fastest way to become an NP

  1. Hi,

    I was wondering what is the shortest path to becoming an NP. My background is BS/MD and 5-years ophthalmologist in China. Just moved to Seattle, WA and would like to continue my career in a similar way in U.S. I don't want to take the board certification exam at this point. Instead, an NP sounds perfect to me because of their rights of prescription. I did some research and found tons of information regarding schools/programs of RN/BSN/MSN/DNP..

    I was wondering if anyone knows the fastest way to become an NP. i.e BSN=>RN=>MSN or ADN=>RN=>MSN or other paths

    Thanks
    Mickey
    •  
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   shibaowner
    I don't understand why you don't want to take the board certification exam to work in the US as an MD. You will have to take board exams in order to become an NP. It will be a lot faster to study for the MD board exam and take that than become an NP.

    There is no shortcut to becoming an NP. The fastest way is an Accelerated BSN (ABSN) which is 13 to 16 months, depending on the school. You must pass the NCLEX. Then you have to complete an MSN program, which will take 16 to 24 months, depending on your speciality. Then you have to pass the NP certification exam for your specialty. Total for this path is 29 to 40 months.

    Another option is a Direct Entry MSN that provides an NP track. This will save you 1 month over the ABSN route above.

    So it will take 2-1/4 years to 3-1/4 years to become an NP. You would be far better off studying and taking the MD board exam. In addition you will make at least twice as much money as an MD.
  4. by   redscv
    Thanks, shibaowner. That's a really detailed timeline! I was wondering if I finish the Direct Entry MSN that provides an NP track, do I need to take another MSN program to be eligible for taking the NP certification exam? Do you know what schools provide Direct Entry MSN that provides an NP track?
  5. by   redscv
    The reason I don't want to take the board is due to the time-consuming match/residency. Maybe I'll consider this path after I have some clinical experience here.
  6. by   elkpark
    Quote from shibaowner
    I don't understand why you don't want to take the board certification exam to work in the US as an MD. You will have to take board exams in order to become an NP. It will be a lot faster to study for the MD board exam and take that than become an NP.
    (Foreign-educated physicians don't just take the board exams; they have to get accepted to and complete a residency, regardless of how long they have been successfully practicing in another country. It's rare to be successful in getting a match, even if you're willing to put in the time and energy to return to school. TPTB in medicine do a much better job of protecting the interests of US physicians than the TPTB in nursing do of protecting the interests of US nurses. That's why so many international physicians come here asking how to become NPs quickly.)
  7. by   shibaowner
    Quote from redscv
    The reason I don't want to take the board is due to the time-consuming match/residency. Maybe I'll consider this path after I have some clinical experience here.
    There are a lot of schools that offer the direct entry MSN, so just do a Google search. You can look at the USN & WR nursing school ranking for graduate education. Washington State board of nursing should have a list of accredited NP programs on their website.

    I didn't know about the difficulties of foreign doctors getting a residency here. However, there are programs for foreign doctors to get work here if they are willing to go to underserved areas. Alaska has programs for that - they are desperate to get doctors up there and since Alaska does not have a med school, they are trying to set up residencies. I'm sure there are other parts of the US, mostly rural areas, that have such programs as well.

    Good luck
  8. by   umbdude
    If you have a medical background and you just want a job to diagnose & prescribe, I don't think NP is the best option. Go for Physician Assistant (PA) programs. If your classes will transfer (pre-reqs), you can finish a PA program in 2 years (full time).
  9. by   shibaowner
    I agree with umbdude that PA is probably a better fit for the OP.

    As far as foreign doctors getting residencies in the US, here is some more info. I would look for states that have a shortage of doctors. This can be determined by the HPSA (health professional shortage area) score. This goes from 0 to 26; the higher the number the worse the shortage. Look for scores of 14 or higher. Some states have a general statewide shortage - Alaska, Nevada, Missouri, Minneapolis, etc - and have programs to make it easier for foreign doctors to work there. Google "states with worst doctor shortage" and check with each state to see if they have such programs. Also google the HPSA or HRSA data warehouse to run various reports on shortages in specific areas.

    1. Alaska has J-1 Conrad 30 Waiver Program which waives residency requirement for foreign doctors
    2. This program is available in other states with an acute shortage of doctors

    Hope this helps

close