Becoming an NP with little to no nursing experience?? - page 37

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   emtneel
    I disagree, i don't think you necessarily need ANY RN exp. before starting your program, even going full-time my program took me 2.5yrs (7semesters) taking 9-13 credits a semester and working full-time as a RN on a Peds unit.
    I would say do what you like, although you would get more experience "touching" patients if you did something other than psych.
    I worked Peds only during my time in grad school and that's all Med/surg. I could have done ICU they would have trained me and everything, but i really don't like ICU and it probably would have been pretty stressful with school.

    Anyways, i started my FNP program in Aug 05, and started working as a RN sept.05. graduated FNP program Dec.08 had one job as a FNP wasn't good fit, and should have some job offers this week.

    I have not had much problem with getting interviews for jobs, if you are willing to move anywhere. Colorado has too many NPs and not enough jobs, but most other places in the country MANY interviews i have had Texas, California, MA, they all say they are desparate for NPs and can't find anybody.
    Kinda sucks sometimes they just want a warm body, but I don't think you will have any problem whatsoever getting a job.
    And i can't remember any interview even ASKING or even caring about my RN experience.
    I like Peds though, so it does help if you want a particular job, say with Peds, i can say I work well with kids, 3 yrs experience etc...

    I'd say go ahead and start the program. NP and RN are totally different roles and yes Patient experience will help you as a NP, and it def. won't hurt, but if NP is your goal, why postpone?? That's what my goal was, RN was just a stepping stone to get there. And i was glad i could work as a RN during my program vs a PA they don't have the RN to fall back on. You don't see people questioning PA's about their experience? And a lot of them graduate from their programs with no RN experience or healthcare experience and don't have trouble getting jobs either.
  2. by   zenman
    Quote from emtneel
    You don't see people questioning PA's about their experience? And a lot of them graduate from their programs with no RN experience or healthcare experience and don't have trouble getting jobs either.
    Yes, but...look at their clinical hours versus the NP hours.
  3. by   emtneel
    Quote from zenman
    Yes, but...look at their clinical hours versus the NP hours.
    Not sure how many PAs do....

    That being said it could be beneficial if NP programs could have more residency type training that the PAs receive.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Agree with you (emtneel) that a residency program for APNs would be nice. However, still disagree that an NP or any APN for that matter, is fine with no RN experience.
  5. by   emtneel
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Agree with you (emtneel) that a residency program for APNs would be nice. However, still disagree that an NP or any APN for that matter, is fine with no RN experience.
    Well EVERY NP should have at least 2-3 yrs RN experience while in school. Everyone i went to school with worked, most of them full-time.


    that being said IF i have to go to a PCP i'd rather go to a Doc just for the fact I hope they can tell me something i don't know!
  6. by   Mahage
    I will be starting FNP program part time at SAU in January. I have one year experience (minus 8 wks sick leave) as of Nov. 5. By the time I start school I will have had one full year expereince. I wish I had the luxury of more time as RN before starting but Age and Time are issues to me as I will turn 60 before I graduate if I go part time. I will be working till I drop anyhow and I think that physically I would be able to handle the responsibilities of FNP better than staff nurse. So far I haven't met any age discrimination as far as getting job offers as an RN. Hopefully the same will bear true when I am looking for FNP job.

    Mahage
  7. by   magnolia nurse
    personally I am against training NP's without prior nursing experience.
    It just doesn't set well, the program has the challenge of teaching you how to be a RN giving bedside care and bcome a NP which uses the medical model to deliver care is an interesting concept in a short time frame..
    I don;t know about others, but it took me about 1 year just to be comfortable in my role as a nurse and the experience that comes with being a bedside nurse is amazing. Doctors start their program knowing they are being trainied to be providers and a nurses don't, we take care of what is in between, meaning we don't admit or dischg...
    but good luck with your new career...
    Nursing is taking some interesting turns, and I don't know if this will help the shortage or be the answer to the healthcare system, it remains to be seen.
  8. by   magnolia nurse
    amen to that emteel-I do agree you need basic nursing experience, can you image what your NP does not know cuz' they have never seen it.. there is so much info to learn and this is where prior experience is a blessing...
  9. by   ivorybunny
    Quote from Astock
    I will be gradating with my BSN in nursing this may. I will getting married, and moving to Charlotte, NC afterwards. I have been speaking to the NP Director at my school about my desire to go FNP with another year of psy. training. I want to be able to treat the entire person and not just focus on the body or the mind. She stated after nursing school it is best to work 2-3 years in general-med surg before applying for NP school in Charlotte. She stated yes, you can go NP school directly after nursing school, but many places will not want to hire you because of a lack of experience. During this time I will be paying off school loans.
    I have been trying to find advice on how to prepare for FNP school. I'm currently working at a hosptial on a Cardiac/Telemetry floor. I love Psych. but I don't think I will get enough gen-med experience working there. I was also wondering about working on a pedi floor. In december I will be applying for jobs, and I would like to get on the best floor for me in the big picture.
    What type of floors would you recommanded me working on? Any advice/words of wisdom you have for me?
    I was in the same boat. I am about to finish my Psychiatric Mental Health NP, and for 5 years now I have been on a cardiac tele unit. If your floor is anything like mine, I've had plenty of experience. Mostly because the patients came in with multiple problems, which allowed me to get comfortable with heart, lungs, renal, and GI. I don't do peds or ortho. Any med-surg floor will give you a little bit of everything. Peds will limit you to just peds. What are you planning on doing with your NP? And you do get psych experience with patients along the way.
  10. by   Astock
    Quote from ivorybunny
    I was in the same boat. I am about to finish my Psychiatric Mental Health NP, and for 5 years now I have been on a cardiac tele unit. If your floor is anything like mine, I've had plenty of experience. Mostly because the patients came in with multiple problems, which allowed me to get comfortable with heart, lungs, renal, and GI. I don't do peds or ortho. Any med-surg floor will give you a little bit of everything. Peds will limit you to just peds. What are you planning on doing with your NP? And you do get psych experience with patients along the way.
    Well my psych experience is as following. I worked about a year in an adaptive recreation special ed program as a coach/event planning, and almost 2 years in an home taking care of 6 adults with autism. So the aggression,hitting, etc I am used to already. I loved my psych clinical at a drug rehab, and a mental hosptial.
    On my floor (cardiac) we have had a couple of depressed, anxiety issues, drug seekers (oh the joy of a person calling for pain meds every 15 minutes through the night!). I'm a patient care tech (which is between a nurse and aide...I can take patients, document, but not pass meds). I like cardiac because the patient numbers are lower (4 to 1 nurse), and we have more critical status. I'm a adrenaline junkie.
    I want to be able to blend the fnp and the psych. I want to be flexible. I love listening, counseling, and doing the psych portion of nursing but at the same time I love being able to help people deal with the day to day health issues. I know psych has a high burn out rate so I would love the flexibility of being able to move back into a fnp role for a while, and then go back to psych. In addition, I am very big into medical missions trips/humanitarian trips. I have gone to mexico with the fnp students at my nursing school and I enjoyed that a lot.
    That's my abstract goal .
  11. by   Mahage
    Quote from Astock
    Well my psych experience is as following. I worked about a year in an adaptive recreation special ed program as a coach/event planning, and almost 2 years in an home taking care of 6 adults with autism. So the aggression,hitting, etc I am used to already. I loved my psych clinical at a drug rehab, and a mental hosptial.
    On my floor (cardiac) we have had a couple of depressed, anxiety issues, drug seekers (oh the joy of a person calling for pain meds every 15 minutes through the night!). I'm a patient care tech (which is between a nurse and aide...I can take patients, document, but not pass meds). I like cardiac because the patient numbers are lower (4 to 1 nurse), and we have more critical status. I'm a adrenaline junkie.
    I want to be able to blend the fnp and the psych. I want to be flexible. I love listening, counseling, and doing the psych portion of nursing but at the same time I love being able to help people deal with the day to day health issues. I know psych has a high burn out rate so I would love the flexibility of being able to move back into a fnp role for a while, and then go back to psych. In addition, I am very big into medical missions trips/humanitarian trips. I have gone to mexico with the fnp students at my nursing school and I enjoyed that a lot.
    That's my abstract goal .
    Hey Astock, I am planning to get my FNP. I am in Tn. and the mental health facilities and private psychiatrists hire or work with FNP's in the psych area especially if you have a mental health background. I am currently working on an Intermediate Care Unit. We get mostly trauma and some cardiology and pulmonary cases. I am getting loads of exp. working with vented pts and telemetry. I have an MSW and many years experience as a therapist and a crisis counselor. My interests are not limited to psych, but the interest will always be there, so for me FNP is the best approach because it will allow me to do both or either. I start classes in Jan. I am looking for ward to it and dreading it too. I never got to go on a mission trip with my nursing class though I had hoped to go to Costa Rica, the trip was canceled and the one to Peru seemed a little rougher than I could handle. I will be going back to the same school so maybe I will get another chance. Keep up the good work.

    Mahage
  12. by   stinger530
    Go for it! There's a huge need out there. You will have a job. Especially if you go into acute adult, adult, geriatrics or specialty care like oncology, diabetes or hypertension. I wasn't a nurse before I went to a program like the one you are considering. I was lucky. My first preceptor treated my first year of employment as a residency. He opened the door for questions and included me in care conferences usually reserved for medical fellows. I stayed in that position for over 10 years. Remember, nurses are famous for eating their young and shooting their wounded. There's a lot of jealousy in our profession. Don't let the naysayers bring you down. Only 10% of nurses are APNs. Sometimes that causes problems. Do what you know in your heart you want to do. Be honest about what you don't know. Keep reading and asking questions. You will have a job. Promise. As long as you put the patient first you'll bevfine.
    Last edit by stinger530 on Mar 16, '09 : Reason: mispelling, bad spacing
  13. by   graceofone
    Quote from Uberman5000
    1) Ok

    2) Yes its called "practice" i.e a psychomotor skill that is improved with repetition. Despite the statement, you can improve your assessment skills in clinicals and more importantly the JOB that you work at. If you graduate from school with an APRN degree you take something called the boards and if you pass it you get a license, meaning the state sees you as competant enough to practice as an APRN. You can improve your assessment skills while working on the job, even with no "experience". You know the methodology you just improve on it...everyone is new at something sometime in their lives...

    3) Depends on the setting, if you are in a private practice doing primary care you have "appointments" and you diagnose and treat on a case by case basis.

    4) Again, depends on the setting....I dont think you are going to be doing catheters and enemas in a primary care setting.....

    5) Sounds a little 2 heavy on the theory side

    Just my thoughts on this -
    In regards to #3, there is little room for error in health care. Just because you have pass a test in no ways makes you competent, it means you know the material you were tested on. This scares me that you think that you can just learn it as you go without previous expereince. A lot of the time, depending on your state, the NP is the one treating/diagnosing without other independent providers. I would hate to be wrong about diagnosing someone who presents with uncommon symptoms of a common disease, a skill experienced nurses have. I, myself, am a little worried about practicing as a NP with the 5 years of experience I will have when I graduate.

close