Reactions to being a NP

  1. 7
    This is more of a semi-rant about the various reactions I've received since I got into the NP program. If I am in the wrong section of this forums, I apologize and please move my thread accordingly.

    When I tell people that I am in the NP program, most of their reactions center around "oh you're going to be earning a LOT!", "you'll always have job security" and "you're like a GOLD!" And though I don't disagree with all that, every time people say that about me and my future career, I feel like it cheapens my purpose for becoming a NP. I cringed when a family friend said to me "oh when you graduate, you can buy a Hermes purse every month!" I was like "Really?!?"

    I know that sounds cheesy but their comments make me uncomfortable that most people see in me is money. Ever since I started the program and I noticed all these reactions, I rely more on my parents (who are retired doctors) for support because they encourage me to focus on my patients and my studies.

    Then, one of my younger sister's friends who is a RN wants to be a NP and apply in my school. Now, I know him well enough to say that this is the LAZIEST NURSE EVER and he only wants to be a NP for the money and only for the money. Even my dad, a retired surgeon, objected to it because my dad knew that this guy is really lazy. Meeting NP-applicants like him make me sad (there's no other way to describe it).

    Maybe I'm overreacting, etc etc but I have been feeling this way for a while since I started in the program and I find myself limiting my interactions to people who understand where I am coming from. I don't know if that makes sense. For example, one of my friends got accepted in UCLA and he wouldn't stop talking about how much he's going to make when he graduates. That is literally all he talks about! So I stop talking to him. It just gets on my nerves.

    Anyway, that is all. It's just a semi-rant. Thanks for listening/reading.
    timmedico, Akewataru, priorities2, and 4 others like this.
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  3. 58 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    I think in the world we live in today people tend to think of money first and career satisfaction second. Everyone and their mama is trying to get into the healthcare field nowadays because they feel it is a "guaranteed" job. With that being said I have seen some very miserable people because of this way of thinking. I think as long as you know that your reasons for going back to school lie beyond the money factor, then let people continue to comment. Most probably don't understand the role of a nurse practitioner enough to say anything other than you'll be making decent money. Or you choose that opportunity to educate them about why you are pursuing the advanced role. For example you could reply "the money may be better but having more autonomy and continuity of patient care is important to me too". That's just a suggestion, but what I have learned in the past few years is that people have the annoying habit of trying to count your pockets. I see it in nursing all the time when people comment on float pool's, agency staff's, or regular staff picking up overtime shifts' pay. I don't get it and never will. Nobody's check but mines funds my household therefore I don't care what salary anyone is making.
  5. 13
    I think you have to consider the source. These are non-NPs.

    Btw where in the heck do you make all this money? Certainly not where I live.
    divobari, uronurse1, AtomicWoman, and 10 others like this.
  6. 4
    Have to agree. There is a misconception that nurses make a lot of money. I believe some of this stems from the large money the general public "sees" as going to physicians and hospitals and figure out it trickles down. When I tell lay people how much money a starting nurse makes versus a starting teacher they look at me like I've grown a second head. Nursing is a noble profession and it does take a particular mindset and empathy to be a good nurse, but being paid appropriately for the skills and complexity of the job would be nice. As to organgepink's lazy friend...he won't make it in practice. He will definitely not have his own practice, and anywhere else he works will require a level of output. If he can't match, or beat it, he will be out.
    kaott, MBARNBSN, orangepink, and 1 other like this.
  7. 26
    Unfortunately, I think part of the problem is that it's really easy to be a bad nurse - and bad nurses still make money. It seems every school in the country has a nursing program, including accelerated ones for people coming from a different career, so it's as simple as stopping by your local nursing school and registering for classes. Now that the nursing market is oversaturated, it's bound to happen with advanced practice nurses too. Again, it's simply too easy - consider Walden University's FNP program, which I've heard has a 96% acceptance rate. Essentially, if you have a pulse and an RN license, you can go. Considering you can do the work part time and online, it's again just an easy way to move up a bit to a higher salary, even for people who have no desire to do it.

    I really think standards need to move up. Look at CRNA school - so many want to do it, but they're kept from it due to the high requirements (high GRE and GPA, one year of critical care experience, etc). NP schools have bare minimum standards, so people just aren't impressed when people go - they just see the higher income part of it. NPs can't keep proclaiming superiority because of "being a nurse first" if 90% of NP schools don't even require RN experience before application!

    Major changes need to happen to the NP model because within a decade it's going to be ruined. The huge influx of schools and grads, most of whom have no RN experience and may not even be good providers due to lack of standards, will oversupply the market. Unable to find work, they will take the first offer they see, even if it's working as an NP for 50K per year. This drives down the salary for everyone, and over time, becomes the new norm.

    If current NPs want to continue to have autonomy, job selection, and make a wage that reflects their education, they need to demand higher standards from those in charge:
    1. 2 years RN experience, at least one year in field of NP program you're applying to.
    2. GRE required.
    3. Increased clinical hours.
    4. Increased science/medical course with decrease in theory and "fluff" courses. One nursing theory/EBP class is enough - not half the curriculum.
    5. Shut down "for-profit" NP schools.
    kaott, SoldierNurse22, davesbride, and 23 others like this.
  8. 13
    3. Increased clinical hours.
    4. Increased science/medical course with decrease in theory and "fluff" courses. One nursing theory/EBP class is enough - not half the curriculum.
    Can I get an "Amen"?! Thank you.
  9. 0
    Quote from IcySageNurse
    Unfortunately, I think part of the problem is that it's really easy to be a bad nurse - and bad nurses still make money. It seems every school in the country has a nursing program, including accelerated ones for people coming from a different career, so it's as simple as stopping by your local nursing school and registering for classes. Now that the nursing market is oversaturated, it's bound to happen with advanced practice nurses too. Again, it's simply too easy - consider Walden University's FNP program, which I've heard has a 96% acceptance rate. Essentially, if you have a pulse and an RN license, you can go. Considering you can do the work part time and online, it's again just an easy way to move up a bit to a higher salary, even for people who have no desire to do it.

    I really think standards need to move up. Look at CRNA school - so many want to do it, but they're kept from it due to the high requirements (high GRE and GPA, one year of critical care experience, etc). NP schools have bare minimum standards, so people just aren't impressed when people go - they just see the higher income part of it. NPs can't keep proclaiming superiority because of "being a nurse first" if 90% of NP schools don't even require RN experience before application!

    Major changes need to happen to the NP model because within a decade it's going to be ruined. The huge influx of schools and grads, most of whom have no RN experience and may not even be good providers due to lack of standards, will oversupply the market. Unable to find work, they will take the first offer they see, even if it's working as an NP for 50K per year. This drives down the salary for everyone, and over time, becomes the new norm.

    If current NPs want to continue to have autonomy, job selection, and make a wage that reflects their education, they need to demand higher standards from those in charge:
    1. 2 years RN experience, at least one year in field of NP program you're applying to.
    2. GRE required.
    3. Increased clinical hours.
    4. Increased science/medical course with decrease in theory and "fluff" courses. One nursing theory/EBP class is enough - not half the curriculum.
    5. Shut down "for-profit" NP schools.
    Bravo!!!
  10. 0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I think you have to consider the source. These are non-NPs.

    Btw where in the heck do you make all this money? Certainly not where I live.
    So true! $70K-80K-ish ... is a nice living, but not a game changer.
  11. 4
    OP, I had a good laugh when I read this. A hermes purse every month??? Where the heck are those NP jobs??? Sad, the misconceptions that are out there. I am paid well as an NP, but I certainly don't make enough to live the lifestyles of the rich and famous. I agree that your lazy friend will never make it through NP school. There's another misconception out there that NP programs are easy. They have their faults and do need some improvement and standardization, but they are not easy. Perhaps some of the diploma mill schools give rise to this notion. Most of the established, reputable progams are particular about who they accept and their standards are high. I know the program I attended accepted less than 10% of applicants, and we had to maintain an average of 85% in each course. I never worked so hard at anything in my life. So, I don't think it's fair or accurate to characterize all NP programs as having low standards or being a quick easy way to move up the pay scale. It would be nice to see some standardization out there that would make a NP education more consistent from school to school. Lose some of the theory, add more clinical hours, and make schools responsible for finding and vetting good clinical placements.
  12. 6
    "Major changes need to happen to the NP model because within a decade it's going to be ruined. The huge influx of schools and grads, most of whom have no RN experience and may not even be good providers due to lack of standards, will oversupply the market. Unable to find work, they will take the first offer they see, even if it's working as an NP for 50K per year. This drives down the salary for everyone, and over time, becomes the new norm."

    First of all I'm insulted by this reply. I understand that you might be referring to Walden University standards, but I am attending a University full time in the FNP program and I assure you it was not easy to get accepted. First of all I've been a nurse for 2 years, and I have a great GPA! I wasn't required to take the GRE's based on my GPA. Maybe some schools, those online might have lower standards, but I'm in class 2 times a week, full time, and it's A LOT of hard work. So please don't generalize. Being a NP was a goal of my all along, I also assure you I am not doing it just for the money, although the money will be better it's salary with no OT option. I can not wait to graduate, I'm looking forward to my future endeavors.




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