Becoming an NP with little to no nursing experience??

  1. 2 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 certain practical reasons (including my union not helping to pay for it) I have been looking at other options, nursing/NP. I was very excited to learn of a school near me that has a combined BSN/NP program for people with non-nursing bachelor degrees. I was about to start looking deeper into this program when a good friend of mine who is a member of an interview committee at a nearby hospital told me that I shouldn't do the program because I would have trouble getting a job. The reason stated was because I wouldn't have been seen as having "paid my dues" as a nurse first. Is this true? I could understand why someone might feel that way about someone who went through this type of program never having worked in healthcare before. However, I like to think that to a certain degree I've paid my dues (I know it isn't nursing, but from a time in healthcare perspective). My friend did say that I might be considered an exception to that rule. The program is at a VERY well known school and I was told by my friend even then it wouldn't matter. I was wondering what people here thought regarding this topic. Thank you for any guidance you can provide.
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  3. Visit  Blurr156 profile page

    About Blurr156

    From 'New York'; Joined Jul '05; Posts: 24; Likes: 4.

    702 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  augigi profile page
    0
    I'm not an NP, but as far as I can tell, it's a great thing to get your master's degree, however after completion you will still be an entry-level RN. If you're happy to take a non-NP or beginning level job, you'll be fine. I do think some people would have problems with an APN with no nursing experience at all.

    Congrats on your new career choice!
  5. Visit  traumaRUs profile page
    0
  6. Visit  Blurr156 profile page
    0
    Thank you augigi and traumaRUs for your feedback. I am a little surprised that people who graduate from NP programs (and hadn't worked as RN's) would have to take an RN position first and work for some time before being able to get an NP position. Why have these programs in the first place? It is misleading thinking that one can finish this program and start working as an NP. If my friend hadn't put that question in my head (and with the feedback here) I think I would have been in for a real shock after having worked so hard for those years only to find out I would be starting in an RN position. If this is the case then I will have to rethink my game plan and maybe see about an accelerated BSN or I've heard good things about Excelsior's online program. Thanks again for your help.
    Last edit by Blurr156 on Dec 4, '06
  7. Visit  augigi profile page
    0
    There is no reason to think you definitely won't be able to get an NP job - you would have to check out the market in your area. It is more that you may not feel (or be) ready for advanced nursing if you don't even have basic nursing down. You also might! It is great that you are considering this before jumping in. I would definitely do a masters if you can rather than a BSN though - you can always work for a year in nursing and then upgrade to an NP position, and you will already have the masters behind to support you.
  8. Visit  Blurr156 profile page
    1
    One program near me (Columbia University) has what they call an ETP (Entry to Practice) combined BS/MS program. The first year is full time to satisfy the BSN portion. The rest of the program is for the MS(NP) which may be done part time or full time. I was thinking of maybe going through this program and after finishing the BS part (hopefully) then working as an RN and continuing part-time with the rest. Lots to think about, but I'm eager to move on from where I have been for a long time. Thanks again.
    mtstringer likes this.
  9. Visit  traumaRUs profile page
    1
    Blurr - I think you have the right idea. In my area, the market is very tight. The powers to be wouldn't even interview an inexperienced RN who had NP after it. However, I would think in areas where there is a strong need, you would be considered. Simple supply and demand.
    anie10 likes this.
  10. Visit  Blurr156 profile page
    0
    What I think might be an even better option (cost wise that is...) is getting my Assoc. in Nursing through Excelsior's online program. It seems to be very convenient for those who work. Once I have that I can start working as a nurse and then apply for a master's program. Hmmm, sounds like a plan. Thanks for your help.
  11. Visit  traumaRUs profile page
    1
    Blurr - just make sure that Excelsior is accepted in the state that you want to work. Some states (IL for one, where I live) do not accept it.
    anie10 likes this.
  12. Visit  Mission profile page
    2
    Quote from Blurr156
    One program near me (Columbia University) has what they call an ETP (Entry to Practice) combined BS/MS program. The first year is full time to satisfy the BSN portion. The rest of the program is for the MS(NP) which may be done part time or full time. I was thinking of maybe going through this program and after finishing the BS part (hopefully) then working as an RN and continuing part-time with the rest. Lots to think about, but I'm eager to move on from where I have been for a long time. Thanks again.
    I'm a student at Columbia and I know in the past the Acute care program had 100% job placement rate after graduation and those people were expected to go straight from the BSN through the MSN program full-time. I'm in the FNP program and that director expects us to work as nurses while we do the masters phase. I'm doing the program part-time and working full-time but it is possible to do it full-time and work full-time. I worked in health care for 7 years before I started this program and was strongly encouraged by the doctors and nurses I worked with to go here. I've already been offered an NP job even though I probably won't graduate till 2010. If you have any questions about the program feel free to PM me.
    nursegc and BS/MS NursingStudent like this.
  13. Visit  mvanz9999 profile page
    1
    Trauma basically got something to stick in my head that others have been trying to tell me, but I didn't get.

    I'm currently in the I/T field and have been looking at nursing for a long time. Because of time/financial constraints, neither the ADN or accelerated BSN is very doable. So I was looking into a couple of Direct Entry MSN programs (Master of Science in Nursing for Non-Nursing Majors) as an NP.

    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. Moreover, the grad schools naturally don't mention this little factoid, and some of us don't see it at first.

    It's not that I'm averse to working as a staff RN, but it's a very important point to keep in mind when paying and attending grad school. You're going to come out and be paid as any other RN would. It's not going to do a whole lot of good outright. That will, at least, add 5 or more years to the time that it will take to become a practicing Nurse Practitioner.

    Now I need to rethink the whole thing. I'll be 45+ before I start practice. With a whole lot of loans. Hm........anyone have thoughts on this?
    2011NursingStudent likes this.
  14. Visit  Rosa2Little profile page
    2
    I am currently doing the BSN program full-time after leaving the high tech field. The program at my school allows me to take up to 3 grad level classes that will count toward my master's as well. This option is open to anyone who keeps an honors level GPA in the nursing program.

    I'm starting this next semester, with one grad class in addition to my UG classes. My plan is to switch to part-time and work as an RN part-time upon graduation. Doing the NP program part-time should take 2 additional years.

    I hope to get an NP position shortly after graduation, but I am committed to doing whatever it takes, and if that means working as a staff nurse for a while longer, so be it. I look at it as if, hey, I'm going to be 45 anyway -- might as well be working on what I want to be when I grow up!
    510akmama and Faith213 like this.
  15. Visit  NYNewGrad profile page
    0
    Quote from Blurr156
    Hello to all!!! I have worked as a parmamedic for 20 years,
    It's not like you have no experience - If you're a good medic with strong assessment skills and diverse healthcare exposure I think you'll be okay. Maybe not first pick over a NP with 20 years RN experience, but probably on a fair playing field with NPs that have 3-5 years RN experience.


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