Becoming an NP with little to no nursing experience?? - page 45

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   JoblessNewGradRN
    Quote from ebear
    PAs have hrs and hrs of practical clinical experience. Although nursing schools give you the basics to begin your career, you don't really understand how to put it all together until you've worked for a couple of yrs as an RN. Experience is the BEST teacher and there are just some things you can't learn from a book. When you get your first nursing job, you'll understand. Trust me on this one. Be patient. One step at a time...
    I definitely agree with experience being the best teacher. However, a PA new grad or NP new grad have about the same amount of clinical hours during school. Why is a PA perfectly hire-able after grad school and an NP with no RN experience is not? I guess that's what I am confused about because in addition to the grad school clinical hours, an NP also had to have BSN clinical hours...unless he/she did the fast-track MSN program... I don't understand the double standard and where it stems from.

    I actually spoke to college recruiters for a NP program in NYC that is nationally ranked and they answered all my questions about clinical hours, clinical experience, hire-ability. They stated that all their NP graduates practically get swept up before they even graduate. Of course, they could be lying since it's their job to recruit for the schools.
  2. by   ukstudent
    Quote from JoblessNewGradRN

    A lot of nurses seem to look down on this and I don't understand why. Why is that PAs don't get the same criticism as NPs who have little or no RN experience. While I have been looking for jobs, I have seen job postings that state, "PA New Grad or NP with X years of RN experience." I don't get it. It suggests that NP programs are not as strong as PA programs. To me it's like saying a doctor shouldn't be a doctor unless he/she has been a PA first. Same goes for pharmacists... do they need to be a pharmacy tech first to be a good pharmacist? A lot of people go into nursing without a medical background and become successful nurses.

    Please share your insight because if master's programs are producing unhire-able NPs or NPs who don't deserve the respect of other health professionals simply because they haven't done their time as an RN, then maybe we should just do away with these programs.


    Doctors graduate from school, but then have several years of residency in order to see how the theory translates to practice. The idea that patients are individual and do not all respond the same way to the same drug/therapy, etc.

    Most PA schools require some health care work history prior to starting school and then have an increased number of clinical hours. When they graduate they work under a doctors license and can not practice independently.

    In clinical hours the NP program is not as strong by a multitude of several times compared with PA programs. When NP programs started they were designed for working nurses to advance. Nurses were expected to have several years of clinical experience and so needed less clinical hours. This work history was seen as the equivalent of the doctors residency (years of seeing theory in practice.)

    NP's have less clinical hours in school and can practice independently. The relatively new programs of allowing people with no medical/health care to graduate as NP's was done (in my belief) to 1. increase the number of NP's quickly and 2. to make universities money. Universities do not care if after graduating you can get a job, even the old brick and mortar schools like to make money and this gets students in.
  3. by   ebear
    UKStudent, AMEN, sister!!!!
  4. by   ebear
    Jobless, don't believe this line of bull... :heartbeat
  5. by   JoblessNewGradRN
    I don't know any PA programs that require a medical work history before acceptance...maybe volunteer hours in a hospital or something like that but nothing like being a CNA or tech. I know some people that went to grad school for PA as well and just had to take the GREs and the required pre-reqs.
  6. by   JoblessNewGradRN
    Quote from ebear
    Jobless, don't believe this line of bull... :heartbeat
    Thanks ebear...lol. I'm happy I'm getting honest responses though, because truthfully, the harshest critics I've encountered about this issue are nurses----nurses in clinicals, nurses that teach in college, nurses on this forum...

    I really hope there's not a theme of nurses trying to knock each other down. This NP issue reminds me a lot of when I first started nursing school and faculty told us we all have to absolutely start in med-surg, then my group started hearing about grads getting specialty positions right out of school and doing well in them. God forbid any of us have to be put under by a CRNA since their 1-2 years in critical care pales in comparison to any kind of training a real anesthetist goes through...
  7. by   tyvin
    PA's work under the doc's license and the doc is always available to assist and in many instances they work together in the same building. Nurse pracs work on their own and don't justify there actions to a doctor. Nurse pracs are independent and I believe they need years of RN experience and if they don't then definitely need a preceptor for the first few years.
  8. by   sunnycalifRN
    Quote from TittytatRN
    IMO advance practice nurses are experts in their field. How can you be an expert with no experience whatsoever?
    Exactly. OP, while I applaud you for wanting to set your sights on advanced practice . . . advanced practice is built upon mastery of the basic nursing in whatever area you wish to specialize in.

    For example, I worked with an NP who's area of specialization was cystic fibrosis and lung transplant. She knew the disease, its treatment and its complications, all the current genetic research and gene therapy trials, the pro's and con's of lung transplantation . . . as a new grad RN, who then goes on to get an NP . . . you will know nada, zippo, NOTHING. Nursing school gives you the tools to build your nursing practice . . . experience gives you the knowledge and expertise. Capiche?
  9. by   ukstudent
    Not all PA schools require a health care back ground, but a lot do.

    As for CRNA's, they do require clinical experence, a very vigorous interview selection process ( only few get accepted) and a huge amount of clinical hours. NP schools on the other hand do not require experence, as long as you have the basic pre-req's just about anyone can get accepted and have minimal amount of clinical hours.

    I think that once you get a job and start working you will have a greater understanding just how little nursing school prepares you for actually working as a nurse and just how much you still need to learn just to fuction as an independant working floor/unit nurse.
  10. by   sunnycalifRN
    Quote from JoblessNewGradRN
    I don't know any PA programs that require a medical work history before acceptance...maybe volunteer hours in a hospital or something like that but nothing like being a CNA or tech. I know some people that went to grad school for PA as well and just had to take the GREs and the required pre-reqs.
    You may not know of any . . . but, I know of one, check out the Stanford/Foothill College program . . . it requires 3000 hours of direct healthcare experience to apply for the program. I'm not saying that ALL programs have this requirement, but here's one that does.

    Foothill College Primary Care Program Minimum Prerequisites
  11. by   JoblessNewGradRN
    I agree with all of you. I mean I certainly do want to put my time in as a RN.

    I'm still confused why the nursing community would allow NP programs (that require no RN experience) to exist if there is a perceived deficiency in the graduates' knowledge base and competence. Maybe they should make all NP programs like the ones for CRNAs. If you want to do FNP, you have to do 2 years in primary care or ER... CNM?---two years in L&D...etc.
  12. by   GreyGull
    Quote from sunnycalifRN
    You may not know of any . . . but, I know of one, check out the Stanford/Foothill College program . . . it requires 3000 hours of direct healthcare experience to apply for the program. I'm not saying that ALL programs have this requirement, but here's one that does.

    Foothill College Primary Care Program Minimum Prerequisites
    Not a fan of this program or should I say it is not for everyone.

    That is an accelerated certificate program open to those who have some type of medical certificate. It is 16 months in length and bypasses the degree if the other prerequisites are met.

    Degree based programs generally are not accelerated and are designed for the student to have a strong science background along with many, many clinical hours. Once you complete the degree you can also apply for a post grad residency in a specialty for additional patient hours as a PA and not as an EMT or Medical Assistant.
  13. by   sunnycalifRN
    Quote from JoblessNewGradRN
    *clip*

    Please share your insight because if master's programs are producing unhire-able NPs or NPs who don't deserve the respect of other health professionals simply because they haven't done their time as an RN, then maybe we should just do away with these programs.
    Not being an NP, I don't know what the job requirements are for a NP position. I'm replying based on common sense assumptions . . . how can you apply as a cardiothoracic NP, for example, with absolutely no CT experience? Maybe they will train you, who knows? But, if your goal is to become an NP, go for it!!

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