jaycam, ASN, RN
, please consider that this is not a comparison of apples to apples. Nursing and medicine are two separate houses on the same block. Working as a CNA, practicing as an LPN/RN are vastly different from having the responsibility and practicing as a NP. RN's who go on for advanced practice have at least a BSN-bachelors in nursing which involves taking chemistry, anatomy/physiology, biology in addition to core nursing courses. Would-be physicians can enter medical school provided they meet the criteria, with any bachelor degree. So in truth the student nurse begins working with patients in school from the first semester, and the medical student begins clerkships in year three I believe which involve hundreds of hours per semester. Upon graduation and completion of boards, the RN will work with patients in that role. Some choose to return back to complete graduate level course work in advanced pathyphysiology, pharmacology, physical examination, etc. After approximately 500 clinical hours, coursework completion and a graduate degree, the NP will be certified to work with the population in which they specialized. The physician becomes an intern after graduating from medical school, and must complete additional training, thousands of hours, before they can work independently. Now the practice of the NP and MD/DO share some similarities, they cannot be compared equally. Just because a physician can take a BP and talk to a patient, they are not a nurse and just because I can diagnose and treat infectious mononucleosis as a NP, I am not a physician. Each specialty-each house-brings their own set of knowledge and skills to the party in the service to the patient. They can't take our board exams, and we can't take theirs unless we complete the specialty training involved with each distinct profession.
And BTW-the DNP is a degree, not a role. A nurse who holds a DNP, but is not a nurse practitioner, cannot do what nurse practitioners do. As nurses we need to be more proactive about what we call ourselves and clear about what that means. But that is another thread...
Please forgive any unintentional inaccuracies in my depiction of medical students/physician education.