Originally posted by Allison S.
Also, I was not hearing much support for this type of education from people working n the field. Most preferred that you spent time getting experience in the field before going on to advanced degrees.
UCHSC's ND program used to include many, many more clinical hours than a typical program: I assume it still does. Also, I would consider the 4th year residency part of the program to be an even better quality learning experience than typically occurs in the first year of work experience post undergraduate school. You have to look at the structure and components of the individual program to make a judgment about it.
Also, graduates of ND and generic MSN programs need to do a lot of education of prospective employers as they job hunt. A lot of people might make wrong assumptions about the qualifications and experiences of these simply because they don't have the information they need to make a fair judgment.
Finally, many of the graduates of these programs choose (wisely, I think) to spend their first year of two after graduation in an entry level "staff nurse" type position in order to get that xperience Allison S. is referring to. After a year or two, they have sufficiently established their nursing practice and are ready to move on to an advanced practice position. Even with that year of entry-level work, it is a faster and cheaper route to more advanced positions than starting with the minimal degree and then repeatedly going back to school to get the higher ones.
To close, I must admit that I prefer the generic MSN (with a year or two of entry-level practice post graduation) idea to that of an ND -- but that's only because I think we have too many degree titles floating around. It's too confusing for people and I would like to see some standardization centered around the basic degrees typically offered by other disciplines. However, the quality of most of the ND programs around the country seems to be pretty high. For the most part, they have excellent reputations.