Applying to a NP program with little experience

  1. 0
    Hello,
    I'm applying to an NNP program for Spring 2013. I wanted to know if there was anyone else who applied to NP school soon after finishing their BSN. If so, did you get in with your lack of job experience?
    I currently work in a NICU and will have the required amount of work experience years by the time I start clinicals (2 years), but I'm worried that I may not be taken seriously compared to experienced applicants. I have known since I started nursing school that I wanted to become a NP.
    Also, just out of curiousity, what do you think made your application stand out? Was it your grades, leadership, experience, or something else?

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  2. 10 Comments...

  3. 0
    I got my RN in 2008, BSN in 2011 and I'm starting PNP this September. So there's my education timeline.

    I've been working in L&D since I graduated in 2008. I also work as a substitute school nurse and a guest teacher for my local school district...been doing this for about 1 school year so not really long.

    So, in reality I don't have a lot of strictly peds experience but a touch of it here and there. The program I applied to wanted 1 or 2 years experience in peds. I was kind of stretching it here but figured I had to try to get in.

    I had a 3.75 GPA.

    I included on my resume the fact that I was a Breastfeeding Specialist and would be qualified to sit for the IBCLC exam within a month. I will be sitting for the exam at the end of this month actually. I wrote in my essay (mentioned more below) about how I was trying to be an IBCLC because I felt it would enhance the care for my patients in the future.

    I had to write a personal essay and I was very honest in my essay. I wrote from the heart. Now, I put something in my essay that I knew would either hurt me or help me. There was no way it would be neutral. I admitted to having 5 kids....4 with special needs. I figured they are either going to see the benefit in that or decide there's no way a mom with 5 kids (4 special needs) who works is going to be able to do a grad program.

    So I think the high grades, a heart felt essay and showing ambition to educate myself further for the sake of my patients...that won me a seat.



    Quote from nicurn426
    Hello,
    I'm applying to an NNP program for Spring 2013. I wanted to know if there was anyone else who applied to NP school soon after finishing their BSN. If so, did you get in with your lack of job experience?
    I currently work in a NICU and will have the required amount of work experience years by the time I start clinicals (2 years), but I'm worried that I may not be taken seriously compared to experienced applicants. I have known since I started nursing school that I wanted to become a NP.
    Also, just out of curiousity, what do you think made your application stand out? Was it your grades, leadership, experience, or something else?
  4. 0
    I think it's great to have clear cut career goals - and take actions to achieve them. However, you need to keep in mind that most employers would never consider hiring an NP that did not have very solid experience in a relevant clinical area.
  5. 0
    Thanks for the advice. By the time I'm done with the program I will have almost 4 years of experience as a nicu RN. If I do a DNP, even more.
    My gpa is not as high, but I did graduate with honors.
    I have to write an essay as well, so ill hopefully I can use that to my advantage. I also have to have 3 references, so hopefully having nicu references will help me out.
    I feel like this is the best time for me to go to school and it is what I've always wanted to do. I have a husband who will be busy with med school and no kids (kudos for going to school with 5!!)
  6. 0
    I started an ACPNP program with only 8 months of nursing experience. I had 2 years experience by the time I started clinicals. I think I spend more time reading and studying overall than some of my classmates with more experience, but I think we are still at the same level. One of my good friends who has 12 years PICU experience said that she feels like most days her experience doesn't help her at all, because what we are doing as NP students is completely different than bedside nursing. I know if her patient starts to go bad, she will be more comfortable than me with it, but I don't think we would be doing anything different for the patient. I think you need the minimum experience just so you can learn at the pace required of grad school. But I have not found that I lag behind my classmates in knowledge or skills. However, I take my education seriously and put a lot of time and effort into it. I am not worried about finding a job after I graduate in May.

    As for my application, I had good grades and nursing is a second career for me, so I have some unique things on my resume that I think helps me stand out. I also was hired into a highly competitive nurse residency program that gave me a lot of extra training that gave me good stuff to talk about in my application. Good luck to you!
  7. 0
    Hi, I am currently completing my BSN and I will graduate Spring 2013. I am seriously contemplating whether or not I should apply to graduate school as a part time student. I know a few other nursing students who have went directly into an NP program after finishing there BSN, one full time and one part time. I will definitely follow this post in attempts to get more information.
  8. 0
    Any advice from those who have pursued a similar educational path would be extremely helpful.
  9. 0
    Quote from Leah325
    Hi, I am currently completing my BSN and I will graduate Spring 2013. I am seriously contemplating whether or not I should apply to graduate school as a part time student. I know a few other nursing students who have went directly into an NP program after finishing there BSN, one full time and one part time. I will definitely follow this post in attempts to get more information.
    As long as you're planning on working while going to school, I think it is fine to apply right away. However, just make sure you are ready and committed to how much effort that is going to take. It is really stressful learning your first job as a new nurse. The learning curve is really steep and your brain never gets a rest while you're at work. Then to come home and spend 3 of your 4 days off studying and trying to learn still more stuff at a really rapid pace is exhausting. It can be done, but you have to decide if you want to put yourself through that. It is much easier to handle school when you are more comfortable in your job. I speak from experience in that I transferred from the floor to the ICU while in school and I thought it was going to kill me. I had no choice, so I survived but it was not fun. Just something to think about.
  10. 0
    I talked to my director at work today and she thought it was a great idea for me to apply for spring. I'm applying to a program that requires 2 years of experience before clinicals. I will be able to take the other courses in the program one at a time (maybe 2 and take summers off) before I start clinicals. I think this will make working full time a lot easier. I just hope I get in!
  11. 0
    Quote from Leah325
    Any advice from those who have pursued a similar educational path would be extremely helpful.
    I went part time. I started in ICU e summer before starting school. To me, part time made sense for the following reasons:

    1. Extra year working as an RN (will have been RN for 5 years when I graduate)
    2. Extra year of ICU experience (will be 3 years ICU)
    3. Less expensive tuition bill + able to work full time = more money and no loans
    4. My employer does tuition reimbursement based on your full time/part time EMPLOYEE status, so they basically will end up paying for more of it bc I work full time and go to school part time.
    5. Part time allowed me to focus on my job and get comfortable in a new field.
    6. What's the rush? It's a year?

    Hope that helps. I'm now one year down and 2 to go!!


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