MSN for Non-nurses, your opinion...

  1. 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 their opinions on the subjects, both positive and negative. I have been accepted to various two year and three year programs, but have not made any definite plans.
    Please let me know what your take on this is.
    Thanks,
    Patty
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  2. 64 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    In my experience the MSN non-nurses are not up to par. I believe that a lot is expected of masters prepared nurses that can't be taught in 3 years. God, most of us didn't feel ready for normal nursing after 3 years of school, let alone being a nurse practitioner. You just don't have the knowledge and EXPERIENCE to practice as a NP after 3 years of school. I think you should consider getting your ADN in 2 years so you can work and get some experience THEN become a NP. You'll be dealing with life and death and I think experience for independant practitioners is a must. I wouldn't go to a new grad NP who had never done any nursing.
  4. by   Tim-GNP
    I agree.... even the narrow focus of my NP role [Gerontological nursing] is overwhelming at times, and I worked for years as an LPN, & RN.

    3 year MSN programs are not, by the way, advanced practice RN programs. Many NP programs [I know mine did] require a BSN from an 'accredited' college/university. If the student didn't have one, they weren't eligible for the post-master's certificate. They had to complete the ENTIRE MSN/NP certificate program.
  5. by   patty26
    Just to clarify, a BSN is given after a year of school, which is followed by sitting for the RN licensure exam. Also, to some peoples dismay, graduates are qualified to sit for the NP certification exams in the specialty the student chooses following completion of the program.
    Since I have been taking prerequisites with people who are entering ADN programs, I know that most of these people would not survive an accelerated direct entry program. And even though I may not be an RN, I have been working in the healthcare field for 4 years.
    Believe me, I don't expect that I will know everything when I get out of school. But both during and after I graduate I can go and get experience as an RN, if that is needed.

  6. by   Tim-GNP
    The programs of which you speak are all but extinct. To be eligible for ANCC accreditation [which is required in many states for NP licensure], an MSN is required.

  7. by   patty26
    As far as I know, and I have looked at the schools quite closely, graduates of all these programs are able to "legitimately" put MSN after thier names. And as for extinct these programs are popping up all over the country, especially at some of the top nursing schools, including #1 UCSF. To my knowledge these have been put in place to compete with PA programs and to promote nursing to people who would otherwise never think of doing it the long way.
  8. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by patty26:
    As far as I know, and I have looked at the schools quite closely, graduates of all these programs are able to "legitimately" put MSN after thier names. And as for extinct these programs are popping up all over the country, especially at some of the top nursing schools, including #1 UCSF. To my knowledge these have been put in place to compete with PA programs and to promote nursing to people who would otherwise never think of doing it the long way.
    Your assumptions are correct Patty. We have several programs in our area like the ones you describe and they are very successful. Designed specifically for folks with BA/BS in other fields, our actually attracts people with masters in other fields too. The pace is relentless and the workload is heavy, but these folks leave school with some great skills and advanced knowledge. They are well received in the community. Superb board rates at BS and NP levels. I say "go for it" and help us move the basic role of the nurse up several notches...

    regards and keep me posted on your decision/progress.
    chas
  9. by   buck227
    What NP program would accept an applicant without clinical experience as an RN. I don't mean to sound harsh, but that idea is silly. I certainly wouldn't want that person providing care to me or my loved ones.
    Originally posted by patty26:
    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 their opinions on the subjects, both positive and negative. I have been accepted to various two year and three year programs, but have not made any definite plans.
    Please let me know what your take on this is.
    Thanks,
    Patty
  10. by   NRSKarenRN
    What you have to remember in the BSN to MSN/NP programs is these students ALREADY have a degree, work and life experience. They are mostly second career,late 20 to 40's
    have a strong work ethic to be able to attend school and continue to work. Most already have the critical thinking skills needed in this profession and are mature. After completion of the BSN portion, they are able to sit for boards. Upon licensure,they therefore can begin practicing as an RN and complete their MSN program within 1yr to 18 months. How is that much different from a student who completes BSN program then enters directly into MSN program and graduates 18 months later??
    They view nursing as a profession rather than just a job.
    Kudos to these folks for searching their souls, bringing their lifes-skills and own perspective to enrich the nursing profession.

  11. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by NRSKarenRN:
    What you have to remember in the BSN to MSN/NP programs is these students ALREADY have a degree, work and life experience. They are mostly second career,late 20 to 40's
    have a strong work ethic to be able to attend school and continue to work. Most already have the critical thinking skills needed in this profession and are mature. After completion of the BSN portion, they are able to sit for boards. Upon licensure,they therefore can begin practicing as an RN and complete their MSN program within 1yr to 18 months. How is that much different from a student who completes BSN program then enters directly into MSN program and graduates 18 months later??
    They view nursing as a profession rather than just a job.
    Kudos to these folks for searching their souls, bringing their lifes-skills and own perspective to enrich the nursing profession.

    Kudos Karen! You echo my sentiments precisely! I applaud this group of nurses and welcome them as my colleagues.

    chas
  12. by   TracyRN
    Bottom line? Book learning only gets you past the Boards. Experience earns you respect. I won't go to an NP or MD that I don't respect.
  13. by   patty26
    Most people outside of the nursing community would see no difference in the credentials of an NP who graduated from one of these programs vs. the "traditional route". I have been applauded by many of the MD's that I work with, who actually view advanced practice nurses as completely different PROFESSION than that of classic RN's.
    There is so much negativity circulating among the posters on this and other message boards relating to the nursing community. Obviously may Nurses, of all ranks and titles, are walking around with a huge chip on their shoulders. This is one of the reasons why anyone, including myself, would be crazy for getting involved in this career, especially when there are so many other professions that would be glad to have someone with the credentials that I already have.
    As a person who has grown up around large number of RN's, I know nursing is a difficult profession, so there is a reason for some "pissing and moaning". However I feel that the only way for nurses to get the respect they deserve, and to attract high quality individuals to nursing, is to start acting like this is something that you love doing. One thing that holds true is that I am not alone in thinking that the portrayal of nurses as unhappy and catty individuals needs to be changed, and that can only be done if each individual chooses to do so.
    Personally, my career decision will not be affected by any post on a message board, positive or negative. I know that I possess a certain level of intelligence and a number of attributes that will make me a great NP, if that is what I choose to do.
  14. by   patty26
    Just in case it is has been taken the wrong way, the catty/bitter comment is not directed to any individual in particular. It is in reference to the general sentiment that I have found on these types of boards, representing the nursing community. Also, constructive criticism is what I am looking for, so thanks to those who have enlightened me to these issues. However, some of the above comments are not in that vain.

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