Planning for my future career in nursing...

  1. Hi Everyone!

    There is just an amazing wealth of knowledge & valuable viewpoints that I find on this forum, so I was hoping to pick your brain for a minute on your thoughts about how best to get into nursing, if and when I am denied entry into a Masters Entry Program in Nursing. Here's my dealio:

    I graduated in 2001 with a BA in Social Science. I recently decided on nursing, and am SO excited to begin. I will be applying to a MEPN program (also called Direct Entry Masters Program in Nursing - takes 3 years total to have my Masters and be a Nurse Practitioner) in San Diego to begin Summer 2005. However, this program is VERY competitive and I'm realistic at my odds of being denied. So here's my question - if I am denied, which pathway do you think is best (keeping in mind my urgency to be a nurse). In case this piece of information makes a difference in your thoughts - my goal is to be a nurse practitioner. So, if denied entry for Summer 2005 into MEPN, do you think I should:

    A. Be patient, take more classes beyond the prerequisties (Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry - anything to prove my ability in handling the difficulty in these type of classes), volunteer/shadow, etc., - whatever I can do to strengthen my chances of acceptance for Summer 2006.

    B. Begin a traditional second bachelors degree to get my BSN (this option also takes three years, but I will only have a second bachelors upon graduation). Fortunately I am likely to get accepted into this program, despite the fact that it's impacted. Longer road, but I would still eventually be an NP.

    C. Get on the waitlist to a two-year ADN program (can only apply once prerequisites are done). This option doesn't make any sense to me given the waitlist and the type of degree that I would obtain upon graduation (keeping the NP goal in mind), but I'm open to your thoughts for anything that I haven't considered.

    Many, many thanks in advance. I'm just preparing myself with options if I am denied to my first pathway to nursing!

    Best wishes,
    Hopegirl
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    I wouldn't even apply for the direct entry Master's degree. First, I would get a degree in nursing and then find out which area that I liked the best. At this point you have no idea, and can't possibly until you are actually working in it. I actually went to nursing school with the idea that I wanted to go to CRNA school, and by the time that I finished my initial training to become an RN, I found that I just didn't want to do it at the time. And the only reason that I had gone to nursing school was to go into anesthesia. And to this day, I am glad that I did things my way.

    Give yourself some time, finish nursing school and work for awhile. Most of you do not realize the resonsibility that goes along with being an NP. Many decisions that you make on a person are based on gut decisions or feelings, and what if you do not have the experience to back you up?

    Good luck..........................
  4. by   Hopegirl
    Thank you for your reply! That is a good point and something for me to think about. It did occur to me that maybe I would want to become a CRNA, so I realize there is so much for me to know and learn. I have spent some time shadowing NP's and just thought it was a great fit for me. I will take whatever denials or acceptances I receive as a door opening or closing and I do believe that everything happens for a reason!
  5. by   orrnlori
    I too think you need to get your RN first before assuming you want to be a NP. It may seem you are going backwards by getting your ADN, but you really aren't. There are accelerated RN-MSN programs that allow you to obtain your BSN on the way to the MSN but you have to have that RN first plus experience. I personally don't think there is much congruence between your BS and then going directly into the MSN and I think it will be difficult to do. I also don't think shadowing a nurse is going to help you gain entry. Master's programs are weird. I am sort of doing what you are doing but a little backwards. I have my AAS in nursing and have been a nurse for 6 years, I'm completing a BS in Individualized Studies (concentration is Psychology) then applying for an MSN program and forgoing a BSN entirely, but I have the 6 years nursing which makes a difference and the program I am looking at will take an RN with experience plus a BS, no BSN required because they get the fact that it's the liberal arts portion missing from the AAS, not the nursing classes.

    Or just do the BSN if that's what you think you need. It shouldn't really take 4 more years, you should have lots of your core requirements already done with your current BS degree so you won't have to duplicate those. Either way I think you are looking at 3+ years. If your grades are good and the prereqs are out of the way I would think you could get rolling admissions to an ADN program, at least you can where I live. Good luck, I know that school requirements are a pain in the behind. They all make it more difficult than need be.
  6. by   Hopegirl
    My BSN would take 3 years, although I wouldn't have to go full-time since I have all the lower division classes complete from my original BA. But it does frustrate me that it would take 3 years to graduate. Unfortunately the ADN programs have a one to two year wait list, so the BSN would actually be faster since I'm competitive for entry once I have my prereqs completed.

    Can you tell me about what it's like working in the OR? Pros/Cons?

    TIA!
    -j
    Last edit by Hopegirl on Apr 13, '04 : Reason: To fix the layout
  7. by   AnnaN5
    Quote from Hopegirl
    My BSN would take 3 years, although I wouldn't have to go full-time since I have all the lower division classes complete from my original BA. But it does frustrate me that it would take 3 years to graduate. Unfortunately the ADN programs have a one to two year wait list, so the BSN would actually be faster since I'm competitive for entry once I have my prereqs completed.

    Can you tell me about what it's like working in the OR? Pros/Cons?

    TIA!
    -j
    There are accelerated BSN programs for people that have a previous BS/BA in something besides nursing. They range anywhere from 12-24 months in length but you get a BSN and it is much shorter than traditional BSN programs. Here is website that lists many, if not all, of the accelerated BSN programs and has some MSN programs: http://www.aacn.nche.edu/APList.pdf
  8. by   Hopegirl
    Quote from AnnaN5
    There are accelerated BSN programs for people that have a previous BS/BA in something besides nursing. They range anywhere from 12-24 months in length but you get a BSN and it is much shorter than traditional BSN programs. Here is website that lists many, if not all, of the accelerated BSN programs and has some MSN programs: http://www.aacn.nche.edu/APList.pdf
    Thank you for the info! Unfortunately there are no AccBSN programs in San Diego, and we aren't prepared to move right now. I wish though, because this would be a great option for me. I find it weird that San Diego doesn't have more of these type of programs, since all of our existing programs are all so impacted and competitive.
  9. by   orrnlori
    I love the OR. One patient at a time (who is asleep). No families. One team doing one job together. Doctors treat us good because they NEED us. The day has a beginning and end. The procedures have a beginning, a middle, and an end, you aren't scattered over 8 patients trying to get it all done at once. Only dealing with one service, surgical, so you aren't juggling conflicting orders from multiple services. The technology is soooooo neat. If the patient heads south, you have anesthesia there to work it out, you are never alone. You get to train the medical students, residents, nursing students, and nursing in training. I love to teach. Every day is interesting and you learn something new every day. Your self esteem is pretty in tact, at least where I work, there's not a lot of that infamous horizontal violence that you read here so much. You get a scheduled break and a scheduled lunch (no such thing in the unit I was in before, couldn't even go to the bathroom). In many services we play a little music, we laugh, we tell jokes. We're a pretty tight group and we get along well with the doctors and residents.

    It's not all roses. I don't know any nursing job that is. I've had a stapler thrown at me - that surgeon is now gone. There are some mean nurses, so what, I'm every bit as good or better than they are at the job- I just kill em with kindness most of the time or ignore em, they rarely get me riled up. Some surgeons are jerks, okay, so I can really make their day difficult if they really want to play that way. I get to run the room, how often does that happen in nursing, yes, I may have to take the blame some days when things don't work out (like you can't get the equipment they want because it's in use somewhere else), but most of the times I hear thank you after every case, I love that, rarely heard "thanks" in the unit no matter how hard I worked. There's more good than bad and it keeps me in the OR. The only other nursing I want to do is clinical management or teaching.
  10. by   Hopegirl
    Quote from orrnlori
    I love the OR. One patient at a time (who is asleep). No families. One team doing one job together. Doctors treat us good because they NEED us. The day has a beginning and end. The procedures have a beginning, a middle, and an end, you aren't scattered over 8 patients trying to get it all done at once. Only dealing with one service, surgical, so you aren't juggling conflicting orders from multiple services. The technology is soooooo neat. If the patient heads south, you have anesthesia there to work it out, you are never alone. You get to train the medical students, residents, nursing students, and nursing in training. I love to teach. Every day is interesting and you learn something new every day. Your self esteem is pretty in tact, at least where I work, there's not a lot of that infamous horizontal violence that you read here so much. You get a scheduled break and a scheduled lunch (no such thing in the unit I was in before, couldn't even go to the bathroom). In many services we play a little music, we laugh, we tell jokes. We're a pretty tight group and we get along well with the doctors and residents.
    I must say, this sounds GREAT! I think it would be such an interesting environment as well. Is it allowed to ever "shadow" an OR nurse?

    -j
  11. by   orrnlori
    It would depend on the hospital. I have nursing students, we also have high school students who come in through some community or school programs. You'd just have to ask. I would recommend a teaching hospital, if there is one there. Good luck.
  12. by   Hopegirl
    Quote from orrnlori
    It would depend on the hospital. I have nursing students, we also have high school students who come in through some community or school programs. You'd just have to ask. I would recommend a teaching hospital, if there is one there. Good luck.
    Thank you OrrnLori! May I ask, what is your schedule? Do you work 12's?
  13. by   orrnlori
    I work 9am to 6:30 pm 4 days a week. It's a schedule made in heaven. No weekends.
  14. by   Hopegirl
    Quote from orrnlori
    I work 9am to 6:30 pm 4 days a week. It's a schedule made in heaven. No weekends.
    That is a wonderful schedule. Good for you!

    I can't wait to begin my journey!

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