It is interesting to read everyone's perspectives here. It was my understanding that the majority of people who apply to programs like UIC's GEP is because they know they want to become APN's and this program will get them there. I am just a little confused on why there is so much worry about RN vs. BSN when the overall program is designed for students to become APN's in their choice specialty. I can definitely understand the worry of not finding a job as an RN during the Master 's portion (competing against BSN), and how that could effect chances of landing a job once an APN if you don't have enough experience. It's a lot of time and money to invest in your education. Coming from a family of nurses and nurse practitioners, some just out of school; I have been told that those who network properly while in school have no trouble finding jobs whether they are RN / BSN.
Sure, this program does not award students a BSN, but it is a fast track option to become an APN and for those who want that in the end, I think it is a great choice. I am not trying to make this political but many people forget that Obamacare isn't going going to kick in until 2014. It doesn't matter what your political views are, these are just facts.
Health Care Reform Timeline
In my opinion, student applying to programs like this are ahead of the game because they are thinking long term. In the next few years 30 million more Americans are going to have health insurance. That means 30 million more people are going to be need basic care, which is not going to be given by physicians. There just aren't enough doctors out there and not enough money to pay them. It is the role of nurse practitioners
that is going to expand to cover these patients. Talk to any working doctor or nurse and they will tell you the same thing. In the next few years there is going to be a HUGE demand for nurse practitioners to provide primary care. I'm just saying if people applying to this program and scared of 'not finding a job' when they graduate, I would recommended reading this article who was sent to me by a nurse practitioner.
Nurse Practitioners Are In -- and Why You May Be Seeing More of Them - Knowledge@Wharton
I worry about finding jobs once a nurse as well. I have a lot of student debt I'm currently paying off along with rent...and the cost of living in Chicago is not cheap. And the part you said about the staff being unorganized is freaking me out a little.....I just don't want this post to scare away people who know they want to be an NP in the end. For those who already have a BS this program is the way to get there, especially if you want to go into family practice.