Stories of people who have gone straight from BSN to NP?

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    Anyone out there want to provide their story of having gone straight from RN-BSN to NP? I'd love to hear from people who have done this, and what their experience has been like. Thanks!
    jmh219 likes this.
  2. 16 Comments so far...

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    I knew one girl who did it. She ended up with her NP but being a floor nurse for a year or so before she finally got a clinic NP position. I lost touch with her after that. I know she isn't working at the same clinic anymore but she might have gotten a job somewhere else. I got the impression that getting your NP prior to getting any kind of nursing experience was not the best way to go.
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    I have several colleagues that went straight through. They are fantastic NPs and none had any problems getting jobs right away.

    Research is divided on the issues, however, there does not seem to be a qualitative difference in NP competency with/without RN experience, though there is a qualitative difference.

    Simply, those that have it value it. Those that don't seem to do just as well. In aggregate, some individuals may need it others may not.
    BCgradnurse likes this.
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    It was not exactly my choice, I really wanted to get RN experience after completing my BSN but after 6 months of applying with no results, I decided to go for my master's. It took me about 3 months from graduation to land my first NP job and I'm very happy with it so far. The skills I use in my job now are very different than what I'd be using as an RN. However, I feel that the lack of RN experience did limit the scope of NP positions that I could apply for. My classmates with RN experience definitely had more options and were able to take their pick of jobs. On the other hand some are still in their RN jobs since they pay better than entry level NP jobs.

    So, in short, if you are able to get an RN job out of school, I'd definitely take it before going any further. If you can't find anything, though, that does not mean your career is doomed and there is still hope for you to land a job as an NP.
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    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.
    Jcat117, BCgradnurse, phillycpnp-pc, and 1 other like this.
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    The NP w/ vs w/o RN experience will always be a debate. It really comes down to your work ethic. Half my NP class is w/ RN experience. I started to work as a RN at the same time my NP program started. Academically, the 2 groups perform the same; sure the RNs with experience may know more about their specialty in which they work in, but you have to remember that they haven't been in school for some time now. The RNs without experience most likely just came from school with everything still fresh in their minds. Bluntly put, if you put the time in, anyone can memorize and perform well on exams.

    Clinically wise, it can sometimes be easy to spot the RNs without experience during case scenarios in class, but this will improve during actual clinicals with practice and repetitiveness. Of course there are exceptions to this as some students can act well, have more of a bubbly personality, build patient rapport easier, or are just smoother in their actions. Again, this gets easier with practice, intro/rapport, hpi, ros, pe, ddx, dx, rx, tx, pt ed, f/u all the while playing/interacting/distracting the kid (I'm a PNP student).
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    Direct entry grad, licensed July-ish 2012, job offer October, started this past January. As far as I know, most of my classmates have found jobs (I'm not really in touch with them all that much). Granted my perspective is skewed because I never worked as an RN, but I'm not convinced RN experience is critical for being a good NP. Does it help? Obviously, in that you're that much more familiar with dealing with patients, lab results, etc. Would I have known how to perform and interpret a Watson maneuver rather than rely on a physical therapist to call me with the positive results? Probably not. Especially in an outpatient setting, the role of a provider is so hugely different from that of a nurse that I believe nursing experience becomes a whole lot less relevant.
    BCgradnurse, bibibi, and OfficerRNBSN like this.
  9. 0
    BostonFNP, what is the research you mention regarding NPs with vs. NPs without RN experience? What kind of RN experience? How ,any years of RN experience?
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    Quote from mammac5
    BostonFNP, what is the research you mention regarding NPs with vs. NPs without RN experience? What kind of RN experience? How ,any years of RN experience?
    There is quite a bit out there, including a study that is coming out in a few months. Rich's study in 2005: Does RN experience relate to BP clinical skills? is a well designed study IMHO.
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    I know many people with both backgrounds: many years RN practice and DENP. There is no apparent correlation between RN experience and NP competency. There is a commonly held (and IMO mistaken) belief that RN experience makes one a better NP, and this often translates to easier job search for those, like me, who worked a RN for many years before returning to school. Everyone that interviewed me was blown away by my education and experience and I was offered every job for which I applied; I accepted a position within a few weeks of graduation after negotiating an excellent compensation package. Would I have had such strong negotiating position with a weaker CV? Probably not. Would I have been just as effective as a new graduate NP? Yes.

    Because being a NP is not being a RN. The only thing they have in common is the word "nurse." I think being a RN before being a NP is about as valuable as being a stewardess before becoming a pilot. Sure you know your way around the airplane better than someone who has never been on one, and you know some lingo and airport abbreviations, but you don't know jack about landing a 747 on a tricky runway in the fog. If the stewardess tries to land that plane without going to "pilot school," or the RN tries to be be the provider without going to NP school, everyone aboard is going to die, lol.

    Do what you want and forget about what other people thing you ought to do. They aren't you and they should have any input on your decisions.
    Carolinarainbrella, hi616, jmh219, and 9 others like this.


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