New FNP Student, What Should I Expect?

  1. Hello everyone,

    I am beginning my FNP program this spring. It is a MSN program. I am just wondering if anyone has any advice on the best way I can prepare. I really have no idea what to expect. I have looked at the course descriptions and they all look tough! Also my school recommends that the students purchase an otoscope as well as an opthalmoscope and high quality adult and pediatric stethoscope. Does anyone have any idea how much these items will cost? Also are there any other gadgets I will be required to purchase for school? I am getting really nervouse about everything.

    Any advice or experiences will be very helpful. Thanks in advance!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   carachel2
    Congrats! I don't know if there is any way you can prepare really. It is such a different way of thinking and at such a higher level. As far as otoscopes I HIGHLY recommend a Welch Allen macroview otoscope...it makes the tympanic membrane just look huge!
  4. by   Blessedx3
    My advise--and I wish someone would have told me:

    Get either Fitzgerald or Hollier CD's in the beginning. You are going to read a HUGE amount of material. These separate by body system the needed info. They are a life saver studying for boards. I tend to think Fitz is more comprehensive than Hollier.

    In each class-save your papers, test reviews etc by Class Name ...for example 508/spring/Rolespaper. Organization on the computer is as important as your physical papers.

    Welch Allyn is the best. We didn't have to buy them. You get so much experience in peds/family looking in ears--it really is plenty. I have the Cardiology III steth--love it. Can't advise on a peds one.

    Also-if you have a family--and can take all the writing type-non clinical courses before you hit the clinical portion--it will save your sanity (and allow for more time with your children). Also--save money so that you can go part-time during clinicals. It is a very demanding time--but doable with lots of planning.

    Best of luck--I graduate in a week--and wish someone would have shared this info with me!
  5. by   linearthinker
    I agree with all of the above. Would add:
    -save EVERYTHING in an organized manner of your choosing, on thumb drives.

    -Network with your classmates, even if you are online or don't have the dreaded group projects, etc. My friends and colleagues have been invaluable sources of support and information.

    -Get to know your professors. IME, at the graduate level, it is more than just a job to them. They appear to love nursing, love teaching & mentoring talented students, and they want to hear from you!

    -be flexible with your matriculation plan. It's a journey, not a race.

    -And above all, enjoy it. It's a privilege to be able to get a graduate education. Make the most of it.
  6. by   LeLeeFNP
    Thanks everyone! I will definately take all of your words of encouragement and advice. I am fortunate enough to have a very supportive husband, mother and mother-in-law to help out with my two children. I have a prn job with an agency and don't have to work that much. But I was just concerned with possible out of pocket expenses from having to purchase lots of medical equipment in addition to my books. I guess I need to look into some additional sources of aid. I dont want to go crazy with student loans.

    It sounds like the cost of equipment hasn't been an issue. I will definately look into getting the items you all suggested. Thanks again!
  7. by   LeLeeFNP
    Quote from Blessedx3
    My advise--and I wish someone would have told me:

    Get either Fitzgerald or Hollier CD's in the beginning. You are going to read a HUGE amount of material. These separate by body system the needed info. They are a life saver studying for boards. I tend to think Fitz is more comprehensive than Hollier.

    In each class-save your papers, test reviews etc by Class Name ...for example 508/spring/Rolespaper. Organization on the computer is as important as your physical papers.

    Welch Allyn is the best. We didn't have to buy them. You get so much experience in peds/family looking in ears--it really is plenty. I have the Cardiology III steth--love it. Can't advise on a peds one.

    Also-if you have a family--and can take all the writing type-non clinical courses before you hit the clinical portion--it will save your sanity (and allow for more time with your children). Also--save money so that you can go part-time during clinicals. It is a very demanding time--but doable with lots of planning.

    Best of luck--I graduate in a week--and wish someone would have shared this info with me!


    Where do I obtain these CDs?
  8. by   SoundofMusic
    I'm about a year into my FNP program, and I love it. But it's a TON of work. You will just never work harder in your life, although I do remember nursing school being a lot of work. This time, it's just MORE info condensed, and from a different perspective. I enjoy it a great deal, but I'm already cutting back on work just to deal w/ the workload. I'm ok w/ that, though -- I'm lucky to have a supportive spouse and room in my budget. Really lucky. But I'm also older, and it can be a strain trying to keep up the house and I'm also still active in raising my two younger kids. At any rate, I love the challenge ...but here I am studying on a Saturday night ...and I'd sort of LOVE to be out Christmas shopping (and exercising, and cleaning my house perhaps) ....but, alas, a final on Tuesday!

    I asked a professor if I had what it took to be an NP ...she told me that I would work for it, but I could do it ...she was right. It's just a lot of work. I'm only halfway there, so it's tough to see that light at the end of the tunnel yet. I've also stretched my grad date out a year longer due to family responsiblilities ...but I'll get there.

    I'd say if you were younger, and had a lot of friends who were always going out and having fun ..it would be hard ...because you have to study SO much. I am also planning to completely quit work when my clinicals start. I'm also only keeping up a part time RN schedule, if at all. I'm actually taking a 5 month sabattical this coming semester.

    You can connect w/ the Fitzgerald group on Facebook actually.
  9. by   SandBetweenMyToes
    I definitely agree with all of the above posts re: organization at the beginning, and also the Fitzgerald CDs. I wish I had had those cds at the very beginning. It takes roughly 14 hours to go straight through them. I listened to them nonstop on the way to and from school and clinicals, over and over, but they would have been even more beneficial had I started that routine at the beginning of my studies. They are awesome. Go to the Fitzgerald Health Associates website. They have various packages you can purchase. They are worth every penny.

    For organization, I had separate files on my desktop for each class, and also for each body system, e.g. cardio, respiratory, perinatal, etc. Then I kept a copy of everything appropriate in both the class file and the body system file. It made it a snap to study for each class and then for cumulative exams and OSCEs. I did the same for paper files.

    Best of luck. Someone told us at our orientation that this education would change who we are and how we think. They were right...in a good way!

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