Best path to becoming a FNP - page 2

My question: What is the best and/or fastest way to become a Family Nurse Practitioner? I have applied to Vanderbilt's bridge program, which takes two years. If I do not get accepted, what is... Read More

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    Quote from Fourfecta
    Thanks ChristineN. I agree with you. The question remains, why do schools like Vanderbilt even offer a bridge program that requires no RN experience, if it strongly encouraged to have RN experience? Apparently, clinics and hospitals still hire FNP's with little to no experience as an RN. Thanks for your comments.

    Well the demand for FNP's are growing. I think direct entry programs are a great idea for people like Paramedics that already have healthcare experience, just not in nursing.

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    For what it is worth here is my experience . . .

    I have a BA in English and a work background in sales. At the age of 30, I decided I wanted to pursue nursing. I had just given birth and had an older child as well so I have continued to stay home with my children but have been taking prerequisites a couple at a time for the last three years. I eventually would like to be an NP. I think neonatal but we'll see if I can handle that specialty. Anyway, I have looked at all the options from every possible perspective (financially, time, marketability).

    Anyway, in the area I live in I have a community college with an ADN program, a state university with a direct entry MSN program, another state university with a traditional BSN program, and a private university with an accelerated BSN program. I have decided to apply for the traditional BSN program. It will take me 5 semesters to get my BSN.

    My reasons for rejecting the community college option is that I know I want to pursue a career as an NP eventually and it adds too much time to my timeline (esp. b/c this program has a two year wait). CC is the cheapest route to NP though because I could get my ADN for 3K and then work and have a hospital pay for my BSN bridge and possibly even the NP education. However, my fear is that nothing is guaranteed in this economy and I can not count on the money being there for continued education in four years when I finished the program.

    I rejected the accelerated (2nd degree) BSN because it is with a private university and is very expensive. Were this an option in my area with a state school where tuition were less expensive this would have been my preferred route.

    I rejected the direct entry MSN program because it does not equip RN's for advanced practice. It is essentially a BSN but cost more than twice as much as the traditional BSN.

    The traditional BSN isn't the cheapest or the fastest route but it is the best option for my situation.

    Also, just my two cents but I would make sure I was comfortable with being a master's prepared FNP with the DNP issue still being knocked around. I know this is a hot topic and I'm not pushing either way. I don't know which way I want to go myself . . . just something to think about.

    Best wishes,
    Fourfecta likes this.
  3. 0
    Quote from ChristineN
    You say you already have a master's degree, albeit in a different field, so you may want to look into a direct entry MSN program. These programs typically require you to have at least a Bachelor's in another field to be considered.

    Even if you were to gain admission to a direct entry program though, I would still encourage you to work as an RN after completing the first half of the program. While you say you have experience working in group homes, I'm sure most employers would be hesitant to hire a FNP with no real healthcare/nursing experience.
    I agree. I have never meet a NP who had never worked as an RN. Are there people that actually do this?
    I know at my school one had to work as an RN before even being accepted into the advanced program.
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    Thank you NomadMomma! lots of good advice in there. I am also a little concerned about the talk of Nurse Practitioners being required to get a doctorate....I figured if i got into an accelerated program I would be finished before any major changes were made, and then get "grandfathered" in...but that is just an assumption.
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    The FNP can be quite a challenge even for experienced RNs.
    I had a friend who was an experience RN, returned for the FNP.

    Not only was the program intense, after graduating she worked
    in a Family Practice she had her own caseload of patients.
    It really took a while for her to settle in with the added responsibilities
    of prescribing/ordering managing cases.

    Her boss, was an excellent support and resource person which
    helped in her transition to advanced practice.

    I wish you luck in whatever path you select. But consider getting
    some experience in nursing first for the road ahead.

    Your work experience makes you ideal for any specialty you select in nursing..
    Fourfecta likes this.

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