MSN for Non-nurses, your opinion... - page 4

I know that I am setting myself up for some serious criticism in this forum, but what do you think of NP programs for people who are not yet nurses? Since I have 2 sisters who are RN's I have gotten... Read More

  1. by   Amygdala18
    Hi everyone,

    I'm reading these posts and honestly don't know what to think. I have a bachelors in Bio. and Chem. I am going into a 4 year ND program which will give me my RN degree in 2 years, then a MSN, then finally a ND degree. It's been explained to me that this is an intensive program. It's never occurred to me that people would have a problem with this because I have no nursing experience. MD's and vets don't need prior experience to pursue their fields; I think just the fact that you are willing to go through that much schooling, achieve good grades, and pursue the profession you have chosen implies the dedication underlying your choice. After 8 years of school, I will be 36 years old--I am positive that I will do whatever it takes to excel in my field. I hope I don't encounter this type of negative attitude once I do get into my field of being a NP--but if I do, I will succeed in spite of it.
  2. by   Chris-FNP
    Great response Amygdala18!!! That's kind of what I've been trying to say, but I've spent so much darn time defending myself here that I could never really get it out. You will find that a lot of RNs tend to have a big chip on their shoulder when it comes to these types of NP "bridge" programs.

    I have 7 years of higher education from two very good schools (Providence College and MGH-IHP at Massachusetts General Hospital) and yet I still get harassed here about being an NP. You know what, just ignore it. If you have the passion and desire to be an NP, go for it. You will succeed and become a great NP, regardless of what others may say.

    Intelligence, passion, and desire is all you need to accomplish anything. Best of luck!!!

    Chris-FNP
  3. by   Q.
    I'm reading these posts and I sympathize with Chris.
    I am an RN. I am not an NP and have not even shadowed one so I could not even begin to argue what they should/should not do. I think Chris is trying to point out that NPs have a different scope of practice and functioning that non NPs do not understand, and how could we? Yes RNs understand pharm, etc. But I would bet my bottom dollar that the knowledge of that same topic is higher for an NP. It just HAS to be.
    For the record, in my area I was researching becoming an WHNP. At the same time I wanted my MSN with it. Well I couldn't get into the program because what it was meant for was NPs who needed a MSN. The guidance counselor told me that the movement is to have all NPs have a MSN, and this program is for all the NPs who don't have one. Incidently, the WHNP required at least one year of OB/GYN experience as an RN or equivalent.
    I think we all need to relax and understand that if we haven't gone through the schooling, we really have no idea what it is the other person went through or knows.
  4. by   Chris-FNP
    Thanks Susy K. I appreciate your response and your absolutely right. I have the highest respect for RNs because I am one!!! I am not the elitist that many here have seemed to make me out to be. I've just tried to provide some insight with regards to how NPs practice today and how well the "bridge" programs prepare non-RNs to be NPs. Somewhere along the line, this thread has turned ugly and I've felt as if my back was against the wall!!!

    The comment I made about pharmacology and pathophysiology was not said as an insult. I don't know why it was taken out of context, but the truth of the matter is that we (NPs) do study the subject in greater detail because we have to!!! Sure, as an RN, I gave meds...but now its my responsibility to prescribe them. Its so much different. Giving someone their Glucophage (per an order) is one thing, but actually prescribing it to them by yourself is a whole different ballgame. What if I drop their blood sugar way too low? Its now my fault for prescribing it!!! The intensity level is much higher...that's why we have an entire year of pharmacology. In my school, it was taught by a pharmacist and an NP with a Ph.D. in nursing/pharmacology.

    As an RN, I may have seen someone's potassium level drop too low and so I notified the MD/NP. As an NP, its now my responsibility to address the issue myself. Do I do an EKG first? Do I admit them? Do I simply start them on K-Dur 20meq and repeat the potassium level in a week? Again, the intensity level is a lot higher and this is the type of stuff that NPs face on a daily basis.

    Yes, I am a nurse. But, all I was trying to get across was that the role of the NP is a lot different from an RN's role. Not in every area, but in most.

    Chris-FNP
  5. by   Q.
    Hi Chris-
    I feel your pain - if you've noticed I've been badmouthed lately - check out the thread "NO MORE SUSY K" all over asking the difference between an LPN and an RN. It all started with my post "Why LPN?"
    I totally understand what you're up against with the prescribing. If it were that easy, all RNs could do it! I totally agree, it is one thing to administer insulin, etc, but to actually determine the sliding scale?? That is way out of my scope of practice and it should be. We all can't know everything about everything.
    I'm fairly new to this board and have seen overwhelming hostility and defensiveness, and it all seems to stem from insecurities, really. I feel almost like walking on eggshells. Several times I've read RNs being put down by LPNs, and I know that the RNs are afraid to respond because they will be branded as being "elitist." This is all just so unfortunate. Like I said, I feel your pain and I'm glad you didn't back down.


    BTW not that it matters but I'm usually pretty good at determining someone's gender by the way they write. Are you male?

    [This message has been edited by Susy K (edited March 28, 2001).]
  6. by   Chris-FNP
    Thanks again Susy K. Yes, I am a male...a rare breed in this field!!! I know what you mean about this forum. There is so much anger here. Oh well. I hope others learn to listen more. There is no need for such anger. We're all nurses and we should support each other. I like a good debate, but it can get out of control in this place.

    Chris-FNP
  7. by   fergus51
    Chris, I just have to point out a lot of the RNs who disagree with this type of program don't have "a chip on their shoulder", they just don't agree with the program for various reasons, a lack of practical experience being one of them. I am not sure what to make of these programs anymore. But I had to respond to the chip on the shoulder comment because to me that implies that RNs don't like their jobs or wish they were NPs or something and that just isn't the case. I definitely agree with you that some of the replies hit under the belt.
  8. by   Amygdala18
    No practical experience doesn't seem accurate. While you're in a doctor of nursing program you have to do 1500 hours of clinicals. That's the equivalent of 30 hours a week for a year. That IS some experience--enough to know if you are in the right field for you and definately enough to gain some further knowledge besides sitting in a classroom.
  9. by   Q.
    I guess in my mind, if a person has gone through the schooling and the required courses and practicums, has taken the tests and gained their certifications and degrees, that that is enough credentials for me.

    I guess I view it as the age old argument of always having to start your staff nursing career in a Med-Surg floor. I agree it may be a valuable experience, but I didn't find it necessary for me. I went straight into OB and I wouldn't have it any other way. Some may think that I lack the "basic" nursing skills as a Med-Surg nurse, but really, it's more so that my skills are highly specialized and intensive. I learned how to start IVs on my floor, we do an occaisonally wet to dry dressing change. If we come across something that we haven't done at all or in a long time, we work together to figure it out. We're not idiots - we can usually do a nursing skill even if it's been years or not at all.

    Same as with an NP who didn't staff for very long or not at all independently. The NPs skills are highly specialized and intensive; while he may have never administered insulin and had to go through the 5 R's to do it, or do the q shift assessments, their scope of giving the insulin goes waaaayyy beyond just administering and evaluation immediately after.
  10. by   Chris-FNP
    Fergus51

    RNs don't like these programs because we have lttle practical experience as floor nurses, but a lot of intelligence. Most of us went to highly ranked schools (some from the Ivy League). We're young, bright, and walk out of school with the ability to write orders that RNs must follow. It pisses RNs off. Its a personal thing and has little to do with our actual ability to do the job.

    This post will irritate some people, but its the way most of us see it. Its also pretty obvious by the way most RNs respond. The anger is so apparent in the posts.

    This "Chip on the shoulder" is so evident with a lot of RNs, especially towards us. It doesn't even matter how much we respect RNs that have practiced for so long...they don't respect us. I find that lack of respect towards us unfair and not warranted. We do a good job.

    Chris-FNP
  11. by   fergus51
    Have you ever considered that it is statements like these that bother some of us RNs and not the fact that we are pissed off that you are intelligent and can write orders?

    I for one am glad if you're smart and went to a good school and provide good care. My objection to these programs has never been about jealousy or being pissed off that you can do something I can't (in the same way I don't hate surgeons because they can perform operations because if I had wanted to do that I would've gone to med school). It had nothing personal. (I have also never taken orders from NPs because they have basically no power where I work now so this can't be the reason)

    The only thing I didn't like was a lack of experience, which is a legitimate concern. I am not saying you aren't a fabulous NP, because I have never seen you practice. You may be the best damn NP in the world. I am saying that going into the workplace with the attitude that whenever an RN disagrees with your program or your practice it is because she has a chip on her shoulder is narrowminded and stereotypes us. This might BE the reason why they seem to have a chip on their shoulders. Personally, I tend to be anooyed when someone assumes I am only in nursing because I couldn't succeed in what I really wanted to do. I LOVE my job. And I give respect to those who give me respect. PERIOD.

    Originally posted by Chris-FNP:
    Fergus51

    RNs don't like these programs because we have lttle practical experience as floor nurses, but a lot of intelligence. Most of us went to highly ranked schools (some from the Ivy League). We're young, bright, and walk out of school with the ability to write orders that RNs must follow. It pisses RNs off. Its a personal thing and has little to do with our actual ability to do the job.

    This post will irritate some people, but its the way most of us see it. Its also pretty obvious by the way most RNs respond. The anger is so apparent in the posts.

    This "Chip on the shoulder" is so evident with a lot of RNs, especially towards us. It doesn't even matter how much we respect RNs that have practiced for so long...they don't respect us. I find that lack of respect towards us unfair and not warranted. We do a good job.

    Chris-FNP
  12. by   Chris-FNP
    Fergus51,

    Statements like the ones I made are in response to the crap we have to deal with in the first place. If we want to get childish about it, we could say "You started it." We never went into the profession to get looked down upon by experienced RNs. We just followed our hearts and entered a program that we found to be quite appealing. In doing so, we have been met with criticism by other nurses. We never started anything with anybody!!! It was the experienced RNs that opened their mouths first. Personally, I don't appreciate it. Also, I don't think that some of my statements are that far off from the true reason why some RNs don't like us.

    Chris-FNP
  13. by   Patrish
    To Patty, Chris, Chas and any other SUpportive Healthcare Providers,
    I to am entering a 3 year MSN program and am considering the post cert. NP program. I am very excited to continue my education and know that I will be an asset to the nursing profession with my past experiences and education. I am encouraged that their our others out there that want to provide the same level of care in a positive and healthy environment.So lets not be discouraged by so much of the negativity that is posted on this board. We all can control our destiny and it is what we make of it!!! Those who are interested please e-mail me I would love to hear from you regarding your experiences in your MSN programs.

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