Direct Entry MSN programs for non-nurses

  1. I just recently graduated with a BS in Animal Science from Cornell. I am interested in becoming a family nurse practitioner. How competitive are Direct Entry MSN programs? I decided that getting into a direct entry program would be more beneficial versus a ABSN program. Any thoughts? I am particularly interested in UMASS Worcester GEP program if anyone knows how competitive that school is to get into.
  2. Visit lavender19 profile page

    About lavender19

    Joined: Sep '13; Posts: 30; Likes: 5


  3. by   Kuriin
    These MEPN type programs are *very* competitive. The downside with the specialty that you're interested is it's one of the most competitive specialties for a nurse practitioner because you can effectively work for any practice (pediatric-gerontology). I say go for it. You can do it!
  4. by   mzaur
    Competitive is relative. It depends on your GPA, GRE, letters of recommendation, writing ability, volunteer and work experience, etc.
  5. by   hi616
    The schools I applied to were competitive in the sense that acceptance rates were typically between 10-20%. Like StephenAndrews said, FNP is definitely the most popular and therefore most competitive. Without any insight into one's "stats"--GPA, GRE, letters of rec, it is hard to say how competitive an applicant is. If you look at previous threads about DE-MSN programs you can usually gain an understanding of the background applicants had. (Look at my post history and you'll find threads for the past application cycle.)
  6. by   erin.tolbert
    Direct entry programs are competitive but certainly not impossible to get into. It is definitely worth applying. Some direct entry programs even have acceptance rates above 50%.
    Last edit by DidiRN on Oct 2, '13
  7. by   phieud
    I got into Azusa Pacific University's direct entry FNP program in California with a 3.15 GPA , 1 yr of EMT, and a lot of volunteer experience, so I'm sure you'll be ok. APU was the only program I applied to. I was also informed by the interviewer that because I was a minority (male), that it gave me a better chance at getting in.
  8. by   lavender19
    That's great news, congrats! Did you say that you were bilingual? In my case, I'm half caucasian and half hispanic. Not sure if that gives me some sort of an edge being only 50% hispanic.
    Last edit by lavender19 on Oct 9, '13
  9. by   sfwhitney
    MEPN programs are very competitive, BUT in the end, if you know you want that route... do it! Now.

    It is the most effective and immersive type of nursing education, imo. I am in a program now. While it is a hard, the rate of information isn't baffling. In fact, I prefer it that way.

    You are a smart cookie coming from Cornell. I would guess (knowing nothing about you) that you may want a program that is challenging and gets you where you want to be (as fast as you can get there).
  10. by   lavender19
    Where do you go to school sfwhitney? I think I have a chance, I just need to do well on the GRE and interview. Do you know how your friends are doing in regards to getting jobs? The program I'm interested in makes you work as an RN for 1000 hours before completing the master's portion. From what I've been researching it's very difficult to obtain an RN job as a new grad without experience. That's what I'm mostly concerned about. I know that there is a shortage of NPs, but was curious on how the job market looks at MEPN graduates. My assumption is they would prefer a student with a BSN with experience before becoming an NP. However, if I do the ABSN first and work before there's no guarantee that I will get a job right away because right now the health care field is oversaturated with RNs. I've heard that new grad BSNs haven't been able to find jobs for 1-2 years. So even though NP seems like something I would enjoy, I'm just afraid of not being employed.
  11. by   sfwhitney
    I went to UCSF. I *just* graduate, really. My GREs were nothing to write home about, nor were my undergrad grades. I think I got a 550 in verbal and 720/730 in math. Undergrad I had a 3.0 GPA. Each school likes different profiles. UCSF loves candidates whom love the community and are big public health advocates. Almost all of the profs choose UCSF for its emphasis on community and diversity. Different schools, different themes. You need to dig around to fit the personality of the school that matches you best, in terms of MEPN/GEPN-type programs.

    RN jobs were a tough find, to be honest. Most of us went straight through to our Masters (NP,CNS, etc) to avoid the market. However, everyone seems to generally be finding gigs as an NP within 6 mo or so. SF is an awesome place to be a nurse, but the market is pretty darn saturated.

    Again, if you you know want it and don't want the step-up years, go MEPN. The ONLY exception is if you want to be a critical care or inpatient NP. You need floor experience and plenty of ICU time to really lock up one of those NP positions. Soooo... there's my caveat... think where you want to be and then go for the most direct path. I did not have much medical background, but I came from psych. I am in primary care now, and I can safely say that it didn't matter that I lack RN floor experience. Being a med-surg nurse is great, but in primary care APRN-world... not necessary

    Another very cool idea with your background would also be looking at the occupational medicine world with the animal therapy specialty. There are fantastic programs for that, too.
  12. by   lavender19
    Well congratulations on graduating! How difficult was the MEPN program for you? The school I'm interested in forces you to work as an RN for 1,000 hours before completing the master's portion of the program. I'm actually interested in becoming a FNP so I think the MEPN program is the best option for me right now. Do you know if the students in your class had medical experience? I recently just got hired as a pharmacy technician so I'm hoping that will be helpful in nursing. And yes, occupational medicine with a specialty in animal therapy sounds amazing, but I really want to be an NP!