Would you do it over again?

  1. Hello everyone,

    I hope I am posting this in the right forum. I have been an RN, BSN for a little over a year now. Started out in L&D, which was too overwhelming for me and now work part-time in the women's health and pediatrics unit. The reason I became a nurse in the first place was to become a nurse practitioner and that has always been my goal. I'd like to pursue a FNP with a strong focus in women's health such as what is offered at Frontier. But now that I have been nursing a little while, I have many doubts as to whether nursing is really what I want to do. Well, bedside nursing more specifically. And it's not really my job, I love the new mothers and kiddos..I just don't like the night shift and being away from my family and all the drama of working at a hospital. But I don't want to spend the time and money going to NP school if I'm going to hate it when I finish. Sometimes I think I should just use my BSN to find some other type of nursing career and leave it at that. I'm genuinely at a cross-roads with how to proceed and really hope some of you experienced NPs can help me out with my decision. What made you decide to become a NP? Do you love your job as a NP? Was it worth it to you to continue from being an RN and go on to be a NP? Is the burn out as high for NPs as RNs? Would you do it over again? I'm sure you get similar questions like this all the time but I sincerely appreciate all responses.
  2. Visit kelmc0824 profile page

    About kelmc0824

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 2
    from US
    Specialty: Labor and Delivery


  3. by   kurtzmobile
    Hi! I have been a NP for over 3 years now and a RN 7 before. I think that it is such a personal choice. You would want to consider where you are located and what your goals are. Does your hospital welcome NPs in women's health? Will you mind working mond-Frid with poss call? You say you are tired of drama and nights but consider the business of days. There are pros and cons on both sides. I am glad I became a NP as it was always a personal goal of mine, however, there are days when I miss nights (quieter and less bustle) and yearn for my prior 3 12's a week. From a professional standpoint there is definitely more autonomy. When I come to a cross road like the decision you are facing I typically weigh pros and cons and then decide. I hope this has helped. Good luck in whatever path you choose!!!
  4. by   kurtzmobile
    Also researching NPs and different specialties that you can go into may help with your decision.
  5. by   Annaiya
    I'm not an NP yet, I graduate in May, but I thought I'd offer my perspective. I agree that this is really an individual choice, so you need to spend some time thinking about exactly what do you like and not like about your current job, and then look into how much of each of those things are part of the NP specialty you want. Even asking here with more specific questions about what makes you happy in a job, then you can get input on how much of those things you'll find in the different NP specialties.

    I knew in nursing school that I wanted to be an NP. I found the questions I asked and the things I was most interested in where the things that NPs deal with, not bedside nurses. I am fascinated by disease processes and how those diseases are treated. I care about my patients not getting pressure ulcers and having clean linens, but that isn't what gets me really excited and keeps me up late reading at night. I think that's also why I'm an ICU nurse and didn't like floor nursing, because the work wasn't exciting to me. I also like teaching other nurses, don't mind being in a leadership role, and can handle the pressure of being in a position where you are making choices that could easily kill someone if you aren't careful.

    I am currently doing clinicals in the area that I want to work in after graduation. I come in early every day and stay late, even though I don't get school credit for that time, because I love what I'm learning. And obviously being a student is different that actually working in that role, but still. When I come to work as a bedside RN in that same unit, I can't get out of there fast enough. It's only gotten worse as I've seen how much more enjoyable my time there could be. And for what it's worth, I did not feel this way about the other specialties that I've done clincials in. So, if I had to work in a specialty I didn't like as an NP or an RN in the area I like, I'd probably pick RN. So, just being an NP isn't what I'm most excited about, it's being an NP in the one specific specialty that I like. The role of the NP varies a lot between specialty, setting and institution. All things to consider as you think about going back to school. Good luck!
  6. by   kelmc0824
    I appreciate your responses so much! My original goal was to go straight to get my Masters after graduating with my BSN. Obviously that hasn't happened yet and a big part of it is due to a beautiful 9 month old daughter who kinda brought those plans to a halt when God surprisingly blessed us with her right after I graduated as an RN. I will take more time researching specialties and sincerely appreciate ya'lls advice. I know I want to further my nursing career in some way, I just needed some reassurance that others have felt the same way and have been satisfied with the choice of NP.

  7. by   CRF250Xpert
    Quote from kelmc0824
    Is the burn out as high for NPs as RNs?
    Apples and Oranges.

    It's very hard for a RN to understand what a NP does (impossible, IMO).

    Here's a good read:

    Doctor burnout: Nearly half of physicians report symptoms " USATODAY.com
  8. by   BCgradnurse

    I've been a NP for just over 3 years . Bedside nursing was not for me from the word Go. I have nothing but respect and admiration for those who provide bedside care, but I did not like it. I love my day hours, not working holidays and weekends, being able to make my own decisions, and the immense satisfaction I get from working with my patients. I work in a private practice and never deal with hospitals. There's no forced overtime and I am paid well for my work. It was the right decision for me.
  9. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    My NP job is all kinds of frustrating, but for entirely different reasons than being a RN, which I was in various roles for 20 years. This week I was beleagured by piles and piles of paperwork (yes I still get stacks of actual papers in addition to one hundred+ emails a week that must be answered), billing, ICD-9 (10), insurance companies, pharmacies, prior authorizations, coders, home health agencies, EMR stuff, auditors, meaningful use, and unbelievable, unrelenting pressure to get the RVUs up, up, up. Oh, and of course the small stuff, like practicing medicine and actually taking care of people.

    But yeah, I'd do it again.
  10. by   AtomicWoman
    The RN and NP roles are *so* different. I hated bedside nursing, truth be told. I hated running aroung like a nut with my med cart, trying to finish my med pass for too many patients. Hated a lot of other stuff. Liked some stuff, too, like talking to patients and their families. The minute I started my NP clinicals (in primary care), I knew I had come "home". I love working one-on-one with patients. Love follow-up, telephone triage, you name it. I'm sure as I continue with my new career, I will find things that aggravate me, but don't let your frustration with the RN role dissuade you from seriously considering being an NP. Caveat: I don't work in a hospital as an NP, so I don't know how to compare that with bedside nursing. Good luck in your decision-making!
  11. by   traumaRUs
    I'm going to be the voice of dissent (lol). I loved, loved, loved my ER staff nurse job. Did it for 10 years (and was a nurse for 4 years before that in ICU). The ER is and will always be my first love. However, there are few 60 - 70 y/o staff RNs in a level one trauma center that sees 75,000 visits/year. So....seeing the writing on the wall that I would have to work until they pry my stethoscope from my cold hands, I went back to school.

    I do like what I do although there are frustrations. However, physically it is much less demanding. Not all APN jobs are less demanding, but most are.

    Good luck with your decision.
  12. by   juan de la cruz
    The way I see it RN and NP roles come with its own distinct "dramas" if you will:

    RN - you get a lot of pressure from nurse managers to get your nursing documentation done to the point of sacrificing real nursing care at the bedside, you have to please nursing committees who come up with the most counter-productive ideas regarding patient care, you have to deal with staff call-ins and being short-staffed, you have deal with non-licensed assistants not being available to help, you deal with cattiness and in-fighting between nurses, you are told to do things not because the evidence supports it but because that's how it's always been done, you struggle to get tasks done in your allotted shift with no time to really look at the big picture...

    NP - you don't have to deal with nurse managers and more likely your collaborating physicians are supportive of your role and growth as a provider, you have to show that you are productive by ramping up your RVU's to prove your worth, you have intense pressure to make sure your documentation meets regulatory and insurance requirements, you may get flack from nursing staff who are jealous of your authority, you get to play "detective" when a patient shows up with a wide differential diagnosis and the opportunity to unlock the final diagnosis based on your work-up gives you a sense of accomplishment, you get instant gratification when you provided an intervention and it worked, you deal with "frequent flyers" who take no responsibility for their health no matter what you do, you can't call in as often as you did as an RN because you feel guilty that the service needs you and the physicians never call in, you work long hours, you may get called regardless of time of day and night, you have to keep up with CME's...

    Would I do it again? absolutely!
  13. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    agree with all of the above Juan.

    I am sick as he// right now. I have an obstructed bile duct, and am very symptomatic. I've worked all week sick, getting progressively worse and today spent my lunch hour racing across town to get an MRCP and then back to finish seeing patients. Feeling like acholic stool myself, lol, I saw 122 patients this week, few of whom were as sick as I am. Barring cholangitis, I'm going to try to schedule the ERCP for next Saturday so I don't have to miss a single hour of work. We certainly don't want those RVUs to go down!

    I probably would never have called in for it, I'm just not the type (I don't call in sick, I only call in dead) but in the old days it wouldn't have been anything to change the schedule for a day off to get the ERCP at least. Now, any day I'm out is thousands of dollars of lost revenue, and inconvenienced and unhappy patients. No can do unless my illness presents a threat to patient's health or safety, rather than just discomfort to myself. Ditto a sick family member, someone else would have to stay with them. I simply cannot afford to not go to work. And that includes vacation days as well. Yes, I am awarded 4 weeks vacation , but we really can't afford to take that much. I'd lose over $100,000 in clinic revenue if I took off that much vacation time. That's out of the question. There is a lot more to think about now that I am bearing responsibilty for the clinic's financial health.
  14. by   Psychcns
    Blue devil, sounds like your practice brings in enough money to hire another APRN. People need vacations..and sick time.. Hope you feel better.