nursing schools

  1. i'm looking for some information, and i hope someone can help me out. i am currently a sophomore at stony brook university and am majoring in psychology. my original career goal was to be a genetics counselor, but i changed my mind and decided i want to be a neonatal nurse practitioner. after i graduate (may 2006) i will have a bs in psychology and then i plan on doing an advanced rn program to become an rn and get a bsn. the only thing is i'm confused about what i would have to do after that. it seems like there aren't many schools that offer a nnp program, and i am confused as to if it is a masters program or post masters, so i don't understand how long it would take. if anyone could explain the process of becoming a nnp, and also recommend a school i would appreciate it. thanks!
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   WalkingInTheRain
    Maybe, you should talk to an Academic Advisor about your career goals? They might be able to direct you on the right path. Hope you find what your looking for.
  4. by   SBUalum03
    Hi Erilynn 17, I graduated from SBU May 2003 with a BA in psychology, and then decided that I wanted to be a Nurse. Being that you are only a Soph. you should change your major now, this would save you money in the end. SBU has a very good Health Science Program and I regret that I didn't decide on a career change sooner. At SBU you'll get a reputable education for a good price. Um Pace University in NYC has a good BSN to MSN program but it also cost $10,000 a semester. Most of the Private schools in NYS are expensive, but if the cost does not bother you then I guess you should continue with the Psych program. One more thing you should try to take the science pre-req. at SBU (Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Chem I & II, Microbiology) no matter what school you decide to go to after you graduate with the Psych degree you will have to take these classes before you start the Nursing classes. Please e-mail me if you have any more questions. Make sure you stay on top of things at SBU it will pay off in the end. Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. by   Gompers
    I also wonder why you don't just change your major now to nursing. It might take you a year longer to graduate because you'll have to get all the science classes done before the nursing ones start, but it might be much easier in the long run. Those accelerated BSN programs are a killer, you know. You must take everything at a double-time pace, and it's a very stressful 12-18 months (depending on the program). Plus they're very expensive, probably more than staying where you're at for an extra year. Please consider this if possible, since you're only a sophomore.

    NNP is a master's program, and if you did it full-time it takes about 2 years. I'm not from the East coast so I can't help you with schools there, I'm sorry! But keep in mind that you need a BARE MINIMUM of one year of NICU nursing experience before you begin the NNP program. Yeah, I hear that some schools let you go right into certain NP programs, but PLEASE don't do that! There is NO WAY to be a good practitioner if you've never worked at the bedside!!! Seriously, I don't know of anyone whose worked less than five years as a NICU nurse before attempting to go for her NNP. It's a very tough job, and the more nursing experience you have, the better NNP you'll be.

    Good luck!
  6. by   erilynn17
    The reason why I'm not changing my major is because I would have to take another two semesters of nursing pre reqs and then 2 full years of nursing classes at the HSC. So either way I will end up spending a total of 5 years at SBU, but the way I am doing it now I will end up with two degrees. I did look up the pre reqs though for the advanced RN program and plan on taking them before I graduate. I also talked to academic advising for both psychology and nursing. SBUalum, did you get any references from professors? I have no clue who I will ask. I am still trying to research grad schools that have NNP programs but I need some suggestions. So far I am looking into Northeastern, Ohio State, Columbia (looks good, but extremely expensive) UConn. If anyone has any info about these I would appreciate it. I am not too concerned with location of the schools. Also, I currently work at a hospital as a pharmacy tech and I know that in our NICU there are no RNs, only NNP and 1 MD, do most hospitals let RNs work in the NICU?
    Last edit by erilynn17 on Mar 15, '04
  7. by   AnnaN5
    Quote from erilynn17
    The reason why I'm not changing my major is because I would have to take another two semesters of nursing pre reqs and then 2 full years of nursing classes at the HSC. So either way I will end up spending a total of 5 years at SBU, but the way I am doing it now I will end up with two degrees. I did look up the pre reqs though for the advanced RN program and plan on taking them before I graduate. I also talked to academic advising for both psychology and nursing. SBUalum, did you get any references from professors? I have no clue who I will ask. I am still trying to research grad schools that have NNP programs but I need some suggestions. So far I am looking into Northeastern, Ohio State, Columbia (looks good, but extremely expensive) UConn. If anyone has any info about these I would appreciate it. I am not too concerned with location of the schools. Also, I currently work at a hospital as a pharmacy tech and I know that in our NICU there are no RNs, only NNP and 1 MD, do most hospitals let RNs work in the NICU?

    In response to your question abour RNs working in the NICU, my aunt works in the NICU at Riley's Childrens Hospital in Indianapolis, IN and she just has her BSN. So maybe you could check into a couple more hospitals in your area & find out if it's just the hospital you are currently working at that doesn't employ RNs in the NICU.
  8. by   erilynn17
    first off, thanks everybody for your informative replies so fast, i figured i'd have to wait awhile before anyone responded! i am learning a lot, and realized i had some more questions...can anyone tell me what the differences are between a nurse practitioner and a doctor (are there certain drugs a np can't write scripts for?) and also what exactly do you do in a nicu, as an rn and nnp?
  9. by   SBUalum03
    Unfortunatly I did not get any references from any professor's, but now that I'm applying to this BSN program, I'm getting a reference from the President at my job. Do you plan on going back to school right away or are you going to take some time off? Which track are you doing at SBU BS track or BA track?
  10. by   erilynn17
    I am doing the BS track, and I plan on doing the advanced RN program right after I graduate, then taking time off to work as an RN before going on to the masters program. So I'm gonna need references, and I work in a hospital now as a pharmacy tech so I could get some from some pharmacists, but I don't know about professors...even in the small classes like recitations I don't really talk to professors or TAs. I'm gonna try and do research though sometime in the next two years so hopefully whatever professor I work with will write me a recommendation. Did you do any research?
  11. by   suzanne4
    A NNP is completely responsible for writing orders on the infant under her care. I would not suggest even attempting that program until you have at least two years experience under your belt as a staff nurse in NICU. But before you even decide that this is what you want to dofor the rest of your life, have you ever been inside of an NICU? Perhaps you could get permission to shadow a nurse for a day at Stoney Brook. Most of the students are coming up with areas that they want to specialize in before they actually have any real concept of it or have even been in a nursing program. And especially to want to become an NNP. You need to see what the unit is even like. Don't take this the wrong way, but keep your eyes open. There are so many avenues to pursue in nursing.................................
    p.s. Depending on the state, a nurse practitioner can write for every drug a physician can write for.

    Hope that this helps.
  12. by   erilynn17
    I have been in a NICU, but only for a short while at a time. Also, the hospital where I work is not very busy...they consider 3 babies to be a lot. I have always been interested in neonatals, I originally wanted to be a genetics counselor. After working in the pharmacy of a hospital I realize that I want more patient care, and after visiting the NICU I realized that is where I want to work. I am also very close with a family who had a stillborn baby with Edwards Syndrome. That made me realize even more that I wanted to help these people. That is also why I am keeping my major of psychology, I think it will be a big help with dealing with the parents. Also, I don't think that I could working with adults. How would I get to shadow a nurse?
  13. by   Gompers
    If the hospital only has 3 babies at a time, it's probably not a level III NICU, but a level II. Most level IIIs are busier because they usually serve as transport centers for other area hospitals. It's a different world when there are 60 babies on one unit, half of which are critically ill. I hope you find a way to shadow someone in a larger NICU to know for sure it's what you want to do.

    I don't understand the post about a NICU that doesn't have any RNs. The ones who run the show are RNs! We do all the patient care, NNPs and MDs don't do any of the bedside stuff! On my unit, NNPs are about equal to pediatric residents - they do all kinds of procedures, go to deliveries, do transports, write orders, prescribe medications, etc. The only difference is that the NNP's medication orders are not valid until an MD cosigns them. So they can prescribe all kinds of stuff, but the baby won't get it until the doctors agree. The nursing staff of most NICUS is usually a mix of BSN, ADN, and LPN staff.
  14. by   Gompers
    Quote from erilynn17
    The reason why I'm not changing my major is because I would have to take another two semesters of nursing pre reqs and then 2 full years of nursing classes at the HSC. So either way I will end up spending a total of 5 years at SBU, but the way I am doing it now I will end up with two degrees.
    That's a good reason, but just remember that the accelerated BSN programs are very fast paced, as they condense 2-3 years of nursing education into 12-18 months. There is no way to work at the same time. But if you think you might want to go back to psych someday, then of course it makes sense to get the psych degree. As for dealing with parents on the unit, experience helps more than anything. It's a very special kind of stress and grief that you see up in the NICU, so the longer you work with these families, the better you get at helping them. That's another reason why we all recommend spending at least a few years working as a NICU RN - bedisde manner is very important for an NNP or MD.

    Is the reason you're looking at the NNP because of your hospital's setup? Because if you just wanted to be an RN, BSN, you would be more than able to work in a NICU. I've never heard of a NICU without RNs!

    Good luck, you sound like a very smart girl!

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