Can NPs work as RN's?

  1. We have a big debate going on right now, once I get my NP can I still work as a "regular" RN? or am I always going to have to take a job as an NP?
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  2. 36 Comments

  3. by   TAB_RN
    I would suspect that if you hold a RN license and keep it up to date, you can also be a Registered Nurse. I also think that the person would be considered "over qualified" by many HR managers if they knew you also had a NP license.
  4. by   juan de la cruz
    Quote from 1nuttynurse
    We have a big debate going on right now, once I get my NP can I still work as a "regular" RN? or am I always going to have to take a job as an NP?
    Yes to the first question, no to the second one.

    Quote from Nurse_Student_II
    I would suspect that if you hold a RN license and keep it up to date, you can also be a Registered Nurse. I also think that the person would be considered "over qualified" by many HR managers if they knew you also had a NP license.
    Just to clarify things, NP's need to keep an active RN license as a requirement to maintain their certification as NP's. My NP specialty certificate from my home state reads: "This certification is valid only if RN license is active".

    I know of a lot of NP's that are not practicing as such and are employed in other roles including that of a staff RN. As far as being "over-qualified" for an RN position, it is really up to the HR manager to decide on that matter. I personally feel that an applicant's NP background would strengthen his/her qualifications and would be desirable. Of course, this would not apply for an entry-level RN position.
  5. by   DutchgirlRN
    I've worked with quite a few NP's on a med-surg floor. They decided they liked traditional nursing best. No problem finding a job but pay is not adjusted for that MSN.
  6. by   smile123
    Quote from 1nuttynurse
    We have a big debate going on right now, once I get my NP can I still work as a "regular" RN? or am I always going to have to take a job as an NP?
    You can always work as a "regular" RN after you receive your NP and pass your NCLEX. One of my friends graduated with her NP degree from a 3 year accel'd RN/MS NP program and could not get a job as a NP. There was a glut of NPs in the area. So she worked as a RN in order to pay her bills. Provided you already go through a new RN grad orientation at a hospital (should you decide to work at one), you can always find a job as a RN as a "fallback" position. As another poster stated, the MSN degree does not always pay commensurate with the amount of time and money. On the other hand, most NPs work "regular" hours from 8am to 5pm, M - F. It depends on what you enjoy doing and what working conditions appeal to you. Good luck.
  7. by   jennyfyre
    We recently had a NP working as a RN on our peds unit. She couldn't find a NP job in the area with adequate benefits for her family and she was the sole breadwinner. Her specialty was peds, so she was a great asset to have working on the floor daily, especially since we also had a lot of new grads just learning the ropes!
  8. by   ibnathan
    Yes you can be a NP and work as an RN. Both of my instructors at my college are Acute Care Nurse Practioners. Here in Bakersfield it is the good ol' boys Doctor Club they are really resistant to most of the mid-level practioners. Plus the pay is better as a PRN RN than as a NP. Now in the bigger metro centers ACNP can make alot more money plus hospitals are more willing to use NP's. The one thing that I thought was interesting was even though that they are ACNP's practicing as an RN, they are held responsible at the NP level of knowledge. Hope that helps!

    PS. I am graduating from my Nursing Program today!
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Generally speaking, if you work in a job that requires lessor qualifications, you are still held to the same standards as you would be with your highest qualifications.

    For example:

    Position Statement from Texas BNE:

    "RNs Functioning in LVN Positions/ RNs or LVNs Functioning in Unlicensed Positions

    The Nursing Practice Act (NPA) and Board Rules do not preclude a RN from seeking employment in lower positions (such as LVN, unlicensed, or technical positions), with purportedly fewer responsibilities. The Board holds a licensed registered professional nurse, who is working in a lower level position, responsible and accountable to the level of education and competency of a RN. Likewise, a LVN working as an unlicensed person is responsible and accountable to the educational preparation and knowledge of a LVN."

    In Texas, at least, the Board considers your professional responsibilities to be commensurate with your highest licensure, NOT the actual job you are doing. While it doesn't address NPs per se, the same obligation would seem to be inherent in the Board's position.

    This is reinforced by this statement in the Texas Administrative Code (Title 22, Part 11, Rule 221.13) for Core Standards of Advanced Practice:

    e) The advanced practice nurse shall retain professional accountability for advanced practice nursing care.


    IF you work as an RN, you retain professional accountability for advanced practice nursing care. In other words, it wouldn't be a valid defense to the board to say: I wasn't working in the capacity of a NP.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Dec 16, '06
  10. by   traumaRUs
    Ibnathan - CONGRATULATIONS!


    Timothy - I totally agree with you. I had toyed with the idea of staying on in the ER where I worked for 10 years as a prn RN. However, risk management pointed out that I would be held to the standard of an APN versus a staff nurse. Very scary indeed.
  11. by   Uberman5000
    Quote from 1nuttynurse
    We have a big debate going on right now, once I get my NP can I still work as a "regular" RN? or am I always going to have to take a job as an NP?
    lol why would you want to? Didnt you go to school to not do that?
  12. by   ibnathan
    Thanks Trauma just got back from graduation ceremonies time to party!:

    I know that our instructor was saying that when she went to go on an interview for a position at a MD medical group they offered her $35.00 an hour. She makes $45-50 dollars an hour per diem as an RN. She laughed and walked out I think for the schooling and responsibility that NP's have they should make anywere from $65-85 an hour. Just my thoughts.
  13. by   mvanz9999
    what the pay
    Quote from ibnathan
    Thanks Trauma just got back from graduation ceremonies time to party!:

    I know that our instructor was saying that when she went to go on an interview for a position at a MD medical group they offered her $35.00 an hour. She makes $45-50 dollars an hour per diem as an RN. She laughed and walked out I think for the schooling and responsibility that NP's have they should make anywere from $65-85 an hour. Just my thoughts.
    Starting as an NP at $35.00/hr seems fair.

    $65-$85 is more a doctor's salary.
  14. by   traumaRUs
    mvanz999 - you are correct $35 is pretty good money for an APN in IL. However, our state is home to the AMA which keeps our salaries artificially low.

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