Would you do it over again?

  1. 0
    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.

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  3. 15 Comments...

  4. 1
    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!!!
    sandnnw likes this.
  5. 0
    Also researching NPs and different specialties that you can go into may help with your decision.
  6. 1
    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!
    CCRNDiva likes this.
  7. 0
    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.

  8. 0
    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
  9. 2

    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.
    Mom To 4 and myelin like this.
  10. 1
    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.
    nursetim likes this.
  11. 0
    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!
  12. 0
    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.

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