Area of experience before becoming an FNP

  1. I'm thinking about becoming an FNP in the future. I have 2 semesters left before getting a BSN and would like to get some experience before applying to grad school. I'm curious to know what area of nursing some of you worked in before becoming an FNP. Is it more useful to being, for example, an ER nurse, pediatric nurse, or working in urgent care to begin with? Does it even matter?

    Thanks!
    Wendy
    •  
  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   sirI
    Quote from NurseWendy
    I'm thinking about becoming an FNP in the future. I have 2 semesters left before getting a BSN and would like to get some experience before applying to grad school. I'm curious to know what area of nursing some of you worked in before becoming an FNP. Is it more useful to being, for example, an ER nurse, pediatric nurse, or working in urgent care to begin with? Does it even matter?

    Thanks!
    Wendy
    Hello, Wendy,

    I think the individual seeking experience to prepare for NP should try at least for the ER. The critical care units are good, too. I worked in OB, peds, CCU/ICU and ER before hand while preparing for my NP career. I had experience in Med-Surg and just added a little more with these.

    But, you will find the answer to this will vary amongst every other NP you talk with especially here. My experience was over the course of a few years and many do not agree you need any experience beforehand.

    Good luck.
  4. by   CardioTrans
    I am not an NP yet, but in the FNP program. I have experience in Med/Surg, ICU/CCU, Home health and Hospice, and the OR. I had been a nurse for 10 years before applying to grad school. Im not saying that you need 10 yrs, just that I did.

    Good luck to you!
  5. by   Spacklehead
    I'm also in an FNP program currently. I have been an RN for 8 years, most of which have been in the ER. I feel that so far, my clinical background has helped me since I've dealt with all age groups from infants to geriatrics. In my patho. class, we do cover different disease processes that affect the different age groups, so I feel that my basic understanding of all the different age ranges and body systems have been beneficial.
  6. by   smelendez
    I know for CRNA programs they REQUIRE at least 1 yr critical care.
    Do NP programs require any type of experience? I understand it is highly recommended...but could someone go straight through from ADN, to BSN to NP without actually working as a nurse?
  7. by   sirI
    Quote from smelendez
    I know for CRNA programs they REQUIRE at least 1 yr critical care.
    Do NP programs require any type of experience? I understand it is highly recommended...but could someone go straight through from ADN, to BSN to NP without actually working as a nurse?
    Hello, smelendez,

    There are programs that allow the RN entrance with no experience at all. You will see many here who have done this.

    But, IMHO, I advise the RN to have at least 1, if not 2 years experience in the specialty areas, especially ER and ICU/CCU. It depends upon the individual.

    But, that is only my 2 cents worth.
  8. by   lalaxton
    In my NP program there were those who had just graduated from a BSN program. They definitely had a much harder time than those who had at least a few years of experience as an RN.
  9. by   smelendez
    I saw frontiers website and they require 1 year RN experience, but extensive experience in other healthcare field would be considered.
    Would a paramedic of 8+ years have much problem going straight to an NP program without any RN experience. I know the RN experience must be valuable but my previous paramedic experience in the prehospital setting should also be beneficial.

    What do you guys think?
  10. by   sirI
    Quote from smelendez
    I saw frontiers website and they require 1 year RN experience, but extensive experience in other healthcare field would be considered.
    Would a paramedic of 8+ years have much problem going straight to an NP program without any RN experience. I know the RN experience must be valuable but my previous paramedic experience in the prehospital setting should also be beneficial.

    What do you guys think?
    Hello, smelendez,

    As long as you have your RN even without RN experience, you can enter an NP program. And, yes, many who have experience as paramedic are considered. Just check out the many programs and see what's out there for you!
  11. by   prairienp
    Quote from siri
    Hello, smelendez,

    As long as you have your RN even without RN experience, you can enter an NP program. And, yes, many who have experience as paramedic are considered. Just check out the many programs and see what's out there for you!
    I have been on FNP admissions committees for the past 10 years. We have yet to admit one student without RN experience. Several have tried, we allow them to take graduate courses and reapply the following year. ED experience is fine, community health is better. The more autonomy as a practicing RN the better. Previous paramedic experience is a positive when associated with previous RN experience.
  12. by   sirI
    Quote from prairienp
    I have been on FNP admissions committees for the past 10 years. We have yet to admit one student without RN experience. Several have tried, we allow them to take graduate courses and reapply the following year. ED experience is fine, community health is better. The more autonomy as a practicing RN the better. Previous paramedic experience is a positive when associated with previous RN experience.
    And, I totally agree that the individual should have experience as RN. If you read any of my responses regarding the need for experience, you will see I am a strong advocate for this.

    But, you will also see many, especially on these boards wanting to go straight to the NP program without said experience. There are many programs that accept those without any experience at all.

    It remains an individual decision.
  13. by   cmd227
    Sure, experience helps in all realms of life, but I do not believe that it is the end all be all to becoming an NP. While the NP role builds off of an RN's, they are not one in the same. I am a NP student who proceeded directly to the program upon the completion of my BSN. I do not feel that I am lacking in experience. If anything, I feel that the information obtained from my BSN is fresher in my mind and I am more accustomed to the student role than in those who are returning after years of absence from the school environment. My nurse practitioner program is a prestigious one, being ranked in the top 10 in the country and they enroll students without prior RN experience every year and their graduates go on to become successful NPs. I don't believe these types of programs, much less the one offered by my school, would be in existence if they felt the graduates would be in danger of providing substandard care. But that's just my two cents on the matter.

close