Becoming an NP with little to no nursing experience?? - page 31

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   dhigbee
    I do wish these programs had been available when I went back to school (with a non-nursing Bachelor's). It would have saved me at least 3-4 years to complete my MSN. Sure, I "paid my dues", but it wasn't what I chose to do.

    Dana
  2. by   SFNP
    I am getting ready to graduate from FNP school in a few more months. I have talked with preceptor who have said they will not take on NP students who were not nurses first because they are not willing to teach you the basics before teaching you the advanced skills. NPs are Nurses who have advanced their skills from the basic nursing but without the basic nursing knowledge it is much harder to advance to the next level.
  3. by   csb2007
    I was accepted to the University of Minnesota's Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist Program. By the time I begin, I will have a year's experience in an ICU setting. I had two former professors write letters of recommendation, and both were very excited when I told them that I wanted to go back to school right away. I also met with the clinical nurse specialists at my work and they were also very supportive.

    However, when I told my clinical director she was not very happy. She told me that I would be better off working and not going back to school.

    I feel ready for the advanced practice role. My professors think Im ready. I was admitted to this very good graduate school, but now I feel very discouraged about going back to school.

    Does anyone have any advice? Should I just apply for next year, or is this possible?

    Thank you!
  4. by   jjjoy
    Quote from csb2007
    I I had two former professors write letters of recommendation, and both were very excited when I told them that I wanted to go back to school right away. I also met with the clinical nurse specialists at my work and they were also very supportive.

    However, when I told my clinical director she was not very happy. She told me that I would be better off working and not going back to school.

    I feel ready for the advanced practice role. My professors think Im ready. I was admitted to this very good graduate school, but now I feel very discouraged about going back to school.
    It seems you are experiencing first hand the major disconnect in the profession regarding how one progresses in a nursing career and what the requisite experiences and education should be for nurses at various levels. There's no standard answer because the entire field is split on this. Should advanced practice nurses first have experience as RNs? If not, then do we need to reconceptualize advanced practice nursing as not a step *beyond* or *higher* or even *more advanced* than other kinds of nursing, but just a different kind of nursing - like public health nursing or school nursing or occupational health nursing? But then APNs are in fact engaging in activitivities that by definition AREN'T nursing (diagnosing and prescribing treatments), so why are we educating them in nursing schools and can we truly call that nursing, especially if the person has never practiced "pure" nursing? It used to be that APNs did in fact have previous nursing experience and were building upon that. They had been nurses and were being educated to take a role that wasn't really nursing anymore.

    Anyway, I'm rambling. I think it's an interesting, though frustrating dilemma. Unfortunately, those looking to enter the field are stuck with the lack of clarity and conflicting advice about how to procede.
  5. by   PabloFNP
    I've been a RN for two years and a FNP for a month. I came into the profession only to be a FNP. So once I received my RN I applied and was excepted into school. It's all in your head; it's what YOU want to do and what YOU believe. Don't worry about the rest .
    Last edit by PabloFNP on Feb 28, '08
  6. by   nancynursern
    I became an NP years ago. In fact, I only had an AA degree. Sure I have my MSN now, but until this past year you could have done the same. All you needed was 1 year experience. Now you need a MSN.
  7. by   JerseyGir1
    Quote from SFNP
    I am getting ready to graduate from FNP school in a few more months. I have talked with preceptor who have said they will not take on NP students who were not nurses first because they are not willing to teach you the basics before teaching you the advanced skills. NPs are Nurses who have advanced their skills from the basic nursing but without the basic nursing knowledge it is much harder to advance to the next level.
    Did you work as an RN during FNP school? I am just wondering if employers would count that year or two as experience. I guess if it was full time, they would have to... but what about part time? Does anyone know??
  8. by   DutchgirlRN
    vanderbilt university will take a person with a bs in any field into their np program and you come out in 2 years ready to work....prescribe...etc.....i think that's irresponsible. my pcp had one such np working for him and shall we say it did not last long....she was fired after a couple of weeks.

    tuition per semester, not including books is $32, 287.00 now that's per semester. room and board is another $11,446 per semester.
    Last edit by sirI on Apr 6, '09 : Reason: off-topic
  9. by   noneil680
    I thought that you had to be an RN for 2 years before you can start an actual NP program, have I been misinformed?
  10. by   PMFB-RN
    Quote from noneil680
    I thought that you had to be an RN for 2 years before you can start an actual NP program, have I been misinformed?
    *** Yes you have. While many would recommend two years of RN experience, you can get accepted into an NP program without it. A girl I went to nursing school with went directly into an ADN to MSN FNP program.
  11. by   elkpark
    Quote from noneil680
    I thought that you had to be an RN for 2 years before you can start an actual NP program, have I been misinformed?
    Different schools have different requirements. Since the direct-entry programs have been springing up like mushrooms after a spring rain, obviously TPTB in nursing have decided that no experience whatsoever is required to become an NP ... However, some (traditional, non-direct-entry) programs do require (a minimum of) two years of RN experience to apply. Others require less experience, or none at all. Each individual school is free to set its own standards.
  12. by   LeapofFaith
    Is experience as an RN necc to become a competent NP?
    I don't have a definitive answer, but here is my line of thinking...
    to become a PA, you don not have to have any prior health care experience. In fact I know 3 people off the tip of my head who are PAs that went to a university took the pre -reqs and went straight to PA school, w/o finishing a bachelors degree. All found jobs before they graduated.
    Why are nurses held to a different standard?
  13. by   jjjoy
    Quote from LeapofFaith
    Is experience as an RN necc to become a competent NP?
    I don't have a definitive answer, but here is my line of thinking...
    to become a PA, you don not have to have any prior health care experience. In fact I know 3 people off the tip of my head who are PAs that went to a university took the pre -reqs and went straight to PA school, w/o finishing a bachelors degree. All found jobs before they graduated.
    Why are nurses held to a different standard?
    I wouldn't say that nurses are held to a different standard. It just reflects the unique development of the NP role and NP education. There's no great master plan about how NPs came into being; it's a continuing work in progress. Maybe PA students *should* be required to have more experience. Maybe NP students *should* be allowed to enter programs without any previous experience. More important is whether or not the programs effectively educate their students for their future roles. I've gotten the impression that much of clinical nursing education at various levels tends to be "teach yourself" and "sink or swim" as opposed to a step by step educational process. From what I've heard about PA programs, they seem, in general, more clearly organized and consistent in their content, in providing an adequate DEPTH of education in medical knowledge (which nursing education can *sometimes* be rather shallow in) and in preparing students to FUNCTION in their future roles.

    Most NPs began as experienced RNs who - from experience and not specifically from their nursing education - came to a level of expertise such that they could essentially take on some of the roles of the MD. If a student CAN train directly as an NP, then NP education needs to take that into account. However, if RN experience isn't needed, then NP education needn't include the complete RN curriculum, which is primarily focused on inpatient bedside nursing care. If that's not the role the student is going to play, why bother? But if the NP doesn't NEED nursing experience or RN education then what part of *nursing* are they bringing to the table as an NP? Direct entry NP programs would have to teach *all* necessary medical content (to be able to diagnose and treat) as well as including nursing content (the more holistic angle). In that case, shouldn't NP training be LONGER than PA training, at least for those without previous nursing experience?
    Last edit by jjjoy on May 8, '08

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