RN vs NP vs DNP

  1. 0
    Hello All,
    I am trying to decide if I should go straight into school after my RN to get my DNP, or if I should work for 1-2 years as a RN then go get my DNP?

    Anyone have any opinions on FNP vs DNP? I want to be on top, I do not want to be at the bottom any longer than I have to. I have big plans for my future.

    Anyone had any luck with the DNP program ?

    What are the pay differences of DNP vs FNP and job responsibilities?

    Everything I read on DNP is very vague, so I would like to know soem more information on the program.

    Do any of you think I should have any problems getting a job as an DNP or FNP?

    I believe it would be better to work as a RN for 1-2 years then go back to school , but just wanted to hear you all's thoughts on the matter and the FNP vs DNP.

    Thanks so much!

    Also, if you guys have any recommendations for other ways to get to the top professionally with different rooutes I would gladly take them into consideration.

    I will graduate RN school with my BSN

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  2. 23 Comments...

  3. 4
    Do some research, and reflect on exactly where your interests lie ...

    advanced clinical practice?
    nursing administration?
    public health/community outreach?

    And keep in mind that while there are exceptions, advanced degree programs in nursing generally require RN work experience. Reflect on why this is so ... then make your decisions accordingly.
  4. 1
    A DNP is a doctorally prepared NP, you can have your DNP and be a FNP, it's simply the degree not the scope of practice. As a DNP you would do the same thing a FNP who has their master's would do. So it's the schooling not what you do.

    That said in terms of jobs that depends on the area you live in, some places have saturated job markets and others don't. Usually more rural areas have a higher need for primary care providers, but it's largely dependent on your geography.

    I started my DNP program (which is a FNP program) two semesters ago after being a RN for 2 years. It's a part time 4 year program so I'll continue to work during the program, I think it's important to have nursing experience before you become a NP.
    BrnEyedGirl likes this.
  5. 1
    Every school I have researched for myself wants you to have at least one year bedside experience before applying. Some require more than one year which I think is a good thing.

    I agree with the above poster and believe that it is very important you have at least 2 years or more of bedside experience. One year could be sufficient depending on what unit you worked in.


    Good luck!
    Mrs. SnowStormRN likes this.
  6. 1
    "Do any of you think I should have any problems getting a job as an DNP or FNP?"

    Not sure how any of us could begin to have any idea about that?
    Zaphod likes this.
  7. 2
    Like people said, most schools require RN bedside experience first, and for good reason. A few years of experience would definitely be advisable, and if you're unsure what you want to do, then it's probably best not to invest money and time in your education until you know. Experience would probably help you decide. If you have an unlimited amount of time and money, that may be different. I know I don't lol, so I won't be going back to school until I'm 100% positive which area of nursing I want to pursue. Good luck, and you may want to work on being a little more diplomatic. The RNs that you will be working with on the floor with 30 plus years of experience who have a wealth of knowledge probably wouldn't appreciate you telling them you "don't want to be on the bottom," especially after they probably just caught something that prevented a patient from getting worse or dying.
    HappyWife77 and kakamegamama like this.
  8. 0
    I would not apply to a program until you have been an RN for at least a year. Sure, some schools will let you start with no nursing experience, but you will be more prepared and your application will stand out more if you actually get some RN experience. Use your year as a new nurse to get ACLS, PALS, and any other classes you can to boost your application for school.


    And you can be an FNP (or any NP for that matter) with a DNP. The question isn't if you want to be an NP or a DNP, the question is do you want to enter the job field with an NP as one master's prepared or one doctoral prepared?

    Edited to add-- I'm currently in an FNP program, master's prepared. Started the program after I had 3 years RN experience.
  9. 3
    Quote from wrangler156
    anyone have any opinions on fnp vs dnp? i want to be on top, i do not want to be at the bottom any longer than i have to. i have big plans for my future.

    anyone had any luck with the dnp program ?

    what are the pay differences of dnp vs fnp and job responsibilities?
    there is no such thing as fnp (family nurse practitioner) vs dnp (doctor of nurse practice). a dnp is merely a degree and does not in it's self entitle one to work in any particular field. there are people who hold dnps who are not advanced practice nurses. i work with a nurse who holds a dnp from u of p and she works as a bedside icu nurse and gets paid the same as her co-workers who have associate's degrees. an fnp is licensed to work as a nurse practitioner and may have one of several degree from bsn (grandfathered) through the newer dnp, but most have a masters.
    you either decide to become a nurse practitioner or not. if you decide to do fnp then you can choose the type of program you want, either masters or dnp, and can get accepted to. there are no pay difference between nurse practitioners who hold masters degrees vs nurse practitioner who hold dnps. i have heard dnp prepares nurse practitioners have a harder time getting a job than those with msns due to the newness of the program and the hostility many physicians hold to the dnp. that is just anecdotal.
    as far as nurse practitioner jobs go, certainly you can find a job if you are flexible and willing to move. the market for them is very local. some areas have a shortage and some areas are saturated. we have 8 or 10 who work in our icus as bedside nurses, either cause they can't find a job and are not willing to move to an area with jobs, or they can't take a pay cut from their current job.
    RN in training, roser13, and Altra like this.
  10. 18
    "I want to be on top, I do not want to be at the bottom any longer than I have to"

    Ouch. Is this what you think of nursing before you've even become licensed?
    HappyWife77, Nurse Leigh, kelso1001, and 15 others like this.
  11. 19
    I can only wish this post is a troll...but no..
    Ok, Ill bite. RN's are not on the "bottom"-thats incerdibly offensive and crazy talk..They are the front line and have vast knowldege and healthcare insticts that you can not even comprehend at this point. It is a priviledge to be an RN. Every year that I spent as a nurse my knowledge exponentialy increased and I wish I was younger and with a better back and could spend a few more. I will get flamed for this, but I do feel that NP absolutely HAS to have a min of 2-3 years experience as a pre-requisite and so does CRNA. NP should not have a backdoor entrance. How are we competing with PA's who have few thousand hours of practice with the mere 600 that an NP has. I say increase the entrance requirements and the practice hours and produce quality clinicians. Taking care of peoples lives should not be taken lightly. Ok, thats it...
    sistrmoon, HarryTheCat, Nurse Leigh, and 16 others like this.


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