How should I approach Nurse Practitioner before 2015?

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    I'm just wondering if anyone has some advice for me. I'm an undergraduate student studying psychology and will be graduating in the spring. Although it's taken me a while to figure this out, I want to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. I'm trying to figure out the most cost and time efficient way to approach this. Originally I was planning on applying to a program with a combined BSN-MSN option second degree program like John Hopkins or bridge to MSN like UIC. However now I'm realizing that as of 2015 most programs will be converted to 4 year DNP programs to become a nurse practitioner. I'm not sure if I were able to obtain a masters in pediatric nurse practitioning before 2015 if I would be grandfathered in or if I would find if difficult to get a job if I did not have this DNP. I'm willing to do the 4 years, I'm just concerned about the money. Paying for a BSN-MSN and then for DNP is going to add up quickly, so I'm not sure it's the most cost efficient. I know that actual experience is very important also which is why I thought I would need to work for a few years before my DNP. I know that as of now there are 2 year DNP programs for those who already have a masters and I'm wondering if those will be eliminated by 2015. If so then getting a masters degree may seem pointless? Is anyone else confused by this?
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  4. 0
    Moved to the Pre-Nurse Practitioner Inquiry forum
  5. 3
    How far into your BSN are you? This makes a huge difference because although I do believe that the 2015 deadline is still a "goal" and not a mandate, depending on where you are at in your program will determine if you will be in a master's program before 2015. I have seen a lot of questions from students who want to know whether or not those who are currently IN a master's program in 2015 would be also grandfathered in. I haven't found a clear answer to this, but would think they would HAVE to be gradfathered in, as some universities do not even offer DNPs... so what would those students do? I still think there are a lot of kinks to be worked out in the implementation of all of this... there needs to be an increase in DNP programs in general to prepare these nurses, right now they just aren't out there. I think this is a little bit like the recommendation of all RNs getting a BSN...remember that? Still a lot of Associate degree programs out there...

    Those of us who have applied and such are in the mindset of getting it all done and be graduated before 2015 "just in case"... but there are those that will be in school still in 2015 that want to know what will happen to them.

    As far as your situation, I would definitely (even if DNP is not an issue), do whatever is going to require the least amt of time... Once you have your BSN, it's only 2 years for the masters. You can work as a nurse during this time to gain some much needed experience.

    On a side note, if you haven't practiced yet, keep an open mind as far as what you want to do. You think you want to do PEDs now, but that may change and I would hate for you to get the PNP, just to find that you hate it, or like doing something else better. FNP is more inclusive and will allow you to see patients of all ages. Just a thought. Good luck
    funfunfun550, SaraStrong, and ggryz like this.
  6. 3
    There are still going to be plenty of MSN NP programs in 2015 an beyond. Most of the big state universities have already converted to DNP, but they are not usually 4 years long. Here in Wisconsin and in Minnesota the state university DNP programs are 3 years for those who have a BSN.
    There will be no need for you to be grandfathered in with a MSN as there is no requirement for NPs to have a DNP in 2015. It is only a recommendation and there has been no action from state licensing agencies to require a DNP. _IF_ it ever does become a requirement, a very big if, MSNs will be grandfathered in just like all the NPs without MSNs were when MSN became the requirement.
    I do not think a MSN will be less competitive than DNP. It might be the opposite given the widespread dislike of the DNP by the medical (physicians) community.
    If you are willing to do 4 years of school why not do med school? Why invest that many years for far, far less pay?
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    Thank you very much for the advice! I will be a senior in the fall and will be graduating with Psychology degree in the spring, so i would like to enter a BSN-MSN in fall 2012. I'm very confident that Peds is the right direction for me. Are there any programs in particular that anyone would recommend for a non-nursing bachelor's degree to enter a masters program? I've been looking at Rush, UIC, Vanderbilt, and University of Michigan. I plan on working as an RN for a few years after I earn my masters and then after some experience in the field use my degree to be a nurse pracitioner. Maybe I would even do a post-masters certificate in something specific like oncology. Does that seem like the right timeline of events? and are there any other schools I should look into?
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    Quote from ggryz
    Thank you very much for the advice! I will be a senior in the fall and will be graduating with Psychology degree in the spring, so i would like to enter a BSN-MSN in fall 2012. I'm very confident that Peds is the right direction for me. Are there any programs in particular that anyone would recommend for a non-nursing bachelor's degree to enter a masters program? I've been looking at Rush, UIC, Vanderbilt, and University of Michigan. I plan on working as an RN for a few years after I earn my masters and then after some experience in the field use my degree to be a nurse pracitioner. Maybe I would even do a post-masters certificate in something specific like oncology. Does that seem like the right timeline of events? and are there any other schools I should look into?
    *** I think you have misunderstood how it works. There are accelerated BSN programs for people who already have a BS degree. These are usually 12 to 18 months long. There are direct entry masters programs for college grads that train you to be an entry level RN. These are usually 2 years long and from what I have heard hospitals are not excited to hire the direct entry masters grads. My hospital will no longer hire them for speciality areas (not enough clinical & critical thinking skills, too much entitlement attitude). You graduate with a masters in nursing but are entry level and can take the NCLEX-Rn and work as an RN but not an advanced practice nurse like an NP.
    There are other programs that lead to both license as an RN first them continue on to train you as an NP. These can be had in both masters and DNP programs. The idea being that you will work as an RN while doing the advanced practice program. However few nurse managers are willing to hire an RN in such a program knowing in advance that just about the time they have invested a couple years of training into you and you are just starting to become useful you will be leaving to work as an advanced practice nurse.
    It takes more than a simple masters in nursing to work as an NP. You must graduate from an NP programs. There are plenty of MSn and DNP programs that do not lead to being an NP.
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    If you have your ADN, but not BSN (which I must have read wrong?). then there are RN-MSN programs. Most programs out there require a BSN first, but there are programs that offer the bridge option. There are also programs out there for RNs with Bachelors in other fields, but as far as my understanding, are treated more like bridge students because you would still need some BSN coursework to bridge the gap between the undergrad and graduate level work. This takes 3 years (at least the program I have applied for is 3 years). You typically do not receive a BSN in the course, just the MSN at the end, which is fine if you finish.
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    I just re-read your OP, and I think I get it... so you are going to graduate with a BS in Psychology??? In this case, I would just go for the BSN-MSN option for you. Once you have your BSN, you can work as a nurse and gain experience, earn money, etc... and be even closer to your goal. I would do the math and research different options and see which is the most cost effective and timely. You either would have to get your ADN or BSN first though to even consider the MSN.

    As far post master's in oncology... I don't know of programs for this... usually the programs are specific to a certain population... i.e. peds, adults, acute care, family, crna, etc. THEN you can specialize in a certain area, but you would need to be trained in your specialty. I think it would be awesome if once you get the NP, if we could then get certificates in certain specialties, i.e. oncology, cardiology, derm, etc. That would really awesome. But as of now, I don't know of these existing?
  11. 1
    Quote from NAURN
    You either would have to get your ADN or BSN first though to even consider the MSN.
    *** Unless the OP did a direct entry MSN program. Then her NP program would be post masters. However that means paying graduate tuition for what should cost undergrad tution (basic RN program). Not recomending that rout, just pointing out that it's there.
    My advice is to do an accelerated BSN, then go to work as a nurse. After you have some experience you can apply to whatever MSN or DNP program suits you.
    PatMac10,RN likes this.
  12. 0
    I would just apply to Vanderbilt's direct entry. Do the first year BSN and then second year NP. This is expensive but it remains the quickest means to entry. I am finishing up my adult NP program. I do not want to do the DNP. I would rather have a post masters in another NP area. Possibly acute care or psych. I would absolutely consider Vanderbilt for this.

    Someone said that Vanderbilt direct entry cannot find jobs. I have not heard of such. Around here they would get a job in a minute.


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