NO experience new graduate BSN student applying for MSN-FNP graduate school?

  1. I am torn on what I should do with my application to graduate school. I have no bedside experience in the nursing workforce, but I don't believe that it would change my abilities to be a competent, compassionate NP. Please help assure me that bedside nursing experience is NOT a necessity in becoming an amazing NP!!!! Thank you in advance.
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  2. 53 Comments

  3. by   Castiela
    Sorry. Bedside nursing helps develop your critical thinking skills which are crucial to your np practice. You can't even be considered for the np program without a minimum of 2 years acute practice where I'm from.

    I know people graduate and go straight to np in the states, and they're probably safe nps, but you will be much stronger with actual experience.
  4. by   Elizabeth1414
    I think its strange that in the US you can apply for the NP program right out of nursing school. Nursing is a lot of learning on the job. A new grad nurse is hardly competent?? In Canada you need a minimum of 2 years acute-care nursing experience, and I can't imagine being comfortable without at least that.
  5. by   shibaowner
    Most primary care NP graduate programs no longer require bedside nursing experience. Note that is primary care. If you want to be an acute care NP, then most programs require some bedside nursing experience. Check with your schools for their requirements.

    This has been a controversial topic. But NP schools have been accepting new grad BSNs w/o bedside experience since the 1990s. The evidence, although limited, indicates NP students w/o RN experience actually do better in grad school and also have better clinical exam skills than students with RN skills.

    I went straight thru to get my AGNP and many others do, too. Ignore the negativity here and do what you want.
  6. by   Castiela
    Quote from shibaowner
    Most primary care NP graduate programs no longer require bedside nursing experience. Note that is primary care. If you want to be an acute care NP, then most programs require some bedside nursing experience. Check with your schools for their requirements.

    This has been a controversial topic. But NP schools have been accepting new grad BSNs w/o bedside experience since the 1990s. The evidence, although limited, indicates NP students w/o RN experience actually do better in grad school and also have better clinical exam skills than students with RN skills.

    I went straight thru to get my AGNP and many others do, too. Ignore the negativity here and do what you want.
    I'd love to see the evidence you mentioned. I'm currently not finding anything and I'm curious.
  7. by   jaderook01
    OP: The best NPs have bedside nursing experience and the assessment skills that go along with that. Personally, were I you, I would gain experience first before becoming an NP.
  8. by   shibaowner
    Quote from jaderook01
    OP: The best NPs have bedside nursing experience and the assessment skills that go along with that. Personally, were I you, I would gain experience first before becoming an NP.
    There is no evidence to support your assertion. It's just your opinion.
  9. by   shibaowner
    Rich, E. R. (2005). Does RN experience relate to NP clinical skills?. The Nurse Practitioner, 30(12), 53-56.

    Assessing successful entry into nurse practitioner practice: a literature review. By: Rich ER, Jorden ME, Taylor CJ, Journal of the New York State Nurses Association, 00287644, 2001 Fall-Winter, Vol. 32, Issue 2

    El-Banna MM, Briggs LA, Leslie MS, Athey EK, Pericak A, Falk NL, Greene J. Does Prior RN Clinical Experience Predict Academic Success in Graduate Nurse Practitioner Programs? J Nurs Educ. 2015 May;54(5):276-80. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20150417-05.
  10. by   shibaowner
    I am an NP who does not have RN bedside experience. I am doing great! I got hired 2 months after finishing my MSN and I had 3 total offers, without even looking that hard for a job. My classmates without RN experience were all hired within 3 or 4 months and into very good jobs or residencies.

    RNs, and I totally respect them, do not do the detailed assessments necessary to diagnose, nor do they diagnose or prescribe treatments. RN and NP are very different jobs. Anyway, the ship has sailed. All the top nursing schools do BSN to MSN programs and their graduates are getting hired just fine. That is not going to change. Most of the naysayers here are not even NPs. Guess what? RNs do not hire NPs, so who cares what you think? I don't.
  11. by   Dodongo
    Quote from shibaowner
    RNs, and I totally respect them, do not do the detailed assessments necessary to diagnose, nor do they diagnose or prescribe treatments. RN and NP are very different jobs. Anyway, the ship has sailed. All the top nursing schools do BSN to MSN programs and their graduates are getting hired just fine. That is not going to change. Most of the naysayers here are not even NPs. Guess what? RNs do not hire NPs, so who cares what you think? I don't.
    My opinion:

    Come watch an ICU nurse do a full head to toe assessment 3 times a shift on two different patients and tell me that they don't do a detailed assessment. ICU RNs do more detailed assessments than any physician or NP I have seen in any setting - including the ones also practicing in ICU. Also, come to the ICU and tell me those nurses haven't gained practical knowledge applicable to diagnosing and prescribing. I'm not going to sit here and say that all RN experience is worthwhile for NP school, because we all know that isn't true. And I'm also not going to sit here and say that a knowledgable RN is anywhere close to an NP in terms of diagnosing, prescribing, etc. Because they're not (no matter what some of them think). But there are select areas that prior experience as an RN is extremely valuable - ICU being one. And a smart, driven RN with some worthwhile and practical experience under their belt will thrive in NP school and after graduation in ways a direct entry grad simply can not.

    I think where experienced RNs fail, is when they over estimate their abilities because they're experienced nurses. I've met my fair share of nurses who think physicians and NPs are incompetent compared to their own clinical acumen. A recipe for disaster.
  12. by   theatretonursing
    Could it possibly be that... different people take different routes, both routes can lead to success, and there are many successful NPs who took both routes?

    Because that's what I'm seeing.
  13. by   shibaowner
    Quote from Dodongo
    My opinion:

    Come watch an ICU nurse do a full head to toe assessment 3 times a shift on two different patients and tell me that they don't do a detailed assessment. ICU RNs do more detailed assessments than any physician or NP I have seen in any setting - including the ones also practicing in ICU. Also, come to the ICU and tell me those nurses haven't gained practical knowledge applicable to diagnosing and prescribing. I'm not going to sit here and say that all RN experience is worthwhile for NP school, because we all know that isn't true. And I'm also not going to sit here and say that a knowledgable RN is anywhere close to an NP in terms of diagnosing, prescribing, etc. Because they're not (no matter what some of them think). But there are select areas that prior experience as an RN is extremely valuable - ICU being one. And a smart, driven RN with some worthwhile and practical experience under their belt will thrive in NP school and after graduation in ways a direct entry grad simply can not.

    I think where experienced RNs fail, is when they over estimate their abilities because they're experienced nurses. I've met my fair share of nurses who think physicians and NPs are incompetent compared to their own clinical acumen. A recipe for disaster.
    I have said again and again that for an acute care NP (in hospital) bedside nursing is valuable and most acute care NP schools do require RN experience.

    That is not true for primary care! Why is this so hard to understand? I have yet to see an RN working in a primary care practice. And med/surg nursing does transfer in any meaningful way to psych NP, or a number of outpatient specialty NP careers. Since the top nursing schools have allowed BSN grads to go straight into NP programs since the 1990s, I will trust their expertise in education. I have spoken to a A LOT of PRIMARY CARE NPs and MDs who see no advantage in hiring an NP who had in-hospital RN experience. And they won't pay extra for it, either.

    I was recently in an MSN NP program and during our physical assessment labs, I did as well or better than the students who were currently RNs or who had RN experience. I didn't see any of them that did any better than the rest of us. In addition, their charting skills were no better.

    If a student wants to be an NP, then go for it! If the student wants RN experience, that is up to them, but it is not necessary or required.

    Also, I see no reason for someone who wants to be an NP to put much weight on what various RNs think. Who hires NPs? Generally MDs or other NPs. I do not understand why BSNs think they are qualified to weigh in on the NP career path.
  14. by   Dodongo
    Quote from shibaowner
    Since the top nursing schools have allowed BSN grads to go straight into NP programs since the 1990s, I will trust their expertise in education.

    I do not understand why BSNs think they are qualified to weigh in on the NP career path.
    To the first point here - it couldn't possibly be driven by $$$$ on the part of the nursing institution. No. They care more about each individual graduate and the profession as a whole than their bottom line, I'm sure...

    And to the second, I think a lot of the BSN posters are either in NP school, or, and get this, they work with NPs. That's like saying no one can comment on anyone else's career. Anyone can evaluate a career path and make an informed (personal) decision about it. Especially if they are pursuing it.

    Ultimately, yes, I agree, the quality of the NP (or any professional for that matter) lies with their own inherent abilities and the time/energy committed. But there is a best way to go about most anything, and we should be promoting the pathway that produces the best NP. Especially as NPs are attempting to gain varying levels of independence.

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