I can relate strongly! I finished my FNP degree in December. I was also a good student. I started FNP school a year and a half after finishing nursing school
. I went to nursing school originally thinking I wanted to be an NP. I loved nursing school. I hated my NP program. I hated clinicals. I felt lots of pressure just to see as many patients as fast as possible, without every really getting to know them. I remember thinking if I was writing orders for my patients at work, as their floor nurse, I would know exactly what they needed, but seeing them for 10 minutes every 4 months in a clinic, I had no idea. I felt unprepared and nervous for every clinical and it got worse instead of better the closer I got to graduation. I remember wishing I was at work instead for every clinical. Also, while I have many close friends around my age at work, I felt much younger than most of the NPs and even the nurses at the offices. Maybe I would have felt differently if I had done some acute care clinicals.
I haven't yet submitted any of my licensure paperwork, but I'm going to. I'm not sure what I'm going to do job wise. I love my job currently. I like my patients and their families for the most part. I like knowing them. I really like working 3 days a week and being done. A lot of the NPs I know in theory work 5 8 hour shifts but in reality get 5 10 hour shifts. I don't want to do that. I'll keep my eyes open for NP jobs.
In the end, there's no downside to more education. Maybe I'll want it in the future (though I know the longer I wait the harder it will be). Maybe I can go into another area where a master's degree is required.