NP...doing the right thing?

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    I know I run the risk of being flamed but I need to honestly make sure I am making a career change for the right reasons. 39 years old burnt out on current business career filled with smoke and mirrors and really felt a calling to go to med school for an md to be able to take care of people. But too old to start med school and too old to pay back the debt so the next best option was the PA. During shadowing I talked with a great charge nurse trainer who convinced me as a male to really look at the FNP. It sounded good but really had no desire to do the necessary RN. Well I scored excellent on my hesi entrance, 4.0 gpa, and decided to go ahead and apply at a well respected school where I could complete my bsn and eventually the msn for the FNP. (side note... Already have a bachelors and masters degree in other industry). Well I got in, but as the fall semester closes in, I am worried that a) I am in the bsn for the wrong reasons and b) is the FNP going to satisfy my desires.
    Just asking the tough questions to make SURE I am making the right decision!
    I like the idea of working with md's and am realistic in knowing where my limitations will be. I have no delusions about autonomy or anything that might construe passing myself off as something I am not (I.e an MD). The PA and Np shadowing i did support my decision. Would love to hear from np's that maybe did direct entry perhaps...be honest. Most nurses I have talked to simply get offended when I discuss this situation...but just being honest... Understand I am not nurse bashing . I totally respect what nurses do...I just never saw myself as an RN
    Thoughts?
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

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    I'm a PMHNP and I work in a state where we are totally independent. What that means for me is that I do not have to pay someone to review charts after the fact. If I don't know what to do I can pick up a book or article and become enlightened. This is compounded by the fact that 20 different shrinks might take 20 different avenues. This is further complicated by the fact that all patients are different. If I were in a state where I had to have a collaborating physician, I'd be at their mercy and would have to close my practice if they changed their mind, died, remarried and their new wife didn't like me, etc.. I like being independent and can chat via telemed with the supervisor of this clinic who is many states away anytime I want. I make sure I'm good and know what's going on. This morning I dx a young lady with Bipolar D/O after a lifetime of being screwed around by doctors who couldn't figure out why she failed on so many antidepressants. She should be a new woman next visit. Consider your options carefully. I'm debt free, make well into 6 figures, get free housing, and car allowance for my job, and as I said before "just leave me alone!"
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    Thanks for the feedback!
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    I'm a nurse and I don't think you are nurse bashing! I'm happy that you admit that you are not "bedside nurse" material! I much rather work with someone who is in it for the right reason, and the patient will appreciate it to! It is not for everyone. I say go for your dream. Don't look back, just move forward. As a FNP you will be able to do what you want to do. That is if you work with a doc that gives you autonomy (or work where zenman does). I'm currently in a FNP program and I would respect you as a fellow classmate with 50 years of bedside nursing or 0 years of bedside nursing (as long as you know your stuff), in other words I welcome you with open arms.... just do it!
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    I totally welcome you! I am much like you as well. I had a business degree and worked as an account manager for 15 years for corporate. I did an accelerated BSN. I worked 2 years on a busy med surg floor. HOWEVER, I wanted to work on the floor to get my feet wet. It was not necessarily needed but helped me with my comfort level. I am now in an adult NP program and am almost finished. I am an older student but that is fine. I have never had any problem being accepted in healthcare. I know Vanderbilt has an excellent direct entry program. You will also spend some time on the floors as part of these programs. In summary, you should be fine!
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    I appreciate the feedback from both of you. If all goes well I would be working as an RN for a year after nclex while doing post bac courses toward the MSN. Add working while completing my masters work and I will have racked up 2-3 years experience as an RN. I appreciate your understanding of my honesty! I welcome any feedback. Thanks!
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    I am an RN, will be (hopefully) starting my FNP program this fall. The thing with FNPs, is their practice "rules" are different in every state. Many states have complete independence where they need no collaborating MD (basically an MD who has to look and sign off on x amt of charts every x amt of months and you have an agreement as to what you do, what kinds of meds you prescribe, etc and this all varies by state). PAs always work with an MD... so if you want the OPTION of possibly being more independent, or opening your own clinic or what not, then FNP is for you. What state do you live in? Different states allow NPs to prescribe different schedules of drugs and some do not have any limitations... States also differ as far as how independent they let their NPs be. I have heard that Texas is pretty strict, as well as FL. I really wish they would standardize this more so its not so difficult differentiating what you can and can not do based on state, etc. PA is pretty standard throughout. What a PA does in California is what a PA does in NY... with NP, that may not be the case, and is probably not the case.

    On the flip side, if you think you might ever want to go back to med school, PA will be better for you because of the specific classes... they will transfer better. PAs also, from the research I have done, tend to make slightly more, but I think that is also because there are more men in that field and men tend to make more for the same job.... (Doesn't seem fair, but they statistically do... )

    I think either option is a great option, I think its just a matter of preference for you. Also, with the FNP, you have the option of working as a nurse before you start the master's work, as opposed to PA where you really can't work as anything medical until you're finished. (Not sure what you do now or anything, whether you would be working during your programs, etc... just putting that out there in case you were not planning on working) At least with the BSN, you can start working and being exposed to the clinical area while you pursue the masters.

    Lastly (then I will shut up), I love to teach, so part of the reason I am doing this is because I would really like to teach nursing someday.

    I understand the stigma with males and nursing, but really, we love our male nurses! And although I think there will always be kind of that stigma with some people, males are respected as nurses and I really don't think you have anything to worry about if it's being a "nurse" that bothers you. I have an EMT friend that wants to go to PA school because, although he respects nurses, he doesn't want to be one... Even though it would be less schooling and less debt to go RN then MSN, he just can not get past the fact that he would be a "nurse". If you can get past that, you will be joining a great profession!
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    Thanks so much NAURN for your insight. Due to so many factors a FNP makes much more logical sense than a PA at this moment (location, costs, growing family, etc.). Not really sure how I will feel as a nurse until I get in there...and then take the next step toward the NP. Again, I appreciate the information. I know I will learn a tremendous amount. I guess it's equivalent to wedding night jitters
    A month away from such a big journey towards such a different career (from what I am currently in).
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    Good luck in whatever you choose. Please let us know what your final decision was and how its going!
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    Go to med school!! If your GPA's are that good 1 year of pre-reqs and a solid MCAT and you can get in. Old premeds .com and studentdoctor.net nontraditional forum will enlighten you.

    My neighber 3 houses down is 37 and is in his 2nd year he couldn't be happier!!


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