Becoming an NP with little to no nursing experience?? - page 47

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   PostOpPrincess
    Quote from Annaiya
    It makes me sad that so many nurses are are being so negative. I would not want to do grad school without any RN experience, but that doesn't mean someone going straight through school can't be a good NP. And I don't see the need to have more than a year of experience. I feel this way for a couple of reasons. First, NPs do not do RN work. Yes they understand it, and some of what they do incorporates it, but it is not the same. So much of what an NP needs to learn will be brand new even with a lot of RN experience. Secondly, the educational programs are designed to provide everything a person needs to know to be competent and pass boards. Yes there are bad schools and bad students out there who may on an individual basis not meet the standards, but that doesn't mean everyone should be stereotyped.

    I think nurse's views are influenced by the fact that being an NP didn't always require a master's degree, and instead you needed experience and just a certificate program. Also, I've found a lot of nurses really don't understand what NPs do. I've asked so many nurses at my hospital about what the NPs do in different areas and it's rare that I find someone who actually knows. I've also noticed that some RNs seem to think NP work is advanced RN work, so they need to master all things RN before they can move on to an NP. This is just NOT the case.

    I applied to NP school with only 4 months RN experience and was amazed at how judgemental a lot of the experienced nurses were. Honestly, I think a lot of them were just jealous that they never made the committment to go to school. NP school is A LOT of work. They do not just hand out degrees. If you don't have any RN experience, I would think it would be more work to get through school but not impossible.

    With that said, you may find it difficult to get a job once you graduate if you don't have any RN experience. With the economy and the looming DNP requirment, NP schools are seeing record numbers of applicants and are accepting as many students as they can possibly accomodate. There are going to be a lot of new NP grads in the next 3-6 years at least, so if you are one of the ones graduating with no RN experience, it may be really hard to get a job.

    Jealous? No, nope, nah.

    First, I am starting NP school. I have 18 years of experience. Second, I already have three contacts/network MDs waiting for me to graduate. I've worked side by side with them. They know my capabilities and they're willing to pay me the $$.

    THAT comes with experience, and having a good reputation.

    I can tell you now that the non-experienced NPs that were hired by my system have been relegated to research, that's how much they value hands-on.

    THAT is reality.

  2. by   grannyrn65
    Quote from elkpark
    I am not a fan of direct entry program (MSN programs for non-nurses), but, just for the sake of accuracy, the above is not exactly true. My graduate program (which I attended as a traditional, experienced-RN student) included a direct entry program for non-nurses with NO required healthcare background and graduated them as NPs, CNSs, or CNMs in three years, without having ever worked a single day as an RN (just their clinicals during the year of basic nursing education in their program). I graduated in 1994, and the school's direct entry program had been around for many years at that time (in fact, the school claims to have originally invented the concept of the direct entry program, and is vl proud of that). And there were plenty of other direct entry programs around before 2000 that didn't require applicants to be licensed nurses or have any prior experience.
    Sorry but this is like comparing apples and oranges. The NP programs I was referring to, you had to hold a license as a RN. I am aware of the type of program you are talking about and I have my reservations about nonRN's doing directly into an NP program. Why do those who support direct entry look down so much on programs that do require nursing experience. I think a good number of you are confused about the role an NP plays in providing care. You appear, to me, to assume you are to take the place of a physician, independent of all but minimal supervision.

    As an experienced RN, are you going to deny the fund of knowledge and practical experience you drew on during your NP program? Let me ask you this question, would you allow a physician, that has only his clinical experience in medical school to draw on, perform surgery on you? I mean, he has been in the operating room during med school, so he should be able to perform surgery just on book learning and clinical experience. Of course, no one would. At least no one in their right mind would.

    Following this line of thinking, I attended a diploma program initially. There were a few two year programs around then and their number was increasing. There was also a great deal of discussion toward making a BSN requirement for RN's and making two year's technical nurses, getting rid of LPN's. This discussion continued on until the 1980's,when women were able to get into other traditional male professions in greater numbers, then it disappeared. The call for a minimum of a PhD requirement for an NP came into being in the mid 1990's. My point is why is requiring practical experience looked down on so much by some? It appears that they want a short cut to get to a desired goal. And the heck with the impact on patients. And while having some experience in another field does add to one's ability to deal with patient's, it does not add to their fund of knowledge about disease and patient care. The one thing that impressed me about my NP program was that my professors also maintained part time employment in their NP specialty area. I got the benefit of their book knowledge and their continued practical experience.

    Education has always been important but education without practical experience has never inspired confidence in me. And for those who think it is difficult to determine the amount of experience a new NP has, it isn't. All I have to do is go to my BON site. Mine provides initial licensing date as a RN and a NP. Sorry but you will never take care of me, just like no nonboard certified physician will care for me.

    Like I said color me as a

    GrannyRN65
  3. by   ominous
    Quote from Annaiya
    It makes me sad that so many nurses are are being so negative. I would not want to do grad school without any RN experience, but that doesn't mean someone going straight through school can't be a good NP. And I don't see the need to have more than a year of experience. I feel this way for a couple of reasons. First, NPs do not do RN work. Yes they understand it, and some of what they do incorporates it, but it is not the same. So much of what an NP needs to learn will be brand new even with a lot of RN experience. Secondly, the educational programs are designed to provide everything a person needs to know to be competent and pass boards. Yes there are bad schools and bad students out there who may on an individual basis not meet the standards, but that doesn't mean everyone should be stereotyped.

    I think nurse's views are influenced by the fact that being an NP didn't always require a master's degree, and instead you needed experience and just a certificate program. Also, I've found a lot of nurses really don't understand what NPs do. I've asked so many nurses at my hospital about what the NPs do in different areas and it's rare that I find someone who actually knows. I've also noticed that some RNs seem to think NP work is advanced RN work, so they need to master all things RN before they can move on to an NP. This is just NOT the case.

    I applied to NP school with only 4 months RN experience and was amazed at how judgemental a lot of the experienced nurses were. Honestly, I think a lot of them were just jealous that they never made the committment to go to school. NP school is A LOT of work. They do not just hand out degrees. If you don't have any RN experience, I would think it would be more work to get through school but not impossible.

    With that said, you may find it difficult to get a job once you graduate if you don't have any RN experience. With the economy and the looming DNP requirment, NP schools are seeing record numbers of applicants and are accepting as many students as they can possibly accomodate. There are going to be a lot of new NP grads in the next 3-6 years at least, so if you are one of the ones graduating with no RN experience, it may be really hard to get a job.
    No offense but you are sadly mistaken if you think that the experience a nurse gains at the bedside is useless. OJT experience is everything. THis is where the majority of learning takes place, at the bedside. I had 7 yrs experience before going to np school and still felt like a fish out of water, so I can't begin to imagine stepping onto a unit as a NP with no experience. NP school should require 3-5yrs experience prior to admission to the program.
  4. by   Darjeeling22
    Quote from ominous
    There is NO looming dnp requirement, just a recommendation.
    Is this true? From what my instructors have told us, starting in 2015 all new NPs will be required to hold a PhD. NPs already working with a master's degree would be grandfathered in.
  5. by   GreyGull
    Quote from Darjeeling22
    Is this true? From what my instructors have told us, starting in 2015 all new NPs will be required to hold a PhD. NPs already working with a master's degree would be grandfathered in.
    DNP and PhD are two different degrees with different curriculums.

    The DNP still needs approval from all the stakeholders or agencies in nursing. 2015 was the proposed date to make the transition but other options are still being explored.

    FAQs about the DNP:

    http://www.aacn.nche.edu/DNP/dnpfaq.htm

    http://www.nann.org/pdf/dnpfacts.pdf

    Interesting site that combines NPs and PAs. It also has a discussion forum.
    http://nurse-practitioners-and-physi...dvanceweb.com/

    To the OP:
    I suggest you go straight to the source(s) for the programs you are giving some consideration of attending and the specialty that interests you. You then can tailor your work and academic experiences around the answers to your questions you get directly from then. That will probably be more reliable than anonymous forums which sometimes attract "like" and very opinionated attitudes about some things.
    Last edit by GreyGull on Oct 31, '10
  6. by   Darjeeling22
    Quote from GreyGull
    DNP and PhD are two different degrees with different curriculums.

    The DNP still needs approval from all the stakeholders or agencies in nursing. 2015 was the proposed date to make the transition but other options are still being explored.

    FAQs about the DNP:

    http://www.aacn.nche.edu/DNP/dnpfaq.htm

    http://www.nann.org/pdf/dnpfacts.pdf
    Ah, thank you for the clarification!
  7. by   PostOpPrincess
    I don't have a problem with my NP at my PCP. She is "DA BOMB."
    However, she and I work together on my care and I have a LOT of say so, being an experienced nurse.

    She values my opine and many a time I've told her to go another route. Why? I know myself and have seen it firsthand in patients.
  8. by   grannyrn65
    I would like to start a discussion regarding the need for experience prior to enrolling in a Nurse Practitioner program. For those who believe that previous experience in a non-nursing field is sufficent and you should be admitted to a NP program, explain how and why you feel this. Share with me how your experience gives you a heads up on anyone else. I am directing this inquiry towards those who already hold a BA or BS. For those holding the view of need for experience before advanced education, share your reason's as well.

    All opinions are welcome.

    GrannyRN65
  9. by   regularRN
    Duh? Advanced education has nothing to do with practice....
  10. by   OCNRN63
    You used to if you wanted to be taken with any degree of respect. These days, who knows?
  11. by   elkpark
    Quote from grannyrn65
    Sorry but this is like comparing apples and oranges. The NP programs I was referring to, you had to hold a license as a RN. I am aware of the type of program you are talking about and I have my reservations about nonRN's doing directly into an NP program. Why do those who support direct entry look down so much on programs that do require nursing experience. I think a good number of you are confused about the role an NP plays in providing care. You appear, to me, to assume you are to take the place of a physician, independent of all but minimal supervision.

    As an experienced RN, are you going to deny the fund of knowledge and practical experience you drew on during your NP program? Let me ask you this question, would you allow a physician, that has only his clinical experience in medical school to draw on, perform surgery on you? I mean, he has been in the operating room during med school, so he should be able to perform surgery just on book learning and clinical experience. Of course, no one would. At least no one in their right mind would.

    Following this line of thinking, I attended a diploma program initially. There were a few two year programs around then and their number was increasing. There was also a great deal of discussion toward making a BSN requirement for RN's and making two year's technical nurses, getting rid of LPN's. This discussion continued on until the 1980's,when women were able to get into other traditional male professions in greater numbers, then it disappeared. The call for a minimum of a PhD requirement for an NP came into being in the mid 1990's. My point is why is requiring practical experience looked down on so much by some? It appears that they want a short cut to get to a desired goal. And the heck with the impact on patients. And while having some experience in another field does add to one's ability to deal with patient's, it does not add to their fund of knowledge about disease and patient care. The one thing that impressed me about my NP program was that my professors also maintained part time employment in their NP specialty area. I got the benefit of their book knowledge and their continued practical experience.

    Education has always been important but education without practical experience has never inspired confidence in me. And for those who think it is difficult to determine the amount of experience a new NP has, it isn't. All I have to do is go to my BON site. Mine provides initial licensing date as a RN and a NP. Sorry but you will never take care of me, just like no nonboard certified physician will care for me.

    Like I said color me as a

    GrannyRN65
    I don't disagree with you at all (as I said, I'm not a fan of direct entry programs) and am not trying to argue with you -- I was just responding to your statement that, prior to 2000, NP programs required several years of nursing experience. You didn't specify that you were referring to any particular type of NP program, just that "NP programs" required previous nursing experience. That statement just wasn't accurate, as there were already plenty of direct entry programs around long before 2000 (regardless of whether or not any of us think that's a good idea ).

    (BTW, I am also an old diploma grad, and v. proud of that. )
  12. by   PAERRN20
    Would you want to be on a flight with a first time pilot?

    Same concept!
  13. by   remifentanil
    The fact is there is only one advanced practice nurse speciality that does require experience. The fact that other APN programs do not require it speaks volumes to the academic rigors of those programs. If you can enter a school with ZERO experience... and graduate an APN...res ipsa loquitor.

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