I have found this forum VERY helpful and got a lot of insight as I started nursing school a few years back. I'm hoping I can pick some very experienced brains here and come up with a good course of action to take. I really LOVE nursing and appreciate the work that is done at all levels of profession. Starting from the bottom as a CNA in Long-Term Care, it feels good to be an RN. I love my job, but I want to keep progressing forward.
I am an RN with 6-months of experience on-the-floor as a nurse (Surgical-Orthopedis). I was previously an LPN and a Nurse Intern (RN Level) that worked in Cardiac Telemtry (1.5-Years) and a Nurse Aide in Long-Term Care (2.0 Years). I am also a Medical Readiness Officer (Acting Position, 3.0 Years) in the Florida Army National Guard -- I do wound care, emergent response, and care access for the Soldiers in my unit.
I hold an Associates of Science in Nursing and a Bachelors in Arts of Sociology. Currently pursuing the RN-BSN Degree at Chamberlain College of Nursing (Online). Currently finished the first two courses with As. My GPA at the Baccalaurate Level in Sociology is a 3.4. I haven't taken the GREs yet, but am preparing to.
I have rounded with the nursing students at my hospital's nursing school and assist them in learning basic assessment skills, charting, and the foundational nursing skills. I also have shadowed Nurse Practitioners and Critical Care Nurses -- GI and CVICU.
I would like to find a competent and accessible Family or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program that doesn't necessarily require me to get a BSN. I will continue to work full-time as I pursue my MSN which, I expect, will take anywhere from one to four years to complete. I am hoping that, at that time, I will have sufficient experience for me to be comfortable as an RN and feel ready to progress on to APN.
WHERE I NEED ADVICE
I have been feverishly searching for programs out there that offer an ADN-FNP Program Online or one that would allow me to start without having a BSN. I have ALL of the Pre-Req and Co-Req courses done for the BSN and, for the BSN itself that I am in-the-process of earning, I have completed the Transitions into Professional Nursing and Health Assessment Courses with As. I would like to, preferably, find an online FNP program that would work with my schedule. I have reluctantly been looking into Kaplan University's ADN-FNP Program where I basically do a few courses in the BSN level and then progress directly on to the MSN.
I am afraid, however, that the Kaplan Curriculum will just not be at the level that I need to have to learn. There are a couple other options as my preferred school is the University of Miami's FNP Program. I live nearby (West Palm Beach, FL) and would be willing to make the drive down, but I know it is a difficult program to get into without a BSN.
I would rather not wait to finish my BSN before looking into schools and, as impatient as it seems, want to venture into the MSN track as soon as possible. I really enjoy my time rounding with the NPs and MDs -- I find the work they do exciting and important. I do want to put in my dues, however, which is why I plan to keep working as an RN throughout my schooling.
I have looked into Walden, Frontier, and others but they aren't accepted in Florida at this time.
Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks so much in advance -- I look forward to hearing from you. I'm afraid to ask my mentors about Kaplan in-person because I'm afraid they'll laugh at me...haha.
I love being an RN, but I know that I want to do more in the future. I want to plan ahead and get the ball rolling now, is all. I'm afraid if I stop going to school, I won't ever want to go back. I have many friends that have fallen into this trap and refuse to let it happen to me.
COURSES OF ACTION
I thought of the following things that I could do:
1) Find an ADN-FNP Program and begin -- Presuming Acceptance
2) Finish my BSN, start applying to MSN Programs.
3) Instead of finishing my BSN, go for a Non-NP MSN and then return to get a Post-Masters Certificate