Nursing students who want to be NP's

  1. Anyone else notice that many of their nursing students are becoming nurses as a stepping stone to being a nurse practitioner but have little interest in being a floor nurse? I'm worried we won't have bedside nurses before long.
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  2. 132 Comments

  3. by   Jory
    My reasoning for moving my career forward had nothing to do with not liking bedside nursing. I would have been very content with bedside.

    I got sick and tired of having to use my PTO to pad my paycheck for low-census, excessive on-call that obligated off-time for $2.50 an hour, going to inservices on my days off scheduled mid-day, and frankly, dealing with physicians that have a God-complex, all for a crappy per-hour rate.
  4. by   Teaching the future
    Yes, I can totally understand that!!
  5. by   not.done.yet
    I think the concern is more about brand new nurses who are skipping the 3-5 years acute care experience required for most advanced nursing roles. This leaves them not only without the necessary knowledge to be good at their job but often in the gap where they are both overqualified and underqualified and find it nigh to impossible to find work. There is one such on the General page now.
  6. by   cocoa_puff
    Quote from not.done.yet
    I think the concern is more about brand new nurses who are skipping the 3-5 years acute care experience required for most advanced nursing roles. This leaves them not only without the necessary knowledge to be good at their job but often in the gap where they are both overqualified and underqualified and find it nigh to impossible to find work. There is one such on the General page now.
    Yes! Definitely this! I see nothing wrong with going into nursing with the goal of becoming a NP, but I think that role requires sufficient nursing experience prior.
  7. by   juan de la cruz
    I think it's concerning because it's an "easy" route. There are a lot of programs out there and they come in various forms from online to hybrid to strictly on campus. Admission criteria tends to be all over the place as well.

    I think there should be some guidance especially in these students' decision making process because some have not carefully evaluated their goals and have no realistic expectations of the nature, job prospects, and the variability of roles that NP's have. The NP field should also take the lead on making entry to practice more difficult and selective.

    Back when I was an ICU nurse, there were grumblings about the ICU being a revolving door for CRNA wannabe's. I felt that it wasn't such a big deal because the RN's were putting their time in by working at the bedside first and that the schools still have a screening process and not every applicant got in. This does not seem to be the case with NP wannabe's.
  8. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from juan de la cruz
    I felt that it wasn't such a big deal because the RN's were putting their time in by working at the bedside first and that the schools still have a screening process and not every applicant got in. This does not seem to be the case with NP wannabe's.
    I concur. I have not met a prospective NP student who could not find at least one program to grant admission.

    For every NP program with stringent admission criteria, there's another program that will admit almost any applicant with a warm body, checkbook, and 2.75 grade point average. It is concerning.

    I also foresee a glut of FNPs in the near future.
  9. by   pro-student
    I don't think it's a problem at all. It's not uncommon for students to have ambitious plans while in school. Many business undergrads plan on getting MBAs or advancing up the corporate ladder. Tons of undergrads of all flavors plan on attending Med or Law school. There is a significant difference between what students say they want to do and what they end up doing. Also, having a decent proportion of RNs becoming APNs is an advantage to the profession as a whole. Current estimates are that by 2025 nationally there will be about 10% more RNs that positions (https://bhw.hrsa.gov/sites/default/f...rojections.pdf). That's over 300,000 people who face unemployment if they're competing for the same jobs. There is no nursing shortage and therefore it is extremely unlikely there will be a shortage of bedside nurses in the foreseeable future. The market for APNs is much more flexible and expanding so I say for those who are qualified and want to move into an advanced role, go for it.
  10. by   doodlebuttRN
    Quote from pro-student
    I don't think it's a problem at all. It's not uncommon for students to have ambitious plans while in school. Many business undergrads plan on getting MBAs or advancing up the corporate ladder. Tons of undergrads of all flavors plan on attending Med or Law school. There is a significant difference between what students say they want to do and what they end up doing. Also, having a decent proportion of RNs becoming APNs is an advantage to the profession as a whole. Current estimates are that by 2025 nationally there will be about 10% more RNs that positions (https://bhw.hrsa.gov/sites/default/f...rojections.pdf). That's over 300,000 people who face unemployment if they're competing for the same jobs. There is no nursing shortage and therefore it is extremely unlikely there will be a shortage of bedside nurses in the foreseeable future. The market for APNs is much more flexible and expanding so I say for those who are qualified and want to move into an advanced role, go for it.
    As the other posters stated already, the problem is not having the goal of becoming an APN, it is the lack of bedside experience. There are SO many nursing students right now who have no intention of getting acute care experience, but want to go straight to NP school. Would YOU like to work under someone with little or no bedside experience? I have.
    Last edit by doodlebuttRN on Apr 11 : Reason: oopsy
  11. by   lebelesprit_
    Ok, so this applies to me. As part of my RN prereqs, I had to become a CNA. I caught so much heck because I didnt make it a secret that I didnt want to work as a CNA or in long term care or on a unit at a hospital. My passion has always been to impact lives by building relationships; I feel like I can best do that by working in a family practice clinic as an FNP so that I can be an ongoing provider. Additionally, while obtaining my social work degree, we learned that there are populations that you will find you just cant work with for whatever reason. I learned very early on in my CNA rotation that Im not good in LTC. I just dont think I should be made to feel bad about that.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I don't want an NP who has no actual nursing experience caring for me or anyone I love. I am not really worried if people feel bad that they can't be bothered to spend actual time NURSING---- it's about the patients, not our egos...... I am worried about good primary care for the patient and I believe it's become WAY too easy to be an ARNP/NP anymore. I don't think anyone should be able to even enter such schooling without 3-5 years' actual nursing experience first. No one would want a physician without his/her internship and residency. Same should go for nurses. The schools being willing to take such candidates in a way, dumbs down the whole profession of advanced nurse practice and makes it less respectable.
  13. by   pro-student
    I don't think experience at the bedside necessarily translates into experience as an APN. Sure it can be helpful sometimes but it can also be a lot of learning the wrong thing. There's good reason an increasing number of highly reputable schools are doing away with RN experience as a requirement and designing programs to funnel non-nurses into advanced practice roles without any experience at the bedside beyond clinical. Bedside and advanced practice nursing are two VERY distinct things that rely on different skill sets and knowledge bases. Sure there is some overlap but that can be said of essential any two healthcare professions. The OPs concern that there will be a shortage of bedside nurses is unfounded (we do have geographic maldistruibution of RNs but not an absolute shortage). Anecdotes of lousy APNs without bedside experience are not evidence that bedside experience is necessary to be a good APN.
  14. by   blackribbon
    Bedside nurses are treated like they are a low-skill entry level job. We get no respect ... even the ones with years of experience and higher level degrees. I personally think that bedside nurses should be treated like the heart of the hospital nursing but instead, we are treated like we are lazy and just trying to slide by when we complain that staffing levels are not safe.

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