Hi Nurse Beth,
I was recently laid off in the oilfield and I am considering a career change. I currently hold a BBA in General Business. I was looking at nursing career paths and began to consider Nurse Practitioner. A friend, who has been a nurse for year, recently obtained her CNP. She told me, with my BBA, I could enter a BSN program bridged to MSN, and have my MSN in about 3 years. Online searches seem to lead me to a bunch of "degree mills". I would prefer an online path, as I do have bills to pay, but could suffer through classroom if needed. I don't know where to even begin looking?
Dear Career Change,
You need to first get your RN to apply to an NP program. RN programs all include clinical hours, so it would not be completely online. Because you have a Bachelor’s degree, you may qualify for an accelerated BSN nursing program (clinical hours at a hospital are still required).
After that, you can look at NP programs. There are online/distance NP programs. Clinical hours are included, and you would need a face-to-face preceptor to guide your clinicals. Another option is to explore Physician Assistant (PA) programs to see whether it would be a better fit.
PAs do not have a nursing background, so it’s a very direct route to a similar role with a different focus. NPs are more autonomous, whereas PAs work strictly with physicians as physician extenders.
Both are rewarding, well-paying jobs. Hope this helps.