Becoming an NP with little to no nursing experience?? - page 9

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   Mission
    Not all programs lock you into a specialty once you are accepted, at least, my school didn't.

    I really think whether or not you need experience as an RN depends on the individual. I know personally, if I was considering working in an acute care setting as an NP I would feel more comfortable if I had worked as a nurse in a hospital. However, since I want to work in a community health setting and I spent 2 years shadowing NPs (it was part of my job, but you can do it as a volunteer, depending on the organization, you just sign a HIPAA form) I don't feel it's necessary for myself. But I work, because I need the money :spin:
  2. by   ginger58
    "Personally I think the idea is ludicrous! I became an RN first, worked in my area for several years and went to NNP school."

    If you think I've made that statement because I walked through three feet of snow 20 miles to school you're really out there.
    Nursing is a profession. People build skills in nursing school, see how a hospital runs, what the different roles are, etc. I think this is all part of being a nurse. As far as people without this previous education being molded easily and don't have "bad habits", that sounds like crap to me. You think every nurse has bad habits or isn't able to be molded? I find this offensive to those of us that are nurses.
    There may be direct entry programs that are working well and putting out decent NPs, but please get yourselves away from the thinking that "some people think you should have to eat crap because they had to back in the day. But it makes no difference really..." I personally don't buy this and time will tell. Best wishes for your success.
  3. by   mvanz9999
    I really don't understand where everyone is getting this "NP without experience" from. Maybe people don't understand how the programs work. Let me put it down:

    There are two types that I've seen:

    A). I go to the first 15 months of the direct entry program (Core nursing requirements). I then receive a "permission" to take the NCLEX. If I pass it, I am now an R.N., but I have not finished my degree. I then take a part time job as an RN while finishing the actual NP part of the program. This is expected to take 4-5 years. After I finish the second part (and pass the licensing exam) I am now a NP with 4-5 years of experience as an RN and then (and only then) I receive my degree. (University of Illinois at Chicago)

    B). I get a general MSN, take the NCLEX and am now a masters-degree RN. I then must re-apply to the school for the post-masters certificate program, to obtain certification as a NP. (DePaul)

    In neither case do I see anyone who graduates without stepping foot into a hospital or working first as an RN. Now, in the second case, you may say that a person could get the general masters and then immediately apply for the post-masters certificate, but one must remember that you will be competing with applicants that have 5 or 10 or 15 or 25 years of clinical experience as an RN, and the likelihood of being competitive without ever working as an RN is minute. It would be very unlikely that they would admit someone with ZERO experience, into the post-masters certificate program.

    So I'm not sure where all these NPs are coming from that have literally NO clinical experience. I think what may be happening is that some posters are unaware of how the programs work. In Illinois, these are your two choices, and from what I have read and heard, it would be virtually impossible to become an NP without significant clinical work as well.

    If someone knows of a program that allows you to complete the core nursing requirements and the NP requirements in one time frame, without having to re-apply, or without having to compete with experienced nurses, let me know. As I see it, this is just not possible. At least not in Illinois.
  4. by   ginger58
    Quote from mvanz9999
    I really don't understand where everyone is getting this "NP without experience" from. Maybe people don't understand how the programs work. Let me put it down:
    Thank you for the clarification
  5. by   Mission
    I believe Columbia, UCSF, Yale and NYU all allow you to go straight through without working. I'm sure there are other schools.
  6. by   Blurr156
    I have to jump back into this thread because it has been very informative and interesting, even though my original post unfortunately won't be applicable to me anymore.
    Regarding Columbia, yes, you can go straight through the program (it was the program I was looking into).
    A large part of the focus of this thread seems to be looking at RN experience vs no healthcare experience at all. There was a brief discussion about what I had asked about, but I haven't seen much since. Having worked as a paramedic for 20 years, I would like to think that would give me a pretty respectable foundation in terms of patient assessment and care. I certainly do not claim that this is nursing (RN) experience, but skills regarding pt. assessment, tx, hx taking, etc. are all a part of my job and certainly requisite skills to become an NP. I respect the nursing profession and understand why some nurses feel that RN experience should be mandatory to enter an NP program. It is similar to my belief that one should have experience as an EMT before attending paramedic school. However, although I believe that is the better path to follow to become a paramedic, I would be hard pressed to prove it is a necessary requirement. Interesting stuff being discussed here. I have learned alot following this thread.
  7. by   traumaRUs
    Blurrr156 - I hope I can address your comments about your paramedic experience. I am a pre-hospital RN in IL (one of the few states with this type of license). I also have 10 years experience in a level one trauma center. I have worked with many paramedics both in the ER and in the field. I also know several paramedics that have gone on to be an RN.

    1. Good paramedics have excellent "across the room" assessment skills. In 60 seconds, they can size up the situation and be accurate.

    2. Some good paramedics that I know have gone on to school and all say that it is the more in-depth knowledge that they lack. The finesse of knowing drug interactions, in-depth physiology, etc..

    3. The focus of a paramedic versus a nurse centers more in an in-depth assessment and in-depth knowledge. This is the way it should be because the paramedic shouldn't be on scene for 30 minutes trying to get an in-depth history and physical. They should do a focused assessment and go on from there.

    4. The paramedics that I have had the pleasure to work with have my respect. They have been (with few exceptions) professional, compassionate and have excellent assessment skills.

    5. I think your paramedic skills and experience will serve you well in nursing school - no matter which route you take.

    And...although I don't work in the ER any longer, I still consider myself an ER RN. Take care and stay safe.
  8. by   joeyandjana
    I totally agree with the advice here for checking on your state. For example here in California, the state with the toughest regulations and schooling, Excelsior lost it's accrediation a few years ago so if you do get your degree thru them you cannot practice in California as they will not acknowledge the degree. Good luck to you though on which ever way you decide to go..
  9. by   Brownbetty
    I am a new NP and had a couple of students in my class who had no nursing experience and one with nursing experience but not in our specialty. They both have had a difficult time getting jobs, unlike the rest of us in the class.
  10. by   Blurr156
    Thank you traumRUs for the kind comments. I agree about the broader and deeper aspects of a nursing education. Some medic programs (like mine, also depends on instructor) teach some pretty detailed stuff regarding A&P, Patho, etc. Plus, I tend to me a bit of an academic when it comes to this stuff so I try to read alot. Regardless, as you said, I think I will be ready regardless of the route I pursue. I think a big aspect of any type of medical training is being comfortable in a patient care environment in the first place. For people who have no healthcare experience at all to take an advanced program I think definitely has its' own challenges. Thank you again for the comments. And yes, "staying safe" is always at the top of my list...
  11. by   mom and nurse
    Quote from Brownbetty
    I am a new NP and had a couple of students in my class who had no nursing experience and one with nursing experience but not in our specialty. They both have had a difficult time getting jobs, unlike the rest of us in the class.

    I'm an NP student and I am just curious. You say that one has nursing experience but "not in our specialty." What is your specialty?
  12. by   mom and nurse
    Brownbetty - I just answered my own question. I see that your speciality is the NICU. I have just PM'd you.

    mom and nurse
  13. by   BrandyNP
    Quote from mvanz9999

    Trauma suggested that I call a few nursing recruiters at the major hospitals in Chicagoland, and they all told me that they would NOT hire a Nurse Practitioner without a minimum of 3-5 years clinical experience. The recruiters don't see how or where graduate students are getting clinical experience, and without that, they aren't going to hire a new grad as an NP.
    Did the recruiters want the NP to have experience as a RN or NP? My experience in the RN role and NP role are not interchangeable. My scope of practice is completely different (with far more liability) as a NP.

    Are the hospitals in Chicago only hiring Acute Care/Trauma NP's to practice in the hospital setting? Do they have outpatient clinics for FNP's to work?

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