Work During NP School?

  1. 0
    Hi Everyone,

    I will be starting an online FNP program this Fall and have seen that 99.99% of people in nurse practitioner programs work as a RN during the program. I do not plan on working during my program and can live/study comfortably without working (single, no kids, no major financial responsibilities).

    I was wondering if everyone works out of necessity or is there an unwritten law that we must all work during nurse practitioner school? More specifically, I was wondering why the large % of working nurses during NP school versus future MD's and PA's, etc.

    I want to devote all of my time/effort/being into learning the advanced material, and know that if I do work, NP school will be on the back-burner in my mind. Will I be looked down on by others for not working during the NP program?

    Thanks so much,
    FNP2BE15
  2. 6 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Quote from fnp2be15
    I was wondering if everyone works out of necessity or is there an unwritten law that we must all work during nurse practitioner school? More specifically, I was wondering why the large % of working nurses during NP school versus future MD's and PA's, etc.

    I want to devote all of my time/effort/being into learning the advanced material, and know that if I do work, NP school will be on the back-burner in my mind. Will I be looked down on by others for not working during the NP program?

    Thanks so much,
    FNP2BE15
    There is no underwritten law that NP students have to work. Many of us do to decrease the financial strain of being a student. I will say that from what I have seen working as an RN does seem to help with opportunities for jobs after graduating and RN experience does look great on a resume.


    Will you be looked down on? Not necessarily. If you do decide to not work then I would recommend taking classes full time so you can graduate sooner and get into the NP work force
  4. 0
    The other benefit to working is the opportunities it can provide, in addition to the experience you gain. I found many clinical sites through work. It all helps you get to know people who may be able to help you in the future, either with a job or at least with strong references.
  5. 0
    I don't think there is any hard or fast rule. I had 4 years of hard core hospital nursing under my belt, so I just decided to work part time for the first 2 years, and then quit totally for the last year of class and clinicals. I was really glad I did ...I would have literally died if I'd tried to work with all of that .....HOWEVER ...I am close to 50 and just don't have the super charged energy I did at 25 and I also have a demanding younger son still at home. Many of the younger whipper snappers in the class continued to work throughout their final year WITH clinicals ...I have no idea how they did it ....but many of them HAD to do it as they were self supporting.

    Me, personally ...I just sorta want to enjoy my life at my age. I earned it. My husband makes enough for me to do it, and I decided it was going to be a "luxury" thing for me to do it. I will probably pay for my attitude, but, whatever ....I doubt it, though -- there is a lot of demand out there for NP's with at least a few years of RN experience. I'd say to just keep up with folks who could provide you a reference and you should be fine whatever you decide to do.
  6. 0
    Working during school does allow you to network which can be invaluable when you graduate, especially if the market for new APRNs isnt hot at that time.

    Otherwise, its just a personal choice.
  7. 0
    Thank you everyone for your thoughts and advice. In regards to networking: in my previous work as a night-shift RN, I do not believe I had very much access to nurse practitioners or the ability to network with providers. Would networking and active participation in state/local nurse practitioner groups provide a similar outcome?

    Also, since it was mentioned that it helps get a job and looks great on a resume, how crucial is RN experience in landing a NP job? I guess it is dependent on several factors but I always see listings that do not specify required RN experience. As the job market tightens for NPs are we going to have our resumes lumped into a pile and sorted by years of experience as a registered nurse? That seems counter-productive especially with the cross-listings for PA positions since they usually and obviously do not have RN experience. Although I have RN experience, I really do not understand the insistence that we must all have years and years and years of it to be a competent NP.
  8. 0
    To be an effective practitoner you will need years and years of experience. You don't have to work full time but you should still work at least once a week so your skills stay sharp. I work nights also but i'm still able to network with nps and physicians when they come in the mornings as I'm getting off. I'm nearly done with my fnp program, and I can tell you this my years and years of experience has helped me maintain my 3.91 gpa in grad school so I would recommend that you do work so you get that experience. Think of it this way would you want to be treated by a provider who barely has any experience? I wouldn't. That leaves room for making mistakes, misdiagnosing patients, and lawsuits. That's just my two cents.


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