BSN vs NP Entry Level Programs
- 0Jul 15, '13 by n.a.norcalHey everyone,
I just recently completed my pre-requisites to apply to the accelerated RN and NP programs across the country (my B.S. is in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology). Now that I'm ready to apply, I'm having a hard time figuring out if it's worth the financial investment to go the 3 year NP route over the 12-month RN route. I love patient care, and although I can see myself in some type of managerial role one day, I'd love to spend 2-3 decades in ICU/CCU stuff first. Now, do I stick to getting the RN and get some experience for a while first or get the NP out of the way?
I'm not sure where exactly NPs live in the hospital. For my EMT clinical, I shadowed in the ER, and there were only physicians and RNs. I've also been volunteering for over a year in telemetry at a local hospital, and there are no NPs that I know of. So wanting to deal with critical care like I do, can I be an NP and accomplish that?
Any help is appreciated!!
Oh one more question. Top choice school is UCSF, but they require you to choose a specialty in the application: Acute Care Pediatric NP, Adult-Gerontological Primary Care NP, FNP, and Pediatric NP. Most other accelerated NP programs are strictly FNP. Is it best to do FNP as it's most comprehensive??
Thanks ahead of time for your help!
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- 0Jul 16, '13 by ChristineNQuote from n.a.norcalWhether to go straight for the NP or the the RN first is your choice. Many people see benefit in working as an RN first, but there is no saying you have too. However, you do say that you do see yourself as a staff nurse, so in that case, I would do the accelerated BSN, get your RN, get your feet wet, and then figure out what sort of NP you want to beAny insight anybody? Would appreciate your stories of how you chose your path!
- 0Jul 17, '13 by elkparkIf you truly see yourself in a "managerial role" in the future, there are better options out there than an NP program, which prepares you for direct clinical care. Unlike generalist, pre-licensure nursing programs, graduate programs prepare you for, and pretty much lock you into, a specific clinical and professional role and path. You can't easily switch around between specialities the way generalist nurses can. I suggest you do an ABSN program, work in nursing for a while, and see what really interests you. I've known several people (and I'm sure the individuals I've known personally are not the only people in this situation) who entered nursing through a direct-entry MSN program only to find out after they spent the time, effort, and $$$ to get prepared and licensed in a particular advanced practice role that they didn't like doing what the MSN program had prepared them to do. Then they're stuck with a graduate degree and professional path they don't particularly want, the student loans to pay for it, and they're trying to figure out what they do want to do, and what degree, certification, whatever, they're going to need to be able to do it. Not a happy place to be ... IMO, it's really worth getting some actual nursing experience before making a commitment to a graduate program or advanced role. You're going to invest a lot of "blood, sweat, and tears" (not to mention the time and $$$) in any nursing graduate program you undertake -- you might as well put some effort up front into making sure it's a degree that's going to get you where you want to be.
Best wishes for your journey!