NP Student not working in direct patient care - page 2

by Kgantt

3,313 Views | 18 Comments

Hey everyone, Are there any NP student not currently working direct patient care? Do any of you feel like you are missing something by being in the program and not currently working with patients? Are you planing to work... Read More


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    Digging around at previous posts, there seem to be numerous threads about these topics and some of them do answer some of the questions regarding the direct entry models and NP vs PA pathways. There seems to be much debate over all of it with no conclusions.
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    I guess the only way to find the answer is to continue on our path and make the best of it. I know for me I don't want to diagnose and treat patients forever. I would love to move to develop health promotion programs or working a public health clinic.
    fnp2be15 likes this.
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    I work in biofeedback, so while I do see patients, it is not the "nurseiest" of jobs. I am about 1/3 the way through my FNP program. I am doing well, but I can see how the students with more current RN experience have an easier time. However you learn a ton in clinical so I'm not too worried about it. I can't imagine giving up my current position to get more direct patient care while I only have 1.5 years left of school. I never liked bedside nursing, so for me it would be a step in the wrong direction. I never let anything hold me back from what I want to do. That's why I went straight for MSN after nursing school. If you want to go for NP, just do it!
    FuturePsychNP and fnp2be15 like this.
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    I know someone that worked briefly as a pediatric RN then for many years in a medical spa offering chemical peels and laser treatments. She did go on and get her FNP and continued to work in the medical spa business for a while, but eventually was able to get a job working as a surgical FNP for a clinic.

    So it is possible, but that said I think it is best to try to get some direct patient care experience before becoming an FNP. I don't know what your job currently is and if you are getting any relevant experience from that. That said, working as a nurse in a hospital for example is not easy, it is stressful and like being on an assembly line at times. Poor working conditions and stress overload is one of the reasons so many RN's are going back to school for NP. I personally feel that someone working as an RN will have an edge and an easier time of it from the knowledge and experience they gained working as an RN when they become an NP.
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    I'm in a BSN to DNP program after having 25+ years in various nursing jobs. Right now I'm finishing my 2nd semester which is most of the didactic. We start clinicals and an intensive on assessment in May. There are several people in our small cohort that went directly from their BSN program into the DNP program. My observations are that while the students with nursing experience of at least 2-3 years have some advantages with comfort level in dealing with people and health care systems, the students that went straight through are not working at any other disadvantage. The difference is in the personality of the student and their ability to integrate what they are learning. Our program provides over 1200 hours of clinical experience and great supervision to aid in that learning process. There is no reason why a student without years of experience can't do well in a good DNP program!
    NJnewRN and FuturePsychNP like this.
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    Chime in here for me.

    I come from a different career, got a lot of exposure to mental health decided I wanted to get into mental health as a provider, explored the options, and psych NP seemed to be the best way (for me) to get full mental health exposure. I'm really enjoying the master's program for it. However,...


    I have no desire to work as a hospital or clinic nurse. The roles are too different. I'm currently a hospital charge nurse in a medical unit. Not med-surg. We get no surg, and I don't know anything that wasn't in a textbook about surg- patients.

    I would gladly work in a psych setting if one was here, but until I finish my master's and get a psychiatric NP job I'm not getting rid of my house and moving to who knows where for a short-term RN job in a dedicated psych unit. In my area, there is one mental health center that staffs a NP and two RNs. Those positions are filled and homestead, lol.

    It's awkward to explain at times because I'm working as a nurse, among nurses, and really don't want to be a nurse at least not in this capacity. I've been offered another open position that takes advantage of my previous life skills, and I'm tempted to take it. My concern is that I'm not really clued in enough on what employers are looking for when hiring psych NPs! The other job has more to do with mental health then anything I'll do as a hospital nurse. Yeah, yeah, I know the patients have mental health issues as well, but with everything else it's a bit outside my desired work. Yes, it's work and not fun time, but I really didn't get into it for this.
    Last edit by FuturePsychNP on Apr 28, '13
    NJnewRN likes this.
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    Honestly, I'm sure because there was a forum about that and I remember a NP saying it's different animal. I think it helps, but you are trained to think differently. I'm applying now so I would like to hear from experienced NP's. Honestly, I can't handle the stress of the floor. I don't have time to think about the meds as much as I should. I'm always running around like chicken with my head cut off.
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    Quote from NJnewRN
    Honestly, I'm sure because there was a forum about that and I remember a NP saying it's different animal. I think it helps, but you are trained to think differently. I'm applying now so I would like to hear from experienced NP's. Honestly, I can't handle the stress of the floor. I don't have time to think about the meds as much as I should. I'm always running around like chicken with my head cut off.
    Ha. I thought it was only me. I'm grossly unexcitable so although I don't "run around" I find that I'm frequently forgetting to do something, that I did something, that I'm supposed to do something because I have so much in my head right now. This doesn't apply only to work. A year to two years ago, I didn't forget or misplace anything. Particularly names. No clue what peoples names are. I forget them as quick as I hear them. I'm sitting here at work, and I couldn't begin to tell you the names of the patients I have tonight.

    I just wonder if I go to work in another capacity that not being in healthcare will be held against me. From the jobs I've seen posted for Psych NPs they all seem to just want someone legally capable of fulfilling the job.
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    I actually work in direct patient care, but am not on the bandwagon of needing tons of direct patient experience. I feel like working as a bedside nurse is a plus though. You get that patient and family interaction. As a previous poster said you Horne in your assessment skills. You also become familiar with drugs and treatments. But NP is a different animal. In this last semester alone taking my first adult clinical course plus advanced pharmacology, I learned so much. Instead of carrying out treatment plans, you are formulating treatment based on your own judgement. As a nurse you are given the patients diagnosis during report, but as a NP you are figuring out the appropriate diagnosis. I think RNs are important but I really don't feel direct patient care is a necessary need. My preceptor's wife is a PA who started off as a paramedic. She is SO good that sometimes I wish I had started off as a paramedic myself. Being in the field having to use critical thinking skills in an emergency would probably have been more beneficial to me IMO.


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