Vanderbilt NP Bridge program

  1. Has anyone attended Vandys 1 year bsn to np program? If so how challenging was it? How hard would it be to work and attend? Just please tell me what you can about the program. I'm a 5yr nurse with mostly ICU/ER experience with a few months med/surg and skilled. All comments greatly appreciated!!
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   bbear
    Hi Big:

    I'm matriculating at Vandy this fall as a 1st year pre-specialty student. Obviously I don't have any first hand experience to pass on to you just yet, but I have heard that the intensive format is demanding. But I'm in the same boat as you are--it appears I am going to have to work while attending the program (Vanderbilt isn't exactly inexpensive). I've discussed it with my program director there and she doesn't seem to be overly concerned about my need to work while in the program, so hopefully that means it can be done.
  4. by   Bigranger
    Thanks and good luck to you!! I've got one year to go on my BSN and then I'll be there also.
  5. by   bbear
    What program are you looking at?
  6. by   Bigranger
    It's a toss up between Acute Care and Family nurse practitioner. I would like to work er some but also treat the family. I guess I could do the FNP and still work in the er. I just can't make up my mind. I looking for guidance from other NP's. What will you be doing?
  7. by   bbear
    I will be doing ACNP. I also have an interest in ER work, but I am vacillating between ER and cardiothoracic 1st assit. If you're unsure of what you want to do, exactly, FNP is a more general specialty that would probably give you more options. It might be easier for an FNP to work ER than it would be for an ACNP to work family practice.
  8. by   Bigranger
    That's kind of what I was thinking also.
    Hey, good luck to you in the program...
  9. by   ANPFNPGNP
    I graduated from the combined ANP/GNP program a few years ago. I went to another school to get my post-Master's certification as a FNP. I live in TX and I can tell you that I've landed every job I've interviewed for and it had EVERYTHING to do with me graduating from Vanderbilt. However, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless they've got the $$$ to pay for it without taking out a loan. Fortunately, I just had to go one year b/c I was already a BSN. I was a distance student, so I had to pay for airfare, hotels, restaurants, etc (this was very expensive). Also, they are misleading people when they say you can work fulltime and attend their accelerated program...it is NOT possible! I had to finish close to 800 clinical hours in one year plus the trips to Nashville...where's the time for a job? Another thing, I remember there were a lot of nurses there who had a big problem with the students who were non-nurses. Frankly, I didn't care, but I thought it was really weird when we were all starting our clinical rotations and some of them hadn't even taken the NCLEX yet! In fact, before going to Vanderbilt, I had never even heard of a NP program that accepted non-nurses. If someone is truly an Advanced Practice Nurse, then the general public is going to assume they actually have experience as a nurse first! Also, I remember the non-nurses complaining that they were treated very poorly by the staff where they did clinicals, specifically b/c they hadn't put their time in as nurses. Although, I never heard about docs treating them poorly.
  10. by   jamiebmoore
    Hey ANPFNPGNP. I was so happy to read your post, even though it was from last year! I just got accepted in the ANP/GNP program for this fall. I am a non-nurse and really looking forward to it. I had a couple of questions I was hoping you could answer. Why did you go on to get a post-master's degree as an FNP. Did you find the job market as an ANP/GNP was not good? Also, how difficult was it to transfer your accredidation to TX? I'm from CA and want to come back here after school so I was curious as to how this process goes. I'm clueless. Any advice or info you could provide would be most helpful. Thanks!!
  11. by   mrspopeye
    I know a few people who have done the bridge program and I understand that it is intense and very expensive. I hope that you have as much good luck with landing the great jobs with a Vanderbilt degree as the previous poster. I live in Nashville and I can tell you that it would not help you here in our particular job market very much at all, which I think is one of the toughest in the nation. Middle TN is absolutely oversaturated with mid level providers, partly due to that program and their acceptance of non-nurses. Don't get me wrong, it is a stellar program and is well regarded. My friend, who is a recent grad, owes $80K now. You just can't make that much more here from a seasoned RN to new NP in pay to hardly justify that. I'm am however glad to hear that does not seem to be the case in other places.
  12. by   sandnnw
    The bridge students I talked to while in the ANP program could not have hardly worked, unless on Friday and/or Saturday nights. The year is demanding for those w/o experience in healthcare, tons of papers, reading and clinicals are in bursts of time (three weeks). They literally try to shove a BSN in three semesters and support these students as much as possible.

    I was fortunate to have my BSN, but I did listen/talk to the students prepping for their NCLEX during the fall, after completing requirements in August. Our group was NOT allowed any clinical time unless they passed their NCLEX. I seem to remember they could NOT go beyond their fourth semester (first in advance program) w/o the NCLEX passed.

    As a nurse manager, I would hire the bridge students who passed their NCLEX for part-time work on the weekends. Some of these students worked very hard and continued to work full-time in the unit after they graduated, eventually landing their first APN job. Many of my preceptors had to work with them, build their confidence, but they eventually learned a lot and were very good nurses. I knew they were not getting the clinical time that I got in my BSN, but I remember nurses complaining that BSNs did not get the clinical time of the ADNs and Diploma RNs probably did the same.

    Most of the VU grads don't stay in Nashville. It's a national program and has it's place, similar to Duke, Purdue, Mass and the private western schools. I believe though, A/F/GNP is correct. The beautiful diploma with Corneilus' head does help you. Remember, VU is associated with a TOP medical school and we are often hired by a bunch of MDs with the same georgous diploma! Go 'Dores!
  13. by   ANPFNPGNP
    Quote from jamiemoore
    Hey ANPFNPGNP. I was so happy to read your post, even though it was from last year! I just got accepted in the ANP/GNP program for this fall. I am a non-nurse and really looking forward to it. I had a couple of questions I was hoping you could answer. Why did you go on to get a post-master's degree as an FNP. Did you find the job market as an ANP/GNP was not good? Also, how difficult was it to transfer your accredidation to TX? I'm from CA and want to come back here after school so I was curious as to how this process goes. I'm clueless. Any advice or info you could provide would be most helpful. Thanks!!
    I graduated from their ANP/GNP program in August 2005. I found that I really liked working in an urgent care setting, but I needed to see patients of all ages, so I had to go back to school for the FNP certification.

    Unfortunately, the Texas Board of Nursing wouldn't accept the dual program, so they made me choose between the 2 certifications, so I chose the ANP. It's ridiculous because I passed both the ANCC ANP and GNP exams...whatever. When I attended graduation in May 2006, I found out that I was the only one in my program who had even taken the GNP exam! That was surprising, because I assummed that everyone would want to become certified in both specialties, since we were able to.

    I know you're going to like their program and I actually miss going to Nashville! Good luck!
  14. by   ANPFNPGNP
    Quote from sandnnw
    The bridge students I talked to while in the ANP program could not have hardly worked, unless on Friday and/or Saturday nights. The year is demanding for those w/o experience in healthcare, tons of papers, reading and clinicals are in bursts of time (three weeks). They literally try to shove a BSN in three semesters and support these students as much as possible.
    I was one of the few who actually worked during the program. I used to work two weekends per month and that's how I got the money to pay for all my travel expenses to and from Nashville. I don't know how anyone could possibly work more than that. It's unrealistic to assume you can work full-time, there's just no way. In fact, it's unrealistic to expect to work part-time, unless you're only going to work weekends. Even then, between school and clinicals, I just don't know how it's physically possible.

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