Need Advice on FNP school! - page 5

by amberthenurse

24,845 Views | 48 Comments

hi, i have been a nurse for about 2 years, but with only about 7 months real experience in the hospital. i am wanting to go back to school for fnp, but am a little concerned that i don't have enough experience. my questions are:... Read More


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    The truth is, I have 19 years of RN experience but most of what I learned for the FNP role was not what I did as an RN. In the NP program, I learned new skills, different diseases/ treatments and a different approach to patient care- a focus on health promotion rather than treating diseases. Just my 2 cents!
    Thanks for sharing this. This is EXACTLY what I feel about other people's feelings on new RN grads going right into NP school. They're totally different roles. An MD or a PA doesn't have to spend x number of years as a medical assistant to go to med school. I am going to try to shoot to go to school as soon as possible, although I'll probably take a year or two and work to pay off some debt.
    ImThatGuy likes this.
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    I will honestly say that my four years of performing "tasks" and pretty much being a robot did not prepare me for FNP school. I think that I have forgotten a lot of the things that I learned in nursing school about various diseases and conditions because I don't have to use it much. I find that the floor is very task oriented and repetative. You spend most of the day following orders and having someone else to think for you as opposed to NP where you are able to think for yourself and make your own decisions.
    Exactly. While being an RN is good exposure to treatments and meds and all, that is completely different from knowing when and why to actually order them.
    ImThatGuy likes this.
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    Quote from bcm6987
    Hey Amber,
    I will be starting my last year of FNP school next semester. I started in health care in 1990 as a Resp. Therapist. I graduated from BSN school in 2003. There is no way I would have been ready for FNP school without my Resp. Therapy background! As for post-graduation orientation for NP's, there ain't none. You'll be oriented to the charting method (paper or electronic), shown where the bathroom is, and that is about it. Basically you will feel like you've been (and you'll hear this a thousand times, by the way) "thrown to the sharks", because you will be thrown to the sharks. Hopefully your care providing colleagues will be willing and able to help you in the areas in which your are least self-confident.

    That being said, Ive heard of new BSN grads going right into MSN-NP preparation. They must be really bright or in a very easy program. I'm not saying that it can't be done. I am saying that in my humble opinion it shouldn't be done, there is a vast amount of "stuff" that must become second nature to the Nurse prior to entering training for "Advanced Practice Nursing". Learn as much as you can in the Hospital, ask a bunch of questions, learn to read ECG's, X-rays, MRI's, CT's etc. well. Learn why the care providers order a certain therapy, versus ordering something else. Don't be afraid to be wrong!! You will learn a great deal be asking follow-up questions that require redirection by the provider giving the answer. It will mold your methods of critical thinking, problem solving, and logic.

    Most of all, enjoy Nursing! Enjoy the fact that you are the only one around treating the patient, not the patient's disorder or disease process!!
    Hello,

    I'm definitely inspired by you! Do you think the selection committee for an accelerated program will look favorably at my 9 years of experience as respiratory therapist? I graduated with an undergrad degree in Health and Exercise Science in 2000. My Gpa was on only 2.6 per I was a collegiate athlete which required me to miss alot of class. I subsequently got an AS degree in respiratory therapy in 2002. I finished with a 3.4 GPA. Relistically, do you think I have a chance of getting accepted into an accelerated program with all of the stiff competition?
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    Quote from nurseman78
    Thanks for sharing this. This is EXACTLY what I feel about other people's feelings on new RN grads going right into NP school. They're totally different roles. An MD or a PA doesn't have to spend x number of years as a medical assistant to go to med school. I am going to try to shoot to go to school as soon as possible, although I'll probably take a year or two and work to pay off some debt.
    No, but PA students (and especially MD students ) get a LOT more clinical time than is required to graduate from an NP program. An NP program actually builds off of the foundation of knowledge that you gain while working as an RN. Like I've mentioned on here in the past - yes, you can learn the "typical" presentations of all the different types of common diseases, conditions, etc. from a text book - but it is the atypical presentations you need to worry about and don't want to miss, and these you typically (hopefully) learn while spending a few years as an RN prior to entering an NP program.
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    Reading some of these posts regading nursing being "robotic and task-oriented" somewhat shocks me, maybe because most of my RN background was in the ER. Completely different world than med/surg - you have to have excellent assessment skills and be very good at getting the patient's HPI because as the triage RN, you need to determine (quickly) who needs to be seen right away, who can wait, and what things you need to get started (labs, x-rays, certain treatments, etc.) before a doc even lays eyes on the patient. Yes, there are standing orders for common presentations, but you almost need to be able to somewhat "diagnose" the condition in order to get the things rolling in the right direction. As an ER RN, you will see many different typical/atypical presentations for all different kinds of conditions. It will only make you a better NP in the end. Just my 2 cents.
    CCRNDiva likes this.
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    I think, regardless, you learn to be a capable provider. The greater experience will help, but if you know that you would like working as an NP, I say don't postpone it too long. Especially with the pending move to a doctoral degree requirement. Get 'er done!
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    Quote from nurseman78
    I think, regardless, you learn to be a capable provider. !
    I truly hope this is the case, I really do. The more popular the NP role becomes, the more we are viewed under a microscope, especially since other healthcare providers seem to be very skeptical of our current training and experience.

    All I know is that my clinical experiences as an RN have come in very handy on several occasions to recognize abnormalities or odd presentations that weren't outlined in a text book. Sure, you don't have to wait years and years to go back to school - but I do feel that a good solid year or two of full-time ER or urgent care experience would be very helpful to anyone wanting to become specifically a FNP.

    Best wishes to all - just sharing my view on it as a currently practicing NP.
    CCRNDiva likes this.
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    having clinical experience dealing with patients with the potential to 'crash and burn'
    is always good to have. helps to develop that 6th sense which is really the inner voice of experience. Clinical RN experience also gives u the knowlege of what u would expect
    to be the medical orders for a given patient-so u can tell what are good orders and what are downright dangerous

    If you have little clinical experience in assessing patients, it will come back to bite u on the butt as a NP. that is my experience when I see NPs who have a lot of quality RN experience vs NPs with very little clinical RN experience.
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    I spent most of my 25 year RN career in critical care. In short, my background has nothing to do with primary care and has done very little to prepare me for primary care practice. The practice that hired me fell all over themselves about my "experience" and I had to hide my smirk. After NP clinicals, I know full well that my RN experience has almost zero application to being a FNP. But hey, they loved it and want to pay me more b/c of it. I'll laugh all the way to the bank. I think I'll do fine, on par with every other new grad NP. I don't think my background translates into much of an advantage for either myself or the patient. It would be a different story had I chosen ACNP, but probably not wildly different. It is a totally different role. Some experience is probably a good thing, like the PAs that have to do a few hundred hours of patient care in some capacity to get into school. I think at some point, enough is enough, and any more than that is useless.


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