I hope this is the right forum.
I am interested in hearing from NP's who completed a direct entry/second degree master's program about their experiences from application through graduation and on into practice. I would also love to hear from those applying to such programs.
Some questions I have are:
What was your undergraduate and/or graduate degree?
How long had you been out of school?
What were your GPA and scores? (if you don't mind sharing)
How much health care experience did you have prior to entering the program?
What was your experience working with disadvantaged and underserved populations?
Generally, what were the qualifications of those admitted to your program?
What, if any, advice do you have for those who are considering direct entry/second degree MSN/DNP programs?
Given the 2015 DNP transition, is it still worthwhile to pursue an MSN?
I am a public defender who worked for five years representing clients charged with capital murder. I spent a large portion of my time working with social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychs, neurologists, neuropharmacologists and others developing social histories and mental health profiles for my clients. Prior to that I worked as a disability advocate, a communties in schools site coordinator, and program director for a homeless shelter. I really want to become a PMHNP so that I can provide proactive, holistic mental health care and wellness programs to low income, disadvantaged communities to break the cycle that I have seen. Of all treatment providers, NPs have the most to offer in terms of care that is high quality, holistic, wellness oriented, cost effective, and community oriented.
Given my age and the fact that I have no experience in a healthcare setting, I am worried that I will not be as strong a candidate as others seeking admission--even though I have worked with and for hundreds of mentally ill clients over the years. I have a 4.0 GPA (which includes the prereqs that I have under my belt) and graduated from a top 10 law school. But it seems to me that those qualifications only speak to academic preparedness and not to the potential to make an outstanding NP.
I would be grateful for any input or guidance that you are willing to share.