Now I get why experience means everything yet nothing

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    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 think through a disease process as a provider. I may be simply stating the obvious, but I am amazed at how different the two roles are. I am be no means an old pro, but some conditions I can take care of in my sleep - as a nurse. As a potential provider though, even a simple cold is not so simple. It is amazing how a myriad of disease processes and conditions can present with mostly the same symptoms, only differentiated by some seemingly obscure item in their history. I can see how some are making a mistake in pursuing a NP degree though. Listening to them, what they really want is to further their bedside nursing career. A degree as a NP CHANGES your career, not furthers it. The confusion manifests itself in the struggle to move away from the bedside nursing thinking process, to that of a provider. We all have that struggle, but some seem to not realize that their struggle is not with the material, but the role itself. All that being said, I love NP school. I can see one why, generally, a couple of year's experience nursing is good but also why decades of experience is not necessary. It truly does come down to the individual.
    mystory, mom2cka, alwayslookingnp, and 21 others like this.
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    That's a nice realization. I want to one day go to NP school, but am waiting on some more experience myself. I want to get out of bedside nursing before my back gives out completely, and your post gives me some insight into how it will be different. Good for you for expressing your opinion and thoughts, as no doubt there will be some flames coming your way for it, but I appreciate the point of view!
    lindarn likes this.
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    oh, bsnanat2, please save this somewhere on your computer and reprint it every time you see students who want too work on a floor for a year, or at most two, and then go to np school because they'll know so much by then. this is brilliant.
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    It also reinforces (for me, anyway) that NPs do have valuable experience that sets them apart from PAs. My classic example is a PA I know who majored in dance as an undergrad. She spent a few years trying to land paid dancing jobs, but realized that at her ripe old age of 28 she wasn't getting much work. So, she explored the possibilities for grad schools and employment possibilities outside standing on her toes, spinning and leaping. She decided that she'd be employable and make a great salary as an NP--but gee... that would mean she'd have to go to nursing school, pass the NCLEX, work for a few years to gain experience, apply to NP school, then spend 2 or 3 more years before she could actually be an NP. Instead she discovered the fast-track, easy, anyone-can-do-it method--Physician Assistant school! Two years later, she's qualified (on paper, anyway) to order tests, diagnose medical conditions, and prescribe medications! And to think, just two short years ago, she was pirouetting in her tutu!
  7. 1
    Interesting take. I am going to a direct entry NP program, and I really appreciate everyone's opinions on this issue. My situation is a little odd, though, in that I already have assessment and differential diagnosis experience in my field (psych), just as a clinical researcher, not a nurse. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint.
    lindarn likes this.
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    Myelin, are you doing a Psych NP? I was somewhat interested in that path, but decided I'd like the variety seeing conditions from
    allergies to warts!
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    Yup, family psych NP. It's not for everyone, but I come from a clinical psychology background, so it's the perfect fit for me. I feel like there's a huge need for good psychiatric providers who want to be in this line of work (not forced into it like psychiatrists often are because their grades or scores weren't high enough to do what they actually wanted). Anyway, I'm very excited to get started this summer.
    mystory, porterwoman, and lindarn like this.
  10. 5
    Quote from bsnanat2
    I can see how some are making a mistake in pursuing a NP degree though. Listening to them, what they really want is to further their bedside nursing career. A degree as a NP CHANGES your career, not furthers it. The confusion manifests itself in the struggle to move away from the bedside nursing thinking process, to that of a provider. We all have that struggle, but some seem to not realize that their struggle is not with the material, but the role itself.
    This whole post is amazing!! The above portion is exactly why I am changing to CNS track. (In outpatient, "bedside" = direct patient care...just not in a bed). I want to stay a nurse, to be a better nurse, to know more and do more, but I see so many people go to NP school and it's kind of a loss for nursing- a gain for affordable, patient-centered primary care, but a loss in other ways. We need nursing leaders and change agents, too, and strong role models that are still part of the nursing staff, not allied with the medical staff, which is how I see the NP role playing out.
    Grad school is making me more and more an advocate for nurses and our profession.
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    OP, correct me if I'm wrong, but are you going against the general grain of threads re: NPs without nursing bedside experience? Are you saying that because the roles are so different, bedside nursing is not necessary to becoming a good NP?
  12. 1
    Quote from Patti_RN
    It also reinforces (for me, anyway) that NPs do have valuable experience that sets them apart from PAs. My classic example is a PA I know who majored in dance as an undergrad. She spent a few years trying to land paid dancing jobs, but realized that at her ripe old age of 28 she wasn't getting much work. So, she explored the possibilities for grad schools and employment possibilities outside standing on her toes, spinning and leaping. She decided that she'd be employable and make a great salary as an NP--but gee... that would mean she'd have to go to nursing school, pass the NCLEX, work for a few years to gain experience, apply to NP school, then spend 2 or 3 more years before she could actually be an NP. Instead she discovered the fast-track, easy, anyone-can-do-it method--Physician Assistant school! Two years later, she's qualified (on paper, anyway) to order tests, diagnose medical conditions, and prescribe medications! And to think, just two short years ago, she was pirouetting in her tutu!
    First of all....I think the unprofessional statements you are expressing about other mid-level provider colleagues should be checked at the door.

    You failed to mention how many NP's don't actually spend a day working as a floor nurse before qualified (at least on paper) to practice.

    If "anyone-can-do-it" then how do you explain those that can't? I had someone in my class who failed out and another who couldn't pass his boards.
    Last edit by DizzyJon on Mar 17, '12
    BCgradnurse likes this.


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