Why do you want to be a NP???

  1. 0
    I am finishing my RN program right now (1 week left!) and I am
    considering in a year or so after I get some experience doing a DNP
    program to become a nurse practitioner. Here are my questions for
    those of you currently pursuing a DNP or those of you working as a NP.

    Why did you go for your NP rather than continuing to work as an RN?
    How much more money do you make as a NP rather than as an RN?
    How long after becoming an RN did you go back to become a NP?
    Any thoughts on the requirement changes for NPs (needing a DNP as of
    2015 rather than MSN)??
    How long did you wait between getting your RN license and starting
    your graduate program?
    I am considering the BSN-DNP program that is offered online through
    University of Southern Alabama, anyone have any opinion about this
    (school, internet program, or anything else)??
    What is the biggest difference between working as a NP over an RN?
    What is your work schedule like (days, nights, weekends)?
    What is the pattern of your day like(from work start to work finish)?
    Do you specialize (Neonatal NP, Psych NP, etc.) and if so do you wish
    you would have just become a FNP? (I am asking this because I love the
    idea of neonatal NP but I do not see any openings in this area within
    100 miles of my house, rarely any I can even find in the US)
    How long did it take you to find a job?

    OK this is a silly question - I know, but just answer the question and
    try not to laugh at me too hard lol! If you have a doctorate in
    nursing do people call you "Dr. so and so" also does this cause some
    confusion since you aren't a medical doctor or physician but instead a
    nurse practitioner with a doctorate?

    This is all I can really think of right now. ANY feedback would be
    soooo sooo helpful as I fear waking up a few years down the road
    $50,000 in student debt with a doctorate in nursing but not really
    more satisfied than I would be if I just had a BSN.

    Thanks, Kaci
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I am not an NP but I read your post. I am pretty sure the DNP is just a recommendation for schools to switch to but not mandatory. I did a lot of research on this as my husband and I are both interested in obtaining ARNP.
  5. 4
    Why did you go for your NP rather than continuing to work as an RN?

    I am currently half way through my NP program. I feel my strengths fit better with the NP role than it does the bedside nurse role. I'm not happy with my current level of knowledge. Even in nursing school, I was always asking practitioner level questions and was frustrated that it wasn't stuff that nurses knew. I wanted to know why a particular ABX was ordered, how to interpret the CBC, etc. I would rather use my brain more and my body less, lol.

    How much more money do you make as a NP rather than as an RN?

    A non-ICU NP at my hospital makes about the same or less than an experienced RN who works nights. Money is not a reason to become an NP. They can make more, but it isn't a huge difference unless you're talking about CRNAs.

    How long after becoming an RN did you go back to become a NP?

    Applied to school after 5 months, started the program after 8 months experience.

    Any thoughts on the requirement changes for NPs (needing a DNP as of
    2015 rather than MSN)??

    Until they mandate it, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Thing is, now it is harder to find programs that aren't DNPs.

    How long did you wait between getting your RN license and starting
    your graduate program?

    8 months.

    I am considering the BSN-DNP program that is offered online through
    University of Southern Alabama, anyone have any opinion about this
    (school, internet program, or anything else)??

    There is a lot of info on this school on these forums, just search for it. My impression of the school from a good friend who went there is it is less rigorous and thorough than some of the other programs and they don't always support their students very well. However, they generally have good pass rates, so if you are motivated and self-directed, you can at least learn what you need to get your certification.

    What is the biggest difference between working as a NP over an RN?

    You aren't being told a diagnosis, you have to figure it out and then give the orders instead of following them. It is a completely different mind-set. It is a lot more responsibility and it requires a lot more dedication to continuing education. You have to be a leader to other nurses and be comfortable in that role. If you just want to go to work, get your paycheck and go home, then you'll likely be happier as a bedside nurse.

    What is your work schedule like (days, nights, weekends)?

    Completely varies by position. The jobs I'm interested in are 24-hour shifts including holidays and weekends. I think they generally do between 6-8 24-hour shifts per month. Clinics tend to be M-F, often without holidays, weekends or call.

    Do you specialize (Neonatal NP, Psych NP, etc.) and if so do you wish
    you would have just become a FNP? (I am asking this because I love the
    idea of neonatal NP but I do not see any openings in this area within
    100 miles of my house, rarely any I can even find in the US)

    FYI, I think almost all NNP programs require 2 years NICU nursing before you can apply. They seem to be the strictest about that. Just like RN jobs NP jobs are harder to find right now. By specializing as an NP, it definitely limits your ability to get a job. If you are unable to relocate for a job, that is something to consider. I am doing Acute Care PNP, and I would never want to be an FNP. Primary care, and adults? No thanks! You need to pick the speciality that fits you, not anyone else.

    How long did it take you to find a job?

    I'll let you know in a year and a half, lol.

    OK this is a silly question - I know, but just answer the question and
    try not to laugh at me too hard lol! If you have a doctorate in
    nursing do people call you "Dr. so and so" also does this cause some
    confusion since you aren't a medical doctor or physician but instead a
    nurse practitioner with a doctorate?

    This is a very touchy political issue. The AMA has been lobbying to make it illegal for nurses with doctoral degrees from using the title Dr. in a clinical setting. Several states have made it illegal. The whole thing is ridiculous. Nurses aren't using the title to confuse patients into believing they are physicians. They are using a title that is conferred to almost everyone who receives a doctoral degree. So if you get a DNP, you will have to check to see what your state has to say on the issue.

    I think once you get out and get some RN experience you will figure out what you want to do. NP school is a major commitment. It is extremely difficult and time consuming, not to mention stressful. As you work with NPs and see what they do, you'll know if you want to make that step or not. I thought I'd wait several years, but once I saw what they did in our ICU I knew that was what I wanted to do and applied to school that month. But if you're happy as an RN, there is really no reason to put yourself through the frustration and stress that is grad school. You give up a lot of good things to become an NP, and the things you gain have to be worth more than what you lose.
    MrAllenU, gwapo, missvictoriat, and 1 other like this.
  6. 0
    Thank you thank you thank you! Your response has given me priceless information! I appreciate it so much - that is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. I like the idea of being a nurse practitioner but I think, like you, I will know pretty quickly once I start working in a hospital if I want to pursue the DNP. Again thank you so much for the information!
  7. 0
    I already make good money for my area as a RN. I work as agency and traveler. I do not work for a hospital due to the fact I would probably earn less money. I have also been a staff nurse at a hospital and all the corporate bs was not for me. There were way too many meetings during the day when I had just finished night shift. My days turned into 20 hours by the time I returned home. Somehow administration never understood that some people had just worked a 12 hour night shift. We were expected to be sharp, clean and ready to learn after a horrible night at times. I entered a masters program due to bad treatment as a staff nurse. I have gone part time to school and worked during this time.

    I graduate in a year and am glad I took that path but it has cost $$$$


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