Now I get why experience means everything yet nothing - page 7

by bsnanat2 17,294 Views | 106 Comments

Now I finally get why nursing experience can prove invaluable in NP school, yet actually means nothing. It appears that nursing experience gives a valuable base from which to relate but does absolutely nothing for helping one... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from nomadcrna
    Actually yes. There is NO state that allows PAs to practice independently. Many states allow NPs to practice independently.

    I'm not saying one is better than the other but that is just the way the laws are.

    "Many states?"
    How many exactly? Correct me if I'm wrong but the last account I read put it at less than ten states, as "independent pratice" and "scope of practice" have very different implications.

    Btw, PA's can and do, own their own practices under the "supervision" (cough cough), of an MD...fuzzy lines drawn in the ever- shifting sands of legal interpretation.

    And I agree, one is not "better" than the other.
    Last edit by Guttercat on Mar 18, '12
  2. 1
    Quote from mindlor
    Lots of ignorance flying around.......lots of jealousy.....

    Someone please tell me whhat slinging zpack at walgreens has to do with bedside nursing?

    Let me tell you. Diddly squat.

    I had a lengthy conversation with the dean of the FNP program at Columbia University. Her opinion is that every day working at the bedside is time and money lost......

    Just sayin
    Handing out meds at Walgreens means a lot more of you've followed patients daily at the bedside and observed their daily response. The dean's opinion means little as she probably never worked on the floor prior to becoming a NP. Now, if she wants to go head to head with a nurse who had 37 years of experience prior to becoming an NP, I'll be waiting.
    SHGR likes this.
  3. 0
    Quote from zenman
    Handing out meds at Walgreens means a lot more of you've followed patients daily at the bedside and observed their daily response. The dean's opinion means little as she probably never worked on the floor prior to becoming a NP. Now, if she wants to go head to head with a nurse who had 37 years of experience prior to becoming an NP, I'll be waiting.
    I very clearly posted the contact information for the school. Feel free to give her a call. She can hold her own, I assure you.....
  4. 2
    Quote from mindlor
    I very clearly posted the contact information for the school. Feel free to give her a call. She can hold her own, I assure you.....
    What the job market tells you matters a lot more than what a school recruiter will tell you. Of course they want to boost their enrollment and student population as much as they can. More prestige and $$$ flows to them. But are they really serving their student body well by telling them they don't need nursing experience to become an NP, when 90% of NP job listings specify that they're looking for minimum 3-5 years of nursing experience?
    CCRNDiva and SHGR like this.
  5. 3
    I actually think that many of the views here are not that far apart. First of all, I personally think that SOME bedside experience is important and necessary, but due to the difference in the RN vs NP roles, bedside experience is not CRITICAL. This is a new viewpoint for me. Remember, only a fool never changes. Some people, depending upon how they learn, their level of confidence, and how their undergrad nursing program taught, need more or less bedside experience…… depending upon the person. Yes, I think direct entry NP grads are at a disadvantage, but we’d better get used to the idea. One thing we all seem to keep forgetting is that years ago, many years of bedside nursing were required to reach the level of knowledge necessary to step into the NP role. Now, many things that could only be learned by experience are taught in undergrad BSN programs….the knowledge base has grown, so the timeline to reach “expert” status has shortened. This does not mean that newer NP’s are smarter than previous ones or that newer NP’s lack “respect” for the hard work of the past, but that newer NP’s simply have the benefit of this larger knowledge base. The other thing forgotten here is that time and experience mean nothing if the person involved makes no use of it. How many RN’S do you know who only do the minimum required by law to keep a license, thus making them near incompetent or just downright dangerous? On the other hand, there are CNA’s and LPN’s who constantly read, listen, question and research and have grown tremendously in their knowledge base but will never be able to be NP’s. Which do you think is better: A fresh BSN RN who spends one to three years asking questions, researching and absorbing knowledge OR twenty years of someone who just punches a clock, follows the orders on the chart and occasionally picks up a few gems here and there? I have my own ideas as to why nurses (and thus NP’s) in-fight and backbite more than PA’s or MD’s, but I’ll save that for another thread.
    Again, I think much angst comes from people making the wrong choices to further their careers. The other issue is that those of us here who “have put in the work” can’t get upset at those who benefit from that larger knowledge base and those of us who gain that benefit can not forget to be respectful and thankful of those whose work in trenches made our path shorter.
    jyager, Guttercat, and SHGR like this.
  6. 1
    mindlor,
    While I appreciate your enthusiasm for your viewpoint, I would highly recommend cooling your jets a little. No institution of higher learning is capable of preparing anyone for everything and there certainly are many-a-fool walking around with some serious sheepskins hanging on the wall. Be careful not to put too much weight on the formal education as lots of this stuff is still intuition, "critical thinking" and just plain old "I've seen this before." Thank your professors but bow to your elders.
    Just my two cents.
    SHGR likes this.
  7. 7
    First and foremost, a million THANK YOU's to the OP for being brave enough to dare defend DE-NPs on this site. There is so much hate & misunderstanding when this topic comes up on AN that I think most of us DE-NPs try to fly under the radar here.

    Quote from Guttercat
    I'm currently deciding between PA vs ANP route. I've been an RN for 19 years.

    It just torques me off that I spent all these years in the trenches... and for what?
    Guttercat, I think your response is a good example of how DE-NPs are misunderstood by nursing as a whole. Defending DE-NPs as safe and intelligent practitioners is not meant to suggest that RN experience is worthless or that it doesn't contribute to you becoming an excellent NP. One type of NP does not have to be better than another.


    When I meet a 'traditional' NP who worked bedside before moving on - I assume that his/her bedside experience influences their NP practice. But most on AN seem to assume that a DE-NP has zero applicable experience that might help similarly in their professional development. There is more than one way to skin a cat ... there is more than one way to learn critical thinking and humanistic interaction than by bedside RN experience. The success of DE-NPs supports that (to whoever said DE-NPs have trouble with employment ... anecdotally I have seen the opposite - where are you and what kind of research is supporting that?)

    Quote from zenman
    Handing out meds at Walgreens means a lot more of you've followed patients daily at the bedside and observed their daily response. The dean's opinion means little as she probably never worked on the floor prior to becoming a NP. Now, if she wants to go head to head with a nurse who had 37 years of experience prior to becoming an NP, I'll be waiting.
    With all due respect, you have no idea what kind of meaning I as a DE-NP derive from "handing out meds at walgreens" without having followed patients as a bedside RN. See my above paragraph ... I believe you when you say that your RN experience helped your NP development - but it's a bit egotistical to think that ONLY that type of experience gives rise to a good NP. We recently took opposite sides in the online education debate - I'll try to let go of my personal bias against online education if you can conceive of a safe NP without bedside RN experience. At the end of the day I think both of our opinions arise out of general ignorance and not malicious intent.

    I would love to see a change in the general attitude surrounding DE-NPs on AN.
    jyager, ImThatGuy, Gator Girl 2000, and 4 others like this.
  8. 2
    bsnanat2. I totally agree with u. U hit the nail on the head.
    SHGR and Psychcns like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from bsnanat2
    I actually think that many of the views here are not that far apart. First of all, I personally think that SOME bedside experience is important and necessary, but due to the difference in the RN vs NP roles, bedside experience is not CRITICAL. This is a new viewpoint for me. Remember, only a fool never changes. Some people, depending upon how they learn, their level of confidence, and how their undergrad nursing program taught, need more or less bedside experience…… depending upon the person. Yes, I think direct entry NP grads are at a disadvantage, but we’d better get used to the idea. One thing we all seem to keep forgetting is that years ago, many years of bedside nursing were required to reach the level of knowledge necessary to step into the NP role. Now, many things that could only be learned by experience are taught in undergrad BSN programs….the knowledge base has grown, so the timeline to reach “expert” status has shortened. This does not mean that newer NP’s are smarter than previous ones or that newer NP’s lack “respect” for the hard work of the past, but that newer NP’s simply have the benefit of this larger knowledge base. The other thing forgotten here is that time and experience mean nothing if the person involved makes no use of it. How many RN’S do you know who only do the minimum required by law to keep a license, thus making them near incompetent or just downright dangerous? On the other hand, there are CNA’s and LPN’s who constantly read, listen, question and research and have grown tremendously in their knowledge base but will never be able to be NP’s. Which do you think is better: A fresh BSN RN who spends one to three years asking questions, researching and absorbing knowledge OR twenty years of someone who just punches a clock, follows the orders on the chart and occasionally picks up a few gems here and there? I have my own ideas as to why nurses (and thus NP’s) in-fight and backbite more than PA’s or MD’s, but I’ll save that for another thread.
    Again, I think much angst comes from people making the wrong choices to further their careers. The other issue is that those of us here who “have put in the work” can’t get upset at those who benefit from that larger knowledge base and those of us who gain that benefit can not forget to be respectful and thankful of those whose work in trenches made our path shorter.
    The above, like x1000. Thanks for articulating this. Direct entry will work for some people. It would not have worked for me. I have learned something in every area of nursing that I've carried with me. All my bedside and direct patient care experiences are enhancing my MSN education in ways I could not have anticipated when I was in undergrad in the early 90's. It will enhance my APN practice too. Practice knowledge IS nursing knowledge, along with theory and research.
  10. 1
    Great OP. Great perspective. Thanks for posting. I went back to staff nursing (travel-psych) after a few years of advanced practice. I was relieved to not have to worry about diagnosis and meds though I would think about them. Now I am back to being a provider 15 min visits, etc. The staff nurse foundation for me is invaluable. I have no problem with direct entry or with pa programs. We all take care of patients.
    SHGR likes this.


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