Judment call on pre-req AP

  1. I cross-posted a similar question in the PMHNP group (wanting to hear from those in practice) but maybe someone here can give me some feedback from the student perspective? I may be able to get into my local community college for the second part of AP (had to do the first part online to meet a deadline!), and I'd like that a LOT. But the two courses are not in sync, and if I made the switch I would miss the units on nervous tissue, CNS, ANS, and neural integration. I'm a little familiar with the structures from having taught high school psychology, but my ONLY interest in nursing is going to be PMHNP, so I WISH the missed sections would be on bone or cardio, or anything else more distant from PMHNP than neuro functioning. So what do you think? How important was that AP basis in future classes (particularly pharmacology)? Something I could make up on my own with a textbook and YouTube when the time comes, or a "not-to-be-missed" foundation for future work?
    Thanks!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   umbdude
    A&P is the most important pre-req for nursing school, and it will show up over and over again in BSN/MSN courses. The chapters covering neuro are important as many drugs affect the autonomic system. You can't understand disorders well if you don't know the baseline A&P. If you miss the neuro section, be sure to study the chapters on your own.
  4. by   TXLPC
    Thanks for the insight, umbdude! If I do go the local route and have to miss the neuro chapters, I'll definitely make it up on my own. I don't mind the extra study (I probably have a more in-depth interest than would be covered in undergrad anyway). Thanks again for the feedback.
  5. by   Dodongo
    Quote from TXLPC
    If I do go the local route and have to miss the neuro chapters, I'll definitely make it up on my own.
    You're going to do whatever you want so why even bother asking.

    In all honesty, this is exactly the reason every NP program should include a gross anatomy class and a physiology class. Undergrad A&P is so hit or miss - who knows what students have been taught and what they have missed - and it is just so important. I took a medical school gross anatomy class and I was blown away by the detail and the volume of understanding required. And It makes so much difference in my other classes and in clinical. At the very least you need to make sure you have an A&P series that covers every system, even if it is only at the undergrad level.
  6. by   zoidberg
    (replying to dodongo) I would really like to take a gross anatomy course. I work at a large academic teaching hospital with medical/PA/PT/etc schools, so I have access. Did you just ask to take it with the medical/PA/PT students? How did you go about doing that?
    Last edit by zoidberg on Dec 12, '17 : Reason: clarifying who i was speaking to
  7. by   Dodongo
    Quote from zoidberg
    (replying to dodongo) I would really like to take a gross anatomy course. I work at a large academic teaching hospital with medical/PA/PT/etc schools, so I have access. Did you just ask to take it with the medical/PA/PT students? How did you go about doing that?
    It was a huge pain to get approval to do it, actually. I was able to take the lecture through the medical school. They made me submit my undergrad transcripts and MCAT scores (which I had taken a few years earlier) and they granted me a general admission to audit the course. I wasn't able to dissect with the medical students because they had strict ratios. But for the PA and PT programs, the medical students did the dissection, and then the PT and PA students came through and studied off of the already dissected cadavers. I was able to come with them to complete the lab portion.

    It all worked out in the end but they made me jump through a lot of hoops to do it. Plus, I had a connection at the school that I'm sure tipped the scales in my favor. The experience was worth it 100x over.
  8. by   zoidberg
    Cool. Thanks. I will try to make it happen at some point. I am an RN now, but I see my eventually working in IR as an ACNP, so I would feel ill prepared without having a real anatomy course under my belt.
  9. by   zoidberg
    Sorry for changing the subject of the OP. I had an amazing undergrad A&P professor. I still use that knowledge as an RN. Make sure you have a complete exposure of body systems before starting any nursing program.
  10. by   TXLPC
    Thanks for the feedback, Dodongo. LOL, of course I'll do whatever I want to do but what I WANT to do is influenced by the feedback of those who know the future landscape. My context is unusual - I will NEVER work in a medical setting beyond the clinicals for school. I'll be over 60 when/if I finish, and won't be changing jobs, so my learning objectives are pretty specific (purely psych related with a high-functioning population that doesn't require complex med management). My question is whether the neuro component of AP is something cursory (ie, a shallow survey that contributes to a more rounded understanding, but not necessary for anything beyond earning a credit), or foundational in understanding pharmacology. Glad to hear any other relevant thoughts you have.
  11. by   lwsoccjs
    I'll jump in. While I am in a FNP program I did have a great interest in the Psych tract and worked some in an inpatient behavioral health unit. I would say for PMHNP, anatomy and physiology concerning the neurophysiology is of the up most importance. PMHNP does not focus much on the therapy as much as it does with dx and medication management. To truly understand the medication management the in depth knowledge of A&P I would put as high importance for the job. Just my two cents.
  12. by   TXLPC
    Thanks for the comment – appreciate it! Looks like I'm sticking with the online course to make sure I get the complete picture.
  13. by   Dodongo
    Quote from zoidberg
    Cool. Thanks. I will try to make it happen at some point. I am an RN now, but I see my eventually working in IR as an ACNP, so I would feel ill prepared without having a real anatomy course under my belt.
    I currently work in IR. A thorough knowledge of anatomy is essential to working in IR at the provider level. You have to know what you're looking at on fluoro, US and CT. You'll be remiss if you want to stick needles into a patient without understanding what you're looking at on imaging.
  14. by   zoidberg
    Yeah, that's my motivation. I do PIVs with the ultrasound now, and am looking for a job with my hospital's PICC team. I'm hoping some Picc experience + gross anatomy + Ag-acnp program gets me set up for my best chance at landing an IR job.

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