Another thing - there's a huge difference depending on what track of Master's you want to pursue. I imagine being an FNP in an office is quite different from working as a nurse on the floor....you're not putting in catheters and IVs and changing out chest tube atriums, etc. I work in an ICU, and you can bet that if I were planning on going into Acute Care I'd be working there for longer before continuing my education. We've had direct-entry students rotate through, with no nursing experience, and it was very painful. The nurses pick up on it, because it's obvious they're floundering....and they march right over to the experienced NPs and ask what order they want. They have to, because they know better. Some of these students are planning on working as nurses after completing their programs, which seems backwards.
When looking at these programs, I imagined that they really design them differently to make up for the fact that their students aren't coming in with experience. From what I've seen, beyond the initial certificate year they take the same classes as a regular Master's student. There's no extra help or special design - the objective of the school is generally to make money. As much as possible. As quickly as possible.
Look carefully at the programs available to you, and talk to graduates as well as local employers. I spoke to folks who'd done my program, working as nurses and as NPs. They gave me the good and the bad so I was able to make an educated decision.
Sorry to drone on but it's a pet peeve of mine when folks hop all over the direct-entry or career-changing nurses without understanding how the various programs are set up. Yes, some produce an acting NP who's never worked with patients, but not all. And some of those with no prior experience seem to do well anyway......they have to be dedicated and do a lot of self-learning but they may do better than a nurse with experience who's a bit lazier. For me, I wanted the experience and the money I could earn before going back. I don't regret it, and I'm lucky my program was designed for that.