Becoming an NP with little to no nursing experience?? - page 18

Hello to all!!! I have worked as a parmamedic for 20 years, have a B.A. in Economics, and I wanted to advance my career in healthcare. I was originally looking to pursue the PA route, but for... Read More

  1. by   Uberman5000
    Quote from mvanz9999
    I have been reading this, and will offer my un-qualified opinion. Basically what I think is this: direct-entry programs are here to stay. Yes, they are new, but they have been around long enough that I believe they will become a permanent fixture in some schools.

    We are all on the same team, are we not?
    No - we are not, there are people that are really hoping that you fail because you are doing something that they didnt do. Its unfortunate but true. If they had their way they would do away with direct entry NP - I am sure you will do good things with your future and by your dialogue I can tell you are an articulate and intelligent person. Good luck
  2. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from Uberman5000
    WHat makes you say I don't respect bedside nursing? Whoever said that? How am I minimizing bedside nursing by saying I DONT WANT TO DO IT. If I dont want to do something, I dont do it, its that simple. I dont want to be a meter maid or a postal worker, so I dont do it. Does that mean I dont respect them? No, its just I prefer not to do that type of work.
    Please show me where I said YOU, Uberman5000, do not respect bedside nursing. I think you are taking things entirely too personal.:uhoh21:

    Perhaps this thread needs a little cooling off period.:spin:
  3. by   christvs
    I've been reading this thread with interest for some time. I've been an RN for just about 2 years now (got my BSN in 2005) and I'm also now an acute/critical care NP student. I am in an NP program that mixes traditional BSN students who wish to go back to school for their NP (me) with Graduate-Entry Students who have completed their one year RN. I have changed my opinion from being skeptical of Graduate Entry programs/students to accepting them, as long as each individual student who is going through the program is truly competent and is able to handle it. The reason i've changed my mind is because I have been a preceptor to new RNs at my job, and have precepted both new BSN graduates and new RNs through this graduate entry program. I can honestly say that out of every new nurse I've precepted, the very best one with wonderful assessment and critical thinking skills was one of my graduate entry student peers. She to me seems like she has already been a nurse for years due to her level of maturity, top notch assessment skills, always asks for help if she is over her head, and is so good already at being an RN in just a few short months. I truly believe that graduate entry programs are not for everyone. I feel that it is up to the individual to decide for him/herself if she/he can handle the fast paced 3 year roller coaster and still come out competent, and somewhat sane because it is a lot of work. But even just sitting in class listening to my classmates speak about their work experiences...I hear a level of maturity and competence that I didn't realize was there before. I think there are going to be nurses at both ends of the spectrum (really great vs. barely getting it) no matter which way they become RNs...whether it be diploma, ADN, BSN, GEP, etc...And as for the thought that 5 years as an RN are needed before getting your NP, I again disagree respectfully by stating that too depends on the individual nurse, and how quickly or slowly she/he grasps new material and can think on her/his feet and demonstrates competence and critical thinking skills. I began my NP program just with one year as an RN under my belt. I have received nothing but As in every single graduate class I've taken so far (I'll have completed 8 graduate classes by May). But more importantly, I can truly say that there is nothing I have learned in class that I felt was over my head. I am a fast learner and feel comfortable with the knowledge I have gained so far. I also feel 100 % ready for my NP clinicals to start in August 2007 and am eager to move on to the next phase of my nursing career.
  4. by   Uberman5000
    Quote from christvs
    I've been reading this thread with interest for some time. I've been an RN for just about 2 years now (got my BSN in 2005) and I'm also now an acute/critical care NP student. I am in an NP program that mixes traditional BSN students who wish to go back to school for their NP (me) with Graduate-Entry Students who have completed their one year RN. I have changed my opinion from being skeptical of Graduate Entry programs/students to accepting them, as long as each individual student who is going through the program is truly competent and is able to handle it. The reason i've changed my mind is because I have been a preceptor to new RNs at my job, and have precepted both new BSN graduates and new RNs through this graduate entry program. I can honestly say that out of every new nurse I've precepted, the very best one with wonderful assessment and critical thinking skills was one of my graduate entry student peers. She to me seems like she has already been a nurse for years due to her level of maturity, top notch assessment skills, always asks for help if she is over her head, and is so good already at being an RN in just a few short months. I truly believe that graduate entry programs are not for everyone. I feel that it is up to the individual to decide for him/herself if she/he can handle the fast paced 3 year roller coaster and still come out competent, and somewhat sane because it is a lot of work. But even just sitting in class listening to my classmates speak about their work experiences...I hear a level of maturity and competence that I didn't realize was there before. I think there are going to be nurses at both ends of the spectrum (really great vs. barely getting it) no matter which way they become RNs...whether it be diploma, ADN, BSN, GEP, etc...And as for the thought that 5 years as an RN are needed before getting your NP, I again disagree respectfully by stating that too depends on the individual nurse, and how quickly or slowly she/he grasps new material and can think on her/his feet and demonstrates competence and critical thinking skills. I began my NP program just with one year as an RN under my belt. I have received nothing but As in every single graduate class I've taken so far (I'll have completed 8 graduate classes by May). But more importantly, I can truly say that there is nothing I have learned in class that I felt was over my head. I am a fast learner and feel comfortable with the knowledge I have gained so far. I also feel 100 % ready for my NP clinicals to start in August 2007 and am eager to move on to the next phase of my nursing career.
    Wow - Sounds great Christine, I am very happy for you and I am confident about your future success. Its fortunate that they have direct entry programs for those of us who were born ready for this role. I support you 100% - Keep up the great Work!
  5. by   Psychaprn
    How can you be an advanced practice nurse without first working as a nurse? Illogical!
  6. by   ksc0723
    Like most I have also been reading all the posts to this very important question for some time. I already have a bachelor's and a master's degree in psychology and am now pursuing nursing. I was originally looking at accelerated BSN programs and still am but then I came across MENP programs and thought what a great idea!

    I have worked in healthcare for over 5 years as a CNA and currently work on an MICU. I was considering med school, pa school, nursing school, crna, you name it, I researched it. But, after working with all types of people in varying healthcare professions 12 hours a day 3-4 days a week, I know being a nurse practioner is where I want to be. I have talked to several people in all the professions I mentioned above, worked side by side with them in the hospital, and observed them working on a daily basis for quite some time.

    I had come to the conclusion that in order to be a nurse practioner, I had to become a nurse first, work as a nurse for awhile, then go back to school (making my degree total 4 yikes!) to become a nurse practioner because frankly that is what I was told was the only acceptable route. For me, I have worked closest with the nurses and as much as I respect them and appreciate all they have taught me, I don't want to be a nurse, I want to be a nurse practioner and after seeing and hearing what I have seen in my job, I truly believe that you do not need experience as a nurse in order to become a nurse practioner. Even if these programs are new, if it were the case that being a nurse first was a vital and crucial step to becoming a nurse practioner (which most on this thread are claiming) then none would be accredited by the two major accrediting boards of nursing! I personally feel the reason they have instituted these programs is for people like me (whom they appear to be advertising to on the school websites) who have a non-nursing degree and want to become nurse practioners, but not nurses first. Again I feel like it is a false assumption to say you NEED to be a nurse first in order to be a nurse practioner. They ARE DIFFERENT PROFESSIONS. So what if the profession grew out of nursing, being a PA grew out of being a doctor in the military in the field. I think the reason why they have you study the core undergraduate level of nursing curriculum is to get you familairaized and trained in the mind set of the nursing model, not the medical model. They are ultimately two very separate professions with distinct job duties and responsibilities and scopes of practice. When you are working as an NP you aren't working or performing job functions as a nurse and vice versa. So why would it stand to reason that one MUST precede the other. The MENP provides a wonderful option to those of us with extensive education in another field that want to pursue a profession within healthcare, but feel it is a waste of valuable time and money (which if you already have BS and an MS you have already spent your share of both) to go through another profession to get there becasue that is exactly what you are doing becasue traditionally that is how it has been done and people get so freaked out about deviating from what was done before. Look at the PA profession, older PA's are having a fit that younger PA's are entering without any experience and they had like 15 years of it so how can they know what they are doing. Everyone brings something to the table when they are hired in a new job that other's don't have. Whether they gained their strengths through education, work experience, volunteering, life experiences, whatever it is really a shame for those to think that in order to do something you must have a background in X or your comeptency is and will always be lacking. Wow that is a pretty big assumption to make about someone. How can anyone pre-determine someone's skill level and how they will perform in a job based on them not having been a nurse prior to being a nurse practioner. Is being a nurse prior the only way in which they could ever gain the skills necesssary to be a nurse practioner? I firmly stand by my own beleif that becasue the two ARE TWO DIFFERENT JOBS, one does not need to precede the other.

    With that said, I originally went to school to become a psychotherapist. I had NO training or work experience outside of my BS in psych. But, I knew even after I graduated I was going to take what I learned in school and apply that to the job when I was done and that I would hone my skills by working in that job. Now I feel good about having worked in healthcare for sometime in some capacity as it has helped me really see and decide where I want to be. But, I am equally confident upon my observations, discussions, and interactions with others in healthcare that I can have all the nursing experience in the world, but I will learn my job as a nurse practioner ONLY when I am working as one and don't feel I need to work as a nurse in order to be able to work as a nurse practioner.

    I mean there are still schools out there that require you become a CNA en route to becoming an LPN, ADN, RN and work in that capacity for some amount of time before being accepted to the next level of nursing. Now I believe that nurses who became RN's without taking that step, had no healthcare experience at all before becoming nurses, and just took the classes and got their degrees would say it is a necessary and vital step that you start out as a CNA otherwise your competency will be and should be questioned. This exists on a different level, but it is 100% the exact same idea saying NP's should be required to work as nurses first. There are those that still beleive whole-heartedly that you aren't qualified to become a nusre if you haven't worked as a CNA. Those in CNA to RN programs begin their schooling learning basic nursing requirements just as MENP programs begin the same way in their core requirements. The more you learn in the classroom to develop an educational foundation to draw from the better, but as far as the experience goes, here is an example within the nursing model that has proven one does not need to precede the other in order for people to be competent!
  7. by   BerkeleyMom
    I have been following this thread too. Very well put ksc0723. Uberman5000--I have enjoyed your input, and definitely follow your line of reasoning. I will be starting a direct entry FNP program this Fall, so obviously I support this route education.

    I, like many other direct-entry students, will come to the table with my own extensive education & experiences. Instead of sharing that with you, I would like to throw out a different kind of "exception" to the claims being made that more RN experience should be a necessary requirement.

    I have worked along side 2 RNs--1 with an ADN and 1 with a BSN--both competent/great nurses that have worked in various parts of the hospital. 1 has 20+ years experience and 1 has alomst 30. In my opinion, neither of them would make a very good APN. They just do not have the gumption or critical thinking skills required. In their cases, I might actually argue that the more years RN experience, the more difficult it would be for them to pull out of their role and be able to work autonomously.

    Sure, we all know that not every experienced RN has what it takes, or even wants, to be an APN. But, that same exception applies to non-nurses going the direct-entry route. We really can only be evaluated on a case-by case basis becuase we all have such different backgrounds. I think that is the reason that these programs are HIGHLY competitive and HIGHLY selective. They are screening for indviduals that have the experiences, motivation, and ABILTY to be successful in this type of program. I would agree that not everyone that has the minimum requirements to be admitted has the potential to be successful at it .... but, you can rest assure that they will pobably not get in with the stiff competition out there. ...

    -berk
  8. by   ksc0723
    I agree berk. being a nurse and nurse practioner (again two different professions) takes different sets of skills. just because you are a nurse does not mean you automatically possess the skills necessary to be a nurse practioner. Whatever makes someone a good NP can have nothing to do with them having been a nurse. My point is working as a nurse beforehand will probably only add to your competence as an NP overall, but to think that is the only place or the best place to gain the competencies necessary to be an NP is very premature. There are a vast number of opportunties in this world where we develop and hone our skills to be successful in the workforce.
  9. by   Selke
    Quote from BerkeleyMom
    ...
    I have worked along side 2 RNs--1 with an ADN and 1 with a BSN--both competent/great nurses that have worked in various parts of the hospital. 1 has 20+ years experience and 1 has alomst 30. In my opinion, neither of them would make a very good APN. They just do not have the gumption or critical thinking skills required. In their cases, I might actually argue that the more years RN experience, the more difficult it would be for them to pull out of their role and be able to work autonomously. ... -berk
    What was I thinking, going to graduate school? I've been an RN since 1989. You have enlightened me. I am too old, have been a dumb ol' nurse waaaay too long, have no critical thinking skills, and insufficient intelligence to become a CNM.

    Maybe I should just quit nursing after withdrawing from my program and returning my ACNM scholarship and start cleaning houses for a living.
  10. by   BerkeleyMom
    Quote from Selke
    What was I thinking, going to graduate school? I've been an RN since 1989. You have enlightened me. I am too old, have been a dumb ol' nurse waaaay too long, have no critical thinking skills, and insufficient intelligence to become a CNM.

    Maybe I should just quit nursing after withdrawing from my program and returning my ACNM scholarship and start cleaning houses for a living.
    Oh, I'm sorry ... was I talking about YOU? ... It is almost hilarious how people take things personally on these threads. I think I do actually need to "enlighten" you here. LOL. I have no doubt that in MOST cases 10, 20, 30 years of nursing experiences will be GREATLY beneficial to advanced practice nursing--there is no argument to that. My point, which I thought was obvious, is that there are also individuls who are great RNs, but are better off keeping their role. Thus leading to my point that the entire arugment on this thread is null because there are just too many exceptions from every angle.
  11. by   VivaRN
    Quote from christvs
    I've been reading this thread with interest for some time. I've been an RN for just about 2 years now (got my BSN in 2005) and I'm also now an acute/critical care NP student. I am in an NP program that mixes traditional BSN students who wish to go back to school for their NP (me) with Graduate-Entry Students who have completed their one year RN. I have changed my opinion from being skeptical of Graduate Entry programs/students to accepting them, as long as each individual student who is going through the program is truly competent and is able to handle it. The reason i've changed my mind is because I have been a preceptor to new RNs at my job, and have precepted both new BSN graduates and new RNs through this graduate entry program. I can honestly say that out of every new nurse I've precepted, the very best one with wonderful assessment and critical thinking skills was one of my graduate entry student peers. She to me seems like she has already been a nurse for years due to her level of maturity, top notch assessment skills, always asks for help if she is over her head, and is so good already at being an RN in just a few short months. I truly believe that graduate entry programs are not for everyone. I feel that it is up to the individual to decide for him/herself if she/he can handle the fast paced 3 year roller coaster and still come out competent, and somewhat sane because it is a lot of work. But even just sitting in class listening to my classmates speak about their work experiences...I hear a level of maturity and competence that I didn't realize was there before. I think there are going to be nurses at both ends of the spectrum (really great vs. barely getting it) no matter which way they become RNs...whether it be diploma, ADN, BSN, GEP, etc...And as for the thought that 5 years as an RN are needed before getting your NP, I again disagree respectfully by stating that too depends on the individual nurse, and how quickly or slowly she/he grasps new material and can think on her/his feet and demonstrates competence and critical thinking skills. I began my NP program just with one year as an RN under my belt. I have received nothing but As in every single graduate class I've taken so far (I'll have completed 8 graduate classes by May). But more importantly, I can truly say that there is nothing I have learned in class that I felt was over my head. I am a fast learner and feel comfortable with the knowledge I have gained so far. I also feel 100 % ready for my NP clinicals to start in August 2007 and am eager to move on to the next phase of my nursing career.

    I agree with you.

    I can also say a little about the job market (where I'm at) for FNP's with little RN experience/direct entry. I have a year of RN experience and am working while in school. A friend of mine has no nursing experience.

    My first clinical, I was offered a job when I graduate. They said I was the best student they'd ever had.

    She was also highly praised and offered a job.

    It depends on how you perform. I feel that I will be a safe practitioner. My nursing experience, in critical care (adults & children), is great for a lot of things but did not give me a knowledge base for primary care peds or women's health. We all have some areas that are stronger than others. I'm thankful for my nursing experience (and have TREMENDOUS respect for those with a lot of experience!!!!), but those who don't have it seem to be doing fine. I was skeptical at first that this could be so... but they proved me wrong.

    It's how quickly you can learn, apply it, and show your patients/preceptor that you know what you're doing. = job

    Just my two cents.
  12. by   subee
    Quote from ksc0723
    I agree berk. being a nurse and nurse practioner (again two different professions) takes different sets of skills. just because you are a nurse does not mean you automatically possess the skills necessary to be a nurse practioner. Whatever makes someone a good NP can have nothing to do with them having been a nurse. My point is working as a nurse beforehand will probably only add to your competence as an NP overall, but to think that is the only place or the best place to gain the competencies necessary to be an NP is very premature. There are a vast number of opportunties in this world where we develop and hone our skills to be successful in the workforce.
    Is the converse true - a good NP does not have to possess the skills to be a good nurse? 'splain, Lucy (ala Ricky).
  13. by   ag01medic
    The reality of this whole thing is that the nursing profession is going through some changes, largely due to the fact that there is a huge shortage of nurses, both regular RNs and APNs. The supply can't keep up with the demand. That is why you see these schools adapting and changing to meet the needs of the industry. My mother used to work at a community college (a few years ago) and told me that there were over 1200 applications for 40 nursing slots (ADN). Many of the applicants were professionals in other fields trained at the Master's level doing everything they could to get one of these slots.

    I know back when I was looking into BSN programs in 1997, there weren't many accelerated BSN or MSN entry programs in Texas. Now schools have post BS to BSN programs, etc etc. OFF TOPIC: This is also why you see more allied health types being used in places like the ER. I recently read a discussion on the pluses and minuses of using Paramedics in the ER. I think the answer is two fold. One its cheaper and cost effective. Two, hospitals are having to make adjustments due to the shortage of RNs. I am not going to debate whether its right or wrong, this is just merely a statement on what I've read and seen.

    Now to the topic at hand, does one need to have RN experience before becoming an APN? In my opinion, NO. Would it be beneficial? Yes it might depending on what area of advanced practice you are going into. People have said that one needs a year or two on the Med-Surg floor before moving to a specialty (ICU, ER, etc) Now, new grads can go straight there through internsip programs and OJT. Again, another adaptation to fill the shortage.

    Bottom line, I think it all depends on the INDIVIDUAL and his/her abilities to learn and adapt. Each person should examine themselves first when considering an APN role. If you are confident in your skills, abilities, etc. then go for it. If you think, maybe I need a little more patient care time then get it. It all boils down to YOU, want YOU'RE comfortable with, and what is going to be the best for YOUR patients.

    I think too often we resort to petty arguments and mud slinging about who is a better provider or has more training, so on and so forth. The REALITY is, there's a shortage and a need out there, the question is what are we doing as a profession to fill the needs and fix this problem. THAT is the question that we all should be trying to answer and fix.

    Just my two little cents....Happy Friday,

    Jack

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