I'm a pre-nursing student (hope to be accepted in a few weeks to a BSN program!) and my goal is to become a NP or CRNA, though I'm equally split right now. I have a question about the diagnostic ability of an NP that I was hoping some current NPs or NP students could help me answer:
So one of the draws of the healthcare field for me is the challenge of figuring out what is wrong with people. I wanted to be a doctor for a long time, but after shadowing one I realized they spend 95% of their time doing insurance and about 3 minutes per patient. In addition, the hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans is a little daunting, so I decided I wanted to either be a PA or NP. I figured we'd do essentially the same thing as a doctor. I finally settled on NP because I don't want to have a doctor supervision requirement.
I realized today, however, that NPs are trained in the nursing model. Nursing is primarily set up as a reactionist field, more of a "this is happening so give this" approach instead of the medical model's "let's find out WHY this is happening." My question is, does this continue past the RN degree and into NP? How much education do NPs receive in diagnosis of illness? Do they learn a wide range of illnesses like doctors do - everything from cancer to skin diseases, etc, or do they just learn a brief overview of the most common problems. I'm really curious because I will be upset if after NP school I find myself unable to diagnose anything more challenging than the very common ailments, having to call a doctor in.
I really just want to make sure NP school has a lot of time dedicated to advanced diagnostic abilities and covers a lot of material covered in medical school. Can anyone help me out?
Quote from irishrnbsn
I am an RN,BSN who has just applied for a DNP (Doctorate of Nursing Practice) program, which is going to be the required degree for a nurse practioner soon. As an NP you are technically always under a Doctor. Your patients may never see that Dr. but if she/he gives you a prescription the Drs name may be on it as well, printed at the top. NPs cannot as of yet prescribe narcotics, PAs can.
Irishrnbsn, could you please give your source for your assertion that DNP will soon be the required degree for nurse practitioner? I believe that to be an erroneous statement.
Also, the NP that I worked with several years ago certainly did prescribe narcotics whereas the practice's PA could not.
Last edit by roser13 on Apr 4, '11