NP grads - how difficult is it to work as RN?

  1. Hello everyone, I am just so excited and happy today that I got my first (hopefully not only) acceptance! :hatparty: :hatparty: I was accepted into an accelerated NP program where you sit for the NCLEX after the RN portion but do not get a BSN, you graduate with a Master's. The school has a highly respected Nursing dept. and the program is extremely competitive (takes 20 people a year) and does not require previous paid healthcare experience.

    Please please please do not turn this thread into one about the merits of these programs - I am still waiting for responses from other programs (ADN, BSN) and would be thrilled to get into a BSN program!

    My questions is this - I realize that just because a program is "very competitive" to get into does not mean its graduates would automatically have an easy time getting a job! How difficult is it for an NP to work as a RN/staff nurse, if they have a MSN but not a BSN? I realize the realities of the NP job market. Would you or your organization hire a new NP grad willing to work as a staff nurse to gain experience? Why or why not?

    For some background which might help you write your responses: I went to local schools looking to get into BSN programs. However as some BSN programs in my area legally discriminate against post-baccalaureate applicants, I was steered by them to the Masters entry programs as a way to gain licensure and get "into" nursing. After extensive conversations with both RN and NP(who were RNs for 10+ years) I decided the roles are different but each has its own appeal. I like the hospital environment and would love to follow the career path of those RN-turned-NP: that would be my ideal. However if this is the only acceptance I get, I need to get your sage advice on the job prospects Master's entry program graduates. Thanks!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   suzies
    Hi, congrats on the acceptance!

    I suppose it might depend on where you live. That said, there is a nursing shortage just about everywhere. My experience was that people were very eager to hire my classmates and I as staff nurses once we finished the RN portion of my direct-entry master's program. None of my classmates had any trouble finding part-time RN jobs during the remainder of our NP programs.

    Many chose to continue as staff nurses after they got their masters degrees. Some just found they loved it and saw no need to change jobs. Others wanted more staff nurse experience before putting their NP skills to use. Finally, I think some some had a hard time finding jobs.

    There is a lot of talk on these boards about how such programs, much of it negative. I understand arguments for and againts these programs. All I know is that I did it, enjoyed it, and I LOVE being an NP.

    I have to admit that being a staff nurse was so very different from what I do as an NP that I am not sure how much that experience informs my practice as an NP. I do recommend that you work as a staff nurse, mainly so that you can say you did it, and to foster a nursing identity. (And if you ever choose to work in an inpatient setting, you'll write orders, etc. with the nurses in mind, which is nice.)



    Quote from westcoastgirl
    Hello everyone, I am just so excited and happy today that I got my first (hopefully not only) acceptance! :hatparty: :hatparty: I was accepted into an accelerated NP program where you sit for the NCLEX after the RN portion but do not get a BSN, you graduate with a Master's. The school has a highly respected Nursing dept. and the program is extremely competitive (takes 20 people a year) and does not require previous paid healthcare experience.

    Please please please do not turn this thread into one about the merits of these programs - I am still waiting for responses from other programs (ADN, BSN) and would be thrilled to get into a BSN program!

    My questions is this - I realize that just because a program is "very competitive" to get into does not mean its graduates would automatically have an easy time getting a job! How difficult is it for an NP to work as a RN/staff nurse, if they have a MSN but not a BSN? I realize the realities of the NP job market. Would you or your organization hire a new NP grad willing to work as a staff nurse to gain experience? Why or why not?

    For some background which might help you write your responses: I went to local schools looking to get into BSN programs. However as some BSN programs in my area legally discriminate against post-baccalaureate applicants, I was steered by them to the Masters entry programs as a way to gain licensure and get "into" nursing. After extensive conversations with both RN and NP(who were RNs for 10+ years) I decided the roles are different but each has its own appeal. I like the hospital environment and would love to follow the career path of those RN-turned-NP: that would be my ideal. However if this is the only acceptance I get, I need to get your sage advice on the job prospects Master's entry program graduates. Thanks!
  4. by   futurenp
    Congratulations! You must have gotten into Seattle U's program. I would guess PLU but they admit 25 students last time I checked.
  5. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from westcoastgirl
    My questions is this - I realize that just because a program is "very competitive" to get into does not mean its graduates would automatically have an easy time getting a job! How difficult is it for an NP to work as a RN/staff nurse, if they have a MSN but not a BSN?
    As a staff nurse, I have worked alongside a women's health nurse practitioner, one RN with a Master's in Nursing who was not an NP, and 2 family nurse practitioners -- all of whom were working as staff RNs for their own reasons. The degree is not what is important, in my experience, when seeking employment as a staff nurse. As long as you are an RN, you should be able to secure an RN position. The only drawback would be if the organization felt that it would not be worthwhile orienting you just to have you leap on the first NP position you found -- not that you would do that, but employers must consider the possibility. Of the 3 NPs and one MSN I have worked with, only one was seeking employment as a NP. The others were either content with the staff role for the time being or were in school for post-masters to change specialties.

    So, it can be done.
  6. by   elizabells
    I'm so glad to see these posts! I'm starting a neonatal NP direct entry program, and no one seems to understand that I plan to work as a staff nurse for as long as it takes me to feel comfortable with it. But then, I think some people see a status issue where there is none. I'm getting my NP because it comes with the Master's degree, and it'll provide me with more options, not because I think I'm "too good" to be "just" an RN. If I love bedside nursing, I'll do that forever. It's not about status. Grrr, if I wanted that attitude, I'd go to med school! :chuckle
  7. by   westcoastgirl
    That's wonderful to hear Several Nurse Practitioners I spoke to at length (during my research into nursing) work sometime as RNs because they wanted to, since they had old friends and units they knew from their bedside days they liked going back at times.Glad to hear all these positive replies!
  8. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from elizabells
    I'm so glad to see these posts! I'm starting a neonatal NP direct entry program, and no one seems to understand that I plan to work as a staff nurse for as long as it takes me to feel comfortable with it. But then, I think some people see a status issue where there is none. I'm getting my NP because it comes with the Master's degree, and it'll provide me with more options, not because I think I'm "too good" to be "just" an RN. If I love bedside nursing, I'll do that forever. It's not about status. Grrr, if I wanted that attitude, I'd go to med school! :chuckle
    Anyone who is familiar with neonatal NP programs should realize that you must work NO LESS than 2 years as a NICU RN before you can start NNP clinicals, according to the new program guidelines.
  9. by   henrysmom
    I acturally graduated as an FNP eight years ago, got certified, worked for six months and went back to a bedside position, where I have always worked as a staff nurse. Most of the NPs that I went to school with are actually working as staff nurses...hard to get an NP position out here sometimes. I have thought of going back into it, though....
  10. by   lalaxton
    I would imagine that any employer would be glad to have an RN who has extra training. Go for it!

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