I, a career changer, graduated with a BSN program and immediately started a NP program. It's taking my three years to do the NP because I did the first year full-time and successive years part-time. However, I also have worked full-time as a RN throughout. Granted, I am not a NP, however, I think the issue is a moot point when certain NPs are judged for not "putting in their time."
Very few RNs I have met are truly interested in knowing the details of why a sick person is sick and how they will heal. Just last week, I helped a RN out who was reading a report and claimed to have no awareness of what an eosinophil was, as an example. Most seem content with merely knowing what to do when whatever number or waveform shows up on a monitor or how to successfully do whatever skill when needed. That's not to say that such a knowledge isn't important because it obviously is. This isn't by any means a slam as it is a report of my limited observations with preceptors in RN/BSN school and while working with staff in the hospital as a RN. By the way, most of the RNs have said, out of jealousy or foolishness I know not, that my BSN was a "waste of time" because "you're not gonna get paid more for it" followed with "who needs to take garbage that you don't need to know like history and English?"
So far in school most NP students and NP preceptors have been interested in why people are sick and what needs to be done (and why) to make them better. I lean to this side of the fence.
In my limited experience I think the two fields although regulated by nursing boards are different enough in that they should be two separate and independent licenses with different respective governing boards and not merely RN with added certifications by some national agency.
As a long-term RN I'm sure you could get enough face time or OJT to adequately diagnose most common health conditions without any awareness of the book part or clinical pathways involved, and that's great. I admire that. As a brand new grad, you may have in the back of your head somewhere enough, if you're so inclined and ambitious to go to NP school, the -ologies of patho, pharm, etc. to have a nice foundation to build upon in NP school as well as the "fluff" of research, nursing theory, EBP, etc. that so many master's prep nursing programs
are so interested in these days. I was looking at an email from school one night and polled three other RNs sitting in earshot, all of which were younger than me and in their mid to low 20's" if their programs covered anything that had to do with EBP, etc. One said "we touched on it," and two others had no idea what I was talking about. They all had more nursing experience than me.
I'm often beyond surprised by the different planes on which nursing operates.