Experience for the pre-NP student

  1. Hello!

    I am currently taking pre reqs for ABSN or Masters entry programs. It should take me about a year to complete the classes and I plan to apply to programs in the fall of 2014. I am wondering if anyone has advice on the type of relevant experience that helps me get a better understanding of the field AND will help strengthen my application. I'm thinking of becoming an FNP/CNM. Here is what I'm currently doing while taking classes:

    -Working as a home health aide/personal attendant for a quadriplegic woman (spinal cord injury). She and her current attendants are training me and the role includes: getting her in/out of bed and into a wheel chair, bathing, meal prep and feeding, wound care, bowel and bladder care, etc

    -Volunteering for the San Francisco Hospital Volunteer Doula Program. I've already been trained as a doula and am still completing the hospital orientation.

    -Shadowing NPs, RNs, and midwives

    Do you think this is adequate experience? Do you think it's necessary to pursue something like CRNA certification? I'd appreciate any advice.
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   BostonFNP
    Those are all good things. Shadowing helps you get a feel whether the profession is "right" for you. Volunteering may help strengthen your application.

    What really is most important is your grades right now. Focus on keeping those high. Try and read as much as you can and strive to understand the "why's" behind everything. All the other stuff helps but don't do it at the cost of grades, especially this early in your schooling.
  4. by   hi616
    I got into a DE program with less experience than what you had. I had some, but I think what really made me stand out were my grades and letters of rec. BostonFNP is right, those are great activities, but don't do them at the expense of your grades. DE programs realize you aren't going to have tons of experience. And something to keep in mind, you are never asked how many hours of experience you have-at least I never was. Just duration (months and years) when you put it on your rsum. Don't spread yourself so thin that you do a ton of activities, but never get any quality experiences because you can't devote your full self to them. Sharing those quality experiences will be helpful in writing personal statements.
  5. by   hi616
    And by CRNA, I'm assuming you mean CNA as in certified nursing assistant? It might be helpful. One school I interviewed at mentioned that it might be good thing to do over summer before the program starts if you have free time. But, most of the people I know who did CNA classes were going to PA school and needed to get clinical hours before applying... Not people applying to DE programs.
  6. by   evolvingrn
    I think you should be a CNA, before you start nursing school, and i think you work as a RN before being a FNP. (or at the very least during school)
  7. by   izalou
    Thanks for the advice! hi616 -- I did indeed mean CNA.

    evolvingrn -- do you have any advice regarding CNA programs? I see a lot that are pretty pricey (which I would of course save up for if it came down to it), but I'd like to find something cost-effective. Do you recommend this mostly for the exposure and learning purposes, or is it something that is pretty standard for pre-students to do before applying to masters programs?

    Thanks again.
  8. by   izalou
    Also, my first priority is definitely grades. I had a 3.42 in Architecture from Yale undergrad, but I'm confident I can increase the overall GPA with the pre-req grades -- I feel much more focused and motivated now that I have a goal/career vision.