Direct entry NP programs

  1. 0
    Hello everyone! I'm researching a second career and would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions this board can offer regarding NP programs without nursing experience!!

    I worked as a CNA for two years, an OR tech harvesting tissues for about 18 months, and earned my BS is in psychology with med prereqs (I intended to pursue an MD). Unexpectedly blessed with a family mid-way through, I got my LPC because it was very family friendly and have been working psych and oncology in this capacity for the last two years. I always thought Id go back and get my MD but I can't find the flexibility I need before I've got an empty nest but Im also in my 30s so Im looking to make a change in the next few years or earlier. I dismissed nursing until recently learning of this NP option because I wanted to move up, not start over...

    What are your career-change experiences of direct entry NP programs and their clinicals? What is the entry level work environment post grad? I know these answers will vary widely!! I just want to know if any who have done this have any hindsight to share Sorry if this is in the wrong place -___-
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  3. 16 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    .... So do you even want to be a Nurse?
    Lexicon likes this.
  5. 0
    I don't want to discourage you, but if you want to get your MD, get it. It's never too late. I know physicians who didn't get their MD until their late 30s, 40s, or 50s! My mom got her MD when she was in her early 30s.

    If you do really want to be a nurse though, I would consider looking up colleges in your area and checking out their nursing programs and seeing what kind of options they have for NP programs and what the requirements are.
  6. 0
    I have done much of the "grunt" work of nursing and would prefer the autonomy of an MD, but overall I do really enjoy direct patient care. I was thinking an NP program would be a much closer approximation to what I dreamed of doing but with somewhat less stress and less commitment to apprenticeship than 4 years and residency/specialty training. I got out of scrubbing because of the 70 hour work week ): When I think back to my physician shadowing experiences, I can only think going to med school would be a detriment to my family.
  7. 0
    I'm sure you already know, but depending on what you do, you may have some 70 hour work weeks and not get paid overtime for it. I'm not sure what kind of NP you want to be, but regardless, if you aren't an NP by 2015, you're going to have to get your doctorate to be an NP, which might is going to be very similar timewise to residency time as an MD. I'm not trying to shut down your wishes; I think you should do whatever your heart desires. I have no idea what it's like to have a family of my own to consider-- I'm 21 years old and just graduated college. I'm sure your family is a big factor in your decision making so do whatever you think is right.
  8. 7
    Quote from Lexicon
    I'm not sure what kind of NP you want to be, but regardless, if you aren't an NP by 2015, you're going to have to get your doctorate to be an NP, which might is going to be very similar timewise to residency time as an MD.
    (People keep saying this, but it's just not true. It is a recommendation by the AACN, which has no statutory or regulatory authority. There is no state that has indicated it plans to require a DNP for NP licensure by 2015, or any other year. The only advanced practice group that has embraced the mandatory-DNP idea is the CRNAs, and their target date is 2025, not 2015. The trend is clearly in the direction of the DNP, and it may become a requirement at some point in the future for the other advanced practice roles, but it will not be any time soon.)
    rninme, diver117, SHGR, and 4 others like this.
  9. 2
    Quote from Aurelia2012
    I have done much of the "grunt" work of nursing and would prefer the autonomy of an MD, but overall I do really enjoy direct patient care. I was thinking an NP program would be a much closer approximation to what I dreamed of doing but with somewhat less stress and less commitment to apprenticeship than 4 years and residency/specialty training. I got out of scrubbing because of the 70 hour work week ): When I think back to my physician shadowing experiences, I can only think going to med school would be a detriment to my family.
    Don't do anything that is an "approximation" of what you really want to do. Families survive medical school, clerkships, and residencies all the time. If that is what you truly want then you go for it.

    Question is, is that really what you want? Shadow some NPs and some PAs and see if either of those roles is what you want to do. Don't settle for an approximation.
    uronurse1 and elkpark like this.
  10. 1
    Quote from Lexicon
    I don't want to discourage you, but if you want to get your MD, get it. It's never too late. I know physicians who didn't get their MD until their late 30s, 40s, or 50s! My mom got her MD when she was in her early 30s.

    If you do really want to be a nurse though, I would consider looking up colleges in your area and checking out their nursing programs and seeing what kind of options they have for NP programs and what the requirements are.
    Not everyone later in their careers can recoup the investment of med school. At some point, you have to be prudent. Do you want to spend $250k on med school or $89-120k for PA/NP school? When you're facing trying to save for retirement & a shorter career span, that hefty price tag for med school makes it unrealistic for many people.

    Trust me, I kick myself in the butt all the time for not pursuing a medical career when I was younger. I'm in my 40s now and while I'd love to be a doctor, there's just no way to recoup the investment of med school before retirement.

    I chose nursing because I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a PA or NP. Since I need a bachelors & direct patient care for entry to both, I chose to pursue a BSN. I could have finished my degree in clinical laboratory science much quicker, but I'd be pegged into a PA track only.

    I'm working on pre-reqs for PA/NP school in the summers between nursing school. Is it a compromise? Sure, it is. But it is a realistic solution and one that makes more financial sense, especially since I don't qualify for financial aid (but don't make enough to pay for school outright).

    You have to do what fits your own, unique circumstances.
    Szasz_is_Right likes this.
  11. 0
    Hmm.. I didn't know that. I just know it's what I've been told. -shrug- I guess I really wasn't reading when I looked up info on that either.. That's okay though. I'm still going to do it even if I don't have to, but now I won't tell anyone that since you've educated me.
  12. 0
    ;-; Sorry! Like I said earlier, I'm still essentially a kid, so I don't really think about retirement unless it's in regards to my mother. I hope I didn't offend you or anything!


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