programs for people w/o... Read More


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    Thank you for that clarification... PA school is an even WORSE idea if you want autonomy. PA's must always work under the SUPERVISION of a licensed M.D., not in COLLABORATION with a licensed M.D. I know of no state that gives PA's independent practice.

    Thanks for clarifying... I couldn't imagine why a recruiter from Texas would suggest a Pennsylvania school.

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    The fastest way to learn how to be a nurse is to start nursing and it seems to me that would be to get an associates degree. I don't understand how one can go for a masters in nursing without first being a nurse. What if you don't like it? Why do you want to be an NP? I agree, it would be very difficult to be a good NP without first having worked as an RN. You don't mention your passions, just the degrees you have and the ones you want to get. I have nothing against degrees, but nursing is not an area I would enter at this time unless I had an abiding love for it. On the other hand, there are areas where there are openings, especially rural. Tell us about yourself.



    [This message has been edited by mustangsheba (edited November 19, 2000).]
  3. 0
    Originally posted by mustangsheba:
    The fastest way to learn how to be a nurse is to start nursing and it seems to me that would be to get an associates degree. I don't understand how one can go for a masters in nursing without first being a nurse. What if you don't like it? Why do you want to be an NP? I agree, it would be very difficult to be a good NP without first having worked as an RN. You don't mention your passions, just the degrees you have and the ones you want to get. I have nothing against degrees, but nursing is not an area I would enter at this time unless I had an abiding love for it. On the other hand, there are areas where there are openings, especially rural. Tell us about yourself.

    [This message has been edited by mustangsheba (edited November 19, 2000).]
    You responded to my post on all nurses asking me to tell you about myself and tell you why I want to be a nurse including where my passion is. I feel like you are judging me by asking me to prove myself to you. All I did was post a message on a nursing message board asking for advice. I really thought I would get advice. Instead I am getting recruiters telling me not to be a NP b/c there are no jobs and nurses asking me to prove myself.
    If you must know I have always wanted to be a nurse but my parents wouldn't pay for it and guilted me out of it. I have worked as a nurse's aide and enjoyed it (except for the observations I made on how nurses can treat their patients). If you are worried that I can't deal with an enema then stop worrying. Did I mention that I did all of this at the ripe age of 17 in a major trauma center in NY. But again I come from a family that likes to control people by waving money in their face. My parents would not pay for my education as a nurse.
    I got my BS in Speech and Language Therapy. I started to do my Masters in Speech and Language Therapy but it wasn't in my heart so I didn't want to spend the time and money in it.
    A couple of my friends know who I am and what I am capable of doing so they turned me on to these MSN programs for people with nonnursing degrees and w/o RNs. One of these people who told me about these programs was a nurse herself and she has been the person who has been pushing me to pursue this the whole time. I understand that I probably won't get hired for the top job when I graduate from a Master's program (which won't be until 2005). I know that you need experience. Are you worried that people with these degrees are unprepared? They could be.
    I have been trying to do as much homework as I can about these programs. If you are worried about people with nonursing degrees graduating with MSNs then check out the programs yourself. A couple instititions that offer these programs include:
    University of Cal in SF, Yale, John Hopkins, and University of Texas at Austin. There are many more programs out there as well. Obviously if someone didn't think these programs could train people how to be Nurse Practioners or Critical Care Managers then they wouldn't be around. Sorry to write a book but I really thought I could use this message board as a resource before and while I am in school. Instead I feel that people are trying to judge me without knowing me first and discourage me from doing something that I have always wanted to do. You know what? I was discourged from nursing from my whole family the first time and I will not be discouraged from wanting to make my life better by fulfilling my dream and advancing my education at the same time.
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    I don't believe people are judging you. I think we're confused about the types of programs out there. Make sure that the programs you are investigating are NLNAC or CCNE approved. They are the major accredtors of nursing programs. I am familiar with a BSN program (Research College of Nursing in KCMO) for those with previous non-nursing degrees. It is a very good program (12 months after science pre-reqs) but very rigorous. There are many RN-BSN and RN-MSN programs for RNs. Graceland University (formerly College) has a nationwide outreach program for RNs who want BSNs and MSNs (graceland.edu). Regardless of the program you choose I'm fairly certain that within your program you will acquire a BSN as you get an MSN. I would deter you from getting an ADN first unless you have to. It would take too much time and money (been there; done that). If you must get your nursing degree first then get the BSN which, with your background you can probably get in the same amount of time as the ADN. It is true that in many areas NPs are wanting for jobs, but many are still needed in rural areas. Check out the geographic area where your want to work.
    There are many possibilities; don't give up your dream. Keep looking! and Good luck! Constance


    Originally posted by jdewkz:
    You responded to my post on all nurses asking me to tell you about myself and tell you why I want to be a nurse including where my passion is. I feel like you are judging me by asking me to prove myself to you. All I did was post a message on a nursing message board asking for advice. I really thought I would get advice. Instead I am getting recruiters telling me not to be a NP b/c there are no jobs and nurses asking me to prove myself.
    If you must know I have always wanted to be a nurse but my parents wouldn't pay for it and guilted me out of it. I have worked as a nurse's aide and enjoyed it (except for the observations I made on how nurses can treat their patients). If you are worried that I can't deal with an enema then stop worrying. Did I mention that I did all of this at the ripe age of 17 in a major trauma center in NY. But again I come from a family that likes to control people by waving money in their face. My parents would not pay for my education as a nurse.
    I got my BS in Speech and Language Therapy. I started to do my Masters in Speech and Language Therapy but it wasn't in my heart so I didn't want to spend the time and money in it.
    A couple of my friends know who I am and what I am capable of doing so they turned me on to these MSN programs for people with nonnursing degrees and w/o RNs. One of these people who told me about these programs was a nurse herself and she has been the person who has been pushing me to pursue this the whole time. I understand that I probably won't get hired for the top job when I graduate from a Master's program (which won't be until 2005). I know that you need experience. Are you worried that people with these degrees are unprepared? They could be.
    I have been trying to do as much homework as I can about these programs. If you are worried about people with nonursing degrees graduating with MSNs then check out the programs yourself. A couple instititions that offer these programs include:
    University of Cal in SF, Yale, John Hopkins, and University of Texas at Austin. There are many more programs out there as well. Obviously if someone didn't think these programs could train people how to be Nurse Practioners or Critical Care Managers then they wouldn't be around. Sorry to write a book but I really thought I could use this message board as a resource before and while I am in school. Instead I feel that people are trying to judge me without knowing me first and discourage me from doing something that I have always wanted to do. You know what? I was discourged from nursing from my whole family the first time and I will not be discouraged from wanting to make my life better by fulfilling my dream and advancing my education at the same time.
    [This message has been edited by Constance (edited November 20, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by Constance (edited November 20, 2000).]
    HappyWife77 likes this.
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    jdewkz:

    WOW! That was quite the response. My first piece of advice [since that is what you are looking for]as a Nurse Practitioner to a future N.P., is to develop a tougher skin. Nurses eat their young. The question of degrees in nursing dates back to the A.N.A.'s position paper on entry into professional nursing practice [which, by the way, they recommended the BSN]. The topic entices much debate in the nursing community.

    In terms of what degree should you get... I will tell you right up front, if you ask a nurse with an ADN, they will tell you that nurses with BSN's are 'book smart' and clinically incompetent, if you ask a diploma graduate, they will tell you that diploma education was the greatest thing since sliced bread... and nurses with degrees don't know their A---- from a hole in the ground. Insofar as myself... with limited exceptions, I was never encouraged by my 'professional peers' in my search for advanced degrees, either. [incidentally, I am currently working on my Ph.D.]. A great deal of their cynicism comes from jealousy. Many people who obtained their ADN or diploma and stopped did so because they decided a family was more important to them, or perhaps other life circumstances prevented them from going further... These are usually the people who will discourage you! Others are perfectly content with their educational level and you will know them, as they will encourage and support you. From personal experience, I know the 'enlightened despots' who made fun of me for pursuing advanced degrees are still in the same jobs they were in when I worked with them... while I have gone on to bigger and better things.

    An advanced degree is definitely the way to go. However, an advanced degree requires a firm foundation in a nursing specialty... that is where the experience factor comes in. I am very well versed in Gerontological Nursing.... however, if you asked me to tell you what a child should be able to do developmentally at 18 months, I will start laughing at you!!! I hold the experience and knowledge in the specialty that I have selected based on my experiences as a generalist R.N., that is why you need the basic R.N. experience.

    You are in a unique position, however, you already have a Bachelor's degree. I would definitely encourage you to go for the M.S.N., BUT, if you don't get into the program, then the B.S. in nursing is an acceptable alternative.

    I hope my advice has helped. If you want to be an N.P... then just do it. Regardless of what anyone tells you. If becomming an N.P. is that important to you [as it was to me] then NO ONE'S opinion should matter. Best of luck
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    Tonight there is a posting for "anywhere else to go?" or something to that effect. It's by a Peds NP who is sick and tired of it and wants out and away from patients. I think that previous posters are asking you about yourself and cautioning you about nursing because of the amount of time, money, and effort involved in becoming a Nurse Practioner... It would be a shame to direct you to something like that and have you wanting out after you achieve that goal. I feel sorry for the NP who posted that other topic; I'd hate to be in thier shoes. I got my diploma in nursing first because I worked my way through school; no help with even minimal financial aide. I've always encouraged others to start at the BSN level because it's much easier to advance; and also it is the beginning of the professional education. In your case, if you had posted that you'd worked as an aide, I don't think you would have received so many negative responses. The recruiter who e-mailed you the note about no openings for NPs in Texas was just that-- a recruiter. I know a lot of NPs here, and I also know quite a few MSNs who are doing bedside nursing in specialty areas (ICU, NICU, and psych) because that is what they like; not because they can't get a higher position; but because they have found their niche. I still enjoy my position at the bedside, and don't plan to change bedside nursing for a managerial position or whatever unless my body is unable to physically do the job I like doing.
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    To Tim and Jenny,

    Thank you for the real advice that I was looking for. All I wanted to know is what my other options were if I didn't get into grad school.
    I don't think anyone really fully knows what they are getting into when they start any kind of degree program. This is not a decision that I am taking lightly. It's a lot of money, effort, and commitment on my part.
    Oh and about my skin-it's tough. I was just caught completely off guard by some of the responses. I may never eat my young like the other nurses that you spoke of but I get by and am pretty content with who I am and the decisions I make.
    To all the people who emailed me individually-thanks for the vote of confidence and warnings about nursing and some of the nurses who use this board. It'll definitely come in handy in the future.
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    Dear Dew: I apologize if I sounded negative. That was not my intent. Your original note made no mention of having worked in the medical field. Companions at my dinner table will tell you, it's not everyones cup of tea. First, I believe the market for NP's is still a very good one and I believe it is both challenging and rewarding, although geography may affect that. Second, I will reiterate, you need experience as an RN. Third, five years is a long time, but only from this end. You'll still be the same age in five years whether you pursue your dream or not. My advice is to pursue your dream. I read the posts again carefully and I did not see that they were discouraging, just didn't have enough information to give advice on something this important. Best wishes. You already have a good base for a practice. MS



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