I have been a nurse for 2 years now and went to nursing school
with the goal of working toward an NP. I was wondering if there is anybody out there that started NP school with limited clinical experience who wishes they would have worked as an RN longer. Many premeds go right into medical school without any patient experience and do fine. I know that experience will not hurt, but in my case, this is my second career and I'm not getting any younger. I have no obligations or ties in my life at the moment and I feel at this time I could really focus. I'd appreciate any suggestions and advice you may have for me.
Feb 26, '05
I have been working as a ER nurse for 6 months and am already enrolled in a NP program part-time. Most programs have beginning core classes like research, theory, issues, etc. so you really don't need to have a lot of experience as a nurse to do these. When I begin taking the classes more catered specifically to NPs I would have been working as an RN for a year. I think gaining experience as a nurse is important. I work full time at a level I ER and feel like you learn a lot and you are forced to learn it fast. I've taken care of patients ranging from dehydration to really sick patients with 5 gtts going. I personally think the ER is a awesome place to learn if you are planning on becoming an NP. When I am an NP I know that it will be easier for me to treat my patients because I'm had the opportunity to initiate a lot of treatments, conduct histories and assessments based on what the pt presents with, learn prioritization, patient teaching, deal with every type of patient, and have the opportunity to see the entire work up of a patient. I love the autonomy we get in the ER and think it's helpful if you want to be a NP. I feel like when I'm an NP I will have a better idea of what needs to be orderd and I need to rule out as far as dx because I've seen so many different things so many times. So I don't think it matters if you wait 5 years or 6 months to go to grad school, it just matters how hard you are willing to work to be the best NP you can be. Depending on your experiences as a nurse, you might need to do more work than another student. But, in no way do I think an RN with 10 years is going to be a better NP than someone with less experience. Because both have to learn the new role of being an NP.
Some people say you shouldn't go immediately back to grad school, I say if you think you can handle it go for it. Let me warn you that it can be stressful at times, trying to work full-time and be in grad school. Because they step things up a level and are more demanding than undergrad. Only you know best what you should be doing with your life. So do what works best for you and ignore what everyone else says. Good luck with your goals!!
Last edit by humiliated on Feb 26, '05