I'm starting my NNP, need some advice from y'all!

  1. Well,

    I'm putting this post here, because you all are like family, "sniff, sniff" and I've yet to meet someone on this website who is an NNP/SNNP and will answer posts.

    I've realized that I want to start working on my NNP/CNS next fall, and I have a few options. I keep bouncing back and forth between some choices, and I'd appreciate some honest advice from you all.

    Here's the deal:

    Upon starting a program next fall, I will have 2 1/2 years experience, and upon graduating, I'll probably have a total of 5 years Level III experience before practicing as a NNP. I have the choice of staying where I am in SC, continue working in my nursery FT, and pay a reasonable amount in in-state tuition (15-20k), or moving back near my parents, get a PRN job, and go to Columbia University (Ivy League), pay $45k, while working PT and living with my parents, who are completely ok with it. (me, not so sure) I honestly don't mind staying in SC for a few more years, but the only NNP program around is an online-only program with 700 hours of clinicals 15 min away. I honestly would not feel comfortable with the level of responsibility that comes with being an NNP with all-online education. I also think I'd slack off and not learn as much. The program is also more research/leadership oriented, and while the total # of credits are more, Columbia's program is classroom based, clinicals are at world-renowned NYC hospitals, and is heavy on neonatal physiology/patho, and has a neo-specific pharm class. So basically it comes down to me being willing to take on $45k in dept, move away from my current job, and commute to school for the next 18 months while living with my family. What do you all think?:smackingf
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   Imafloat
    Could you move near Columbia and find a job that pays to further your education? The NICU I am about to work at will pay my tuition after 6 months on the job.

    It sounds to me that your heart is really with the Columbia program but that maybe it is not as convenient as the SC one. I would personally go for the most education possible, because it is only going to help my patients and myself. Educational debt is never a bad thing.

    Good luck in whatever you decide!
  4. by   NurseKymba
    I understand completly! I guess it depends on your professional goals ... your NNP will work for you as you choose to use it - that means the less attractive program wil still provide you with the requisite entry level knowledge needed to obtain your licensing and care for your patients. Sounds like your other potential program will allow you to start with a higher knowledge base. Either one will work in the long run ... I guess it depends on how much of a self starter you are

    Being self motivated you'll learn what you need and more. It does sound like you are worried you won't be able to self direct yourself though ...

    I'd talk to the neotatologists in your area and find out what their thoughts are as to what training you should have in order for them to hire you. If they think your local education will suffice, then that might help you make your decision.

    I've made it through school so far without loans - and hope when I'm ready for my graduate degree I can continue my personal tradition. But that's me .. I'm cheap :smilecoffeecup:
  5. by   sddlnscp
    Sorry, just a student here. Still, my advice would be to talk to the place where you see yourself eventually working as a NNP. Find out what they would prefer. If your heart is really set on one place, do what you need to do to get in there. If they don't care either way, then go with your heart. This may help you to rule out one or the other.

    In reality, 45K seems like a lot of debt, but it's not really, not when it comes to an education. Figure up your salary now and the salary you will make as a NNP, find the difference and then figure out how long it would take you to pay back that 45K, it may not be as long as you think. Imagine it this way . . . can you survive on what you are making now? If you can and you are ok with this, plan on spending whatever you need to on schooling and then put the difference of your new salary and your old salary back into the student loans as soon as you graduate. For example, if as a NNP you make $1000 more a month (sorry, I haven't looked into this part of it, so not sure if that is realistic or not, but if not, plug in appropriate number) put $1000 a month into student loans, then you would only have 45 months of loans to pay back (less than 4 years). Your standard of living will not change and then, once you are debt free, you will have extra money each month.

    I know it is a hard decision, creating debt always is. Follow your heart and best of luck to you in making your decision. Whatever you choose, don't look back and don't regret it because either way is a path to what you ultimately want to have and both of them will get you there.

    Good luck & keep us posted as to what you decide to do.
  6. by   PremieOne
    I was born & raised in NYS and I worked at St. Luke's/ Roosevelt for 10 years in Peds and Ped ER. I also worked at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in Peds.I would go for the Columbia University NNP. Do you have your Masters already? I did both my BSN and MSN online. I had to do clinicals and it was my responsibility to find NPs or MDs willing to precept me. It was tough but it was worth it. Believe me you are not allowed to slack off doing online classwork. In many ways it is more challenging. I think in this case regular classroom is better for you. Good Luck.
  7. by   sddlnscp
    Quote from PremieOne
    I was born & raised in NYS and I worked at St. Luke's/ Roosevelt for 10 years in Peds and Ped ER. I also worked at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in Peds.I would go for the Columbia University NNP. Do you have your Masters already? I did both my BSN and MSN online. I had to do clinicals and it was my responsibility to find NPs or MDs willing to precept me. It was tough but it was worth it. Believe me you are not allowed to slack off doing online classwork. In many ways it is more challenging. I think in this case regular classroom is better for you. Good Luck.
    Question: I hope I am not getting off topic, but it falls in the general line of going from BSN-NNP. If you already have a MSN online, does that cut down the amount of time to get to the NNP or do you still have to complete the same amount of courses? This is definitely in my future too (although a long way down the road) and I am trying to figure out the best route for myself. I am not sure if I should get the RN-BSN and then do a NNP program or do the RN-MSN program and then do whatever it takes to become a NNP, but I don't want to add further expense to myself by taking unnecessary classes.

    Thanks!
  8. by   PremieOne
    Dear Saah, Yes it does. You can go for your certificate. Many programs now allow you to do most of your study online. The clinical hours required can vary greatly. This is the actual hands on care you give. You can obtain this in your own area where you live or go to the university that is providing the course. I am going to Seton Hall and I will be doing both. Good Luck. Diane Glasser
  9. by   sddlnscp
    Quote from PremieOne
    Dear Saah, Yes it does. You can go for your certificate. Many programs now allow you to do most of your study online. The clinical hours required can vary greatly. This is the actual hands on care you give. You can obtain this in your own area where you live or go to the university that is providing the course. I am going to Seton Hall and I will be doing both. Good Luck. Diane Glasser
    Oooh - that is great to know! Thank you so much!!! I think that doing the RN-MSN would be a great route for me and then doing the NNP after that, so this is wonderful news!!!

    Thank you again, I really appreciate it!!! Happy Holidays!
  10. by   adrienurse
    Nurses doing their studies at Columbia used to be a really big deal. If I recall correctly, it's got the oldest Masters of Nursing program in the continent. All those nursing theorists that we had to learn about in school did their advanced studies there. Could I imagine paying 45K for a degree? No. But a degree from there would impress many.
  11. by   Brownbetty
    Hi there, I am a new NNP and would be happy to answer any questions you have & share my experiences with you. You can send me a private message. Hope to hear from you soon.

    Brownbetty

    btw - i say go to Columbia, send me a private message and I will share why with you.
  12. by   bayouchick02
    Quote from Brownbetty
    Hi there, I am a new NNP and would be happy to answer any questions you have & share my experiences with you.
    I am currently very interested in becoming an NNP one day. What type of hours do you typically work? are you salaried or paid hourly? Im sure the work can become stressful (as with anything else), but overall, do you enjoy what you do? I guess my ONLY concern is the 24-hour shifts that some nnp's work. I am not sure I am willing to work those kind of hours. Especially if I want to spend time with my kids (that I hope to have one day).

    Oh, congrats on becoming an nnp too btw!!
  13. by   SteveNNP
    I haven't seen BrownBetty post in a long time, but I'll try to help you out. (Since I started this thread I have moved to NYC and a much larger teaching hospital, where I've been able to observe NNPs)

    The NNPs where I work are still under the state nursing union, so they are protected by the same contract I am, including a set salary, benefits, hours worked, etc. It will be different depending on where you work. They are set up having a base salary that's divided up into an hourly rate. Any hours worked over 75 in a 4-week period is paid out at 1.5 times that "hourly" rate. (confusing I know...) So it's pretty much like getting paid an hourly rate. They work 13 12-hr shifts a month, 6 of which have to be night shifts. From my observation, they enjoy what they do, but a few have told me that they miss some of the bedside care they used to do. I'm not looking forward to leaving the bedside myself, so we'll see how that goes when I graduate.
  14. by   grlgid
    I think I know the SC program Steve was talking about, a few of my co-workers have gone thru that program and into the NNP world. I think alot of it depends on what type of Neo's you have. I know that our Neo's quiz them constantly about different topics and give them tasks (almost like assignments) in addition to what the school requires so that helps them as well.
    They are prepared to work in our NICU but since they really don't plan on going anywhere else that is fine. I don't think I would want to do that particualr program if I intended to move to a different NICU later on down the road, but then again maybe I just don't know quite enough about it.

    just my 2 cents

    Tina

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