Becoming an NP with little to no nursing experience?? - page 49

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   futrn
    also the school I am going to attend for my undergraduate degree Miami Dade College offers an associates degree in PA that allows you to sit for the licensure exam in 2 years with the prerequisites being the same as their bsn requirements, so apparently this can be done without the premed degree and crammed into a shorter time frame. The only 1 year accelerated RN programs I know of are to get an associates...then you still have to get your BSN in another year...but even still you will be getting the large amount of upper division clinical experience of your NP program which should be equivalent to a PA program. The accelerated tracts do not cut out classes they simply cram more classes into each semester.
    Last edit by futrn on Jan 31, '11 : Reason: new thought
  2. by   middleageNP
    Quote from jjjoy
    On the other hand, the dedicated nursing component of a BSN program apparently can be crammed into just one year as evidenced by one- year accelered 2nd bach BSN programs. The other 3 years' worth of a BSN education is gen ed, pre-reqs and co-reqs (eg statistics, epidemiology, upper division electives).

    More importantly, consider that RN-student clinical hours are focused on nursing care, not mid-level provider (NP/PA) care. Having a BSN definitely can benefit a mid-level student, but RN-student clinical hours are not an equitable substitute for mid-level-student clinical hours.
    Your condescending tone of an RN BSN accelerated program is one of ignorance. Actually, an accelerated RN BSN program is not for the faint of heart or brain. Most of my classmates had prior bachelor or master degrees in various sciences; one with a law degree.
    The program requires the same number of clinical hours, the same required courses as the traditional RN programs. Additionally, admission to such a program is even more competitive than traditional programs because few can handle the intensity. Nursing school is hard as it is with the typical number of units per semester. Try 27-30 units of medical information in one semester & see if you can handle it.
    Last edit by middleageNP on Feb 1, '11
  3. by   elkpark
    Quote from Grnrn
    To comment on someone above stating that she'd never go to an NP program which will not set up clinicals for her. It is a great if you have such a choice, but if you want to become an NP and all the schools within 100 mile radius DO NOT set up clinicals for you, what will you do? Online? Perhaps, but that would then not be local and even less likely you will have the option of setting up the clinical. From what I understand, not too many schools have such luxury. So, it looks like, if you are motivated enough to become an NP, that should not be an obstacle. When there is a wil,l there is a way!
    There is always the option of moving to attend a program that offers what you're looking for. I moved to another region of the country to attend the graduate program I really wanted, and moved back home after I finished school (long-time boyfriend moved with me). Lots of people move to attend graduate schools in other disciplines -- why is this considered such an oddity (or not even an option) in nursing? As long as people put up with less-than-ideal (or even, IMO, less-than-adequate) standards in nursing graduate programs (like being expected to find your own instructors, even though you're paying full tuition) because they don't want to make the effort or sacrifices to attend a really good program, these other programs will continue to flourish and multiply.
    Last edit by elkpark on Feb 1, '11
  4. by   jjjoy
    Quote from middleageNP
    Your condescending tone of an RN BSN accelerated program is one of ignorance. Actually, an accelerated RN BSN program is not for the faint of heart or brain.
    I agree. My point was simply that it *is* possible to complete all RN clinical hours and nursing content in one year.
  5. by   jjjoy
    Quote from Marah1984
    also the school I am going to attend for my undergraduate degree Miami Dade College offers an associates degree in PA that allows you to sit for the licensure exam in 2 years with the prerequisites being the same as their bsn requirements.
    The fact that some PA programs appear to have fairly minimal requirements for physician assistant school and just two years of training could be used to argue that some PA programs are too skimpy in the same way that some argue that some NP programs are too skimpy.
  6. by   jjjoy
    Quote from Marah1984
    Right I am not comparing a RN to a PA I am comparing a NP to a PA. I will have 3 years of low level clinical RN experience and then the upper level clinical experience I will receive as I get my nurse practitioner license...which will most likely be a doctorate...so I believe that is four years. this seems to me like I will graduate with more experience than new PA grads without prior experience. The PA programs I know of are two year programs...
    I suppose it does make a difference what exact programs one attends. Some nursing programs include more than 2 years of clinical. Some nursing programs don't. Some nursing programs allow students to get lots of experience during clinical and require lengthy one-on-one preceptorships. Some nursing programs do not allow for as much experience, with instructor presence required for just about anything beyond CNA level work, and 10 students competing for one instructor's time.

    I've heard that the minimal required clinical hours for PA students is much higher than the minimal required clinical hours for NP students. But I haven't researched that personnally.

    I imagine that if a person doesn't agree with NPs starting practice without any prior RN experience (besides as a student), then that person may also not support two year PA programs that accept students without prior healthcare experience.
  7. by   core0
    Quote from jjjoy
    The fact that some PA programs appear to have fairly minimal requirements for physician assistant school and just two years of training could be used to argue that some PA programs are too skimpy in the same way that some argue that some NP programs are too skimpy.
    Certificate or community college programs invariably require prior healthcare experience. The average for non-masters programs is more than 6000 hours. Non-masters programs tend to be shorter on average 23 months versus 25 months for masters programs. On the other hand the published data shows they have more clinical experience. On the average PA students will have more than 1500 hours of didactic instruction and 1850 hours of clinical instruction. Non-masters programs average 2050 hours. There is one that averages 2290 hours. To put that in perspective that means students are in clinicals almost 50 hours per week during the 48 weeks of their clinical year. In comparison the minimum hours that a nurse practitioner needs are 500 or 750 depending on the certification.

    PA education is competency based. All PAs are taught to the same blueprint and take the same national certification test which is based on the blueprint. Prerequisites are largely based on what a particular program thinks the student needs to succeed in the program. To state based on the degree or prerequisites that a PA program is "skimpy" shows a profound lack of understanding of PA education. For that matter it would suggest the original NP programs which did not require any degree and limited prerequisites were "skimpy".
  8. by   jjjoy
    Just for the record, I'm not making the argument that I posed... though those Miami Dade program pre-reqs didn't look very rigorous compared to other PA programs I'm more familiar with. I'm sure that competition for spots means that many applicants have well above the minimum requirements, but that's beside the point.

    I was just thinking that if a school with pre-reqs like Miami Dade are *prepared* to accept students without any health care experience (preferred but not required) and the what look to be pre-reqs that aren't on par with pre-med coursework, and the program is completed in just two years... well, it just kinda makes one wonder how thorough the program could be. The program might actually be one of the best in the nation, though. I don't know enough to say. Those pre-reqs might be hard-core and in that case, their BSN programs have got relatively tougher science requirements than some other programs!
  9. by   futrn
    Luckily I have looked at all the Family Nurse Practitioner programs around me and non of them require experience...I am sure they are competitive but I am just going to get the best grades and reccomendations I can during my undergraduate years, my prenursing school GPA is a 4.0 in science and all around, get experience where and when I can (I am already a CNA, Patient Care Technician and Residential Associate and have worked with MR/DD children for a few years as well as having worked in oncology), let any rude remarks role off my shoulder and continue to reach my goal! Plus if I do a FNP and AHN I am definantly getting ALOT of clinical hours and years of study (in addition to all my undergraduate clinical hours)...then if I have to do a DNP after that I will get even more...When I add up all the clinical hours I still see myself as graduating with more experience than my friend who is finishing up her PA degree right now.
  10. by   graciRn
    Hello,
    I need some advice/ suggestions here from anyone, experienced NPs, those who are/ were in similar situation as me, or RNs.
    I have heard the both sides to the story, and understand very well where both sides are getting at. I graduated last year from BSN program, currently enrolled in NP program. I have been applying for graduate nurse position countless times (>500?) and got response maybe 1 out of 20 apps I sent out saying sorry no new grads. With no luck in finding a position anywhere, I got a letter of acceptance into the NP program from an application I sent out during last semester in my BSN program. I jumped onto the opportunity rather than waiting around for a job to open. Now I am in first semester, and a potential employer calls me and I am offered a position. There is no way to take the full time position, while being in NP program. Many in my class are working part time, while being in the program. I wish I too can work part time and attend program part time. My question is, I've heard both 1) RN experience is totally different than the role of an NP so experience as RN isn't NECESSARY or 2) you SHOULD have RN experience since NP is an advanced practice NURSE. I am concerned if same thing will happen if I graduate NP school and I end up having hard time finding a job since I am NEW GRAD NP with NO RN experience. I've read on some thread RN experience doesn't count for new grad NP, but some disagree saying it does matter. I am confused. I really want to get my education done, however wanted some experience under the belt. If only I've had this job opportunity sooner... it wouldn't have been this difficult for me to choose one or the other. There is also a potential for me to "maybe" be able to work part time. If so, I would LOVE to work part time, and attend school part time (twice a week). I was thinking so much "what ifs" I was having nightmares. Any 2 cents, or suggestions/advice from the experienced would be greatly appreciated. Remember I've heard the both sides of the story of the pro and con of transitioning straight onto the NP program after getting my BSN. I would like to hear what you would you if you were in my shoe/ and why?
    Last edit by graciRn on Feb 9, '11
  11. by   Curious88
    People say you should walk before you crawl in terms on being a np, but why are there direct programs. Isn't it because so people like the idea of np but not rn
    Last edit by sirI on Feb 15, '11
  12. by   Horseshoe
    I haven't ever looked into NP programs, so I don't know for sure that there are NONE which immediately follow a BSN program, but it does seem like common sense that in order to become really proficient as a nurse, spending a few years doing patient assessments and care day in and day out would make for a FAR better NP than someone who has only the BSN clinicals under their belt.
    Last edit by sirI on Feb 15, '11
  13. by   sirI
    Threads merged.

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