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Advice for the best route to NP within ER


Hello all,

This is my first post and I am hoping to get advice from those on the same track as I and even those who have completed it, so pretty much anyone! I can be somewhat long-winded so I will do my best to keep it simple. My ultimate goal (as a hopeful first career of the many I will have over my lifetime) is to be an FNP within an ER. I have done my share of research and have felt that the Family route was best as far as NP goes for my desire to work within a ER - but please feel free to correct me or give me other advice! Here's a little about me:

My name is Brent, I am a 23 year old BS Biology Major (3.045 GPA) with a Minor in Chemistry at CSU Long Beach and will be graduating this coming fall. I am currently employed as a Veterinary Technician and have experience both within a hospital (8 Months under 1 DVM) and then 2 years experience on mobile vaccination clinics working under multiple DVMs. I also work within a research laboratory on my campus under a graduate student and hopefully this summer I will be taking on research of my own on top of the previous research mentioned under the professor in whose lab I currently work. This summer I am enrolled in an EMT class and will hopefully be making the transition from Vet Tech to EMT by mid August. Post graduation I plan to go full-time as an EMT as well as study for/take the GRE to prepare for any graduate school requirements.

From my research I have discerned that I have two plausible routes to reach my goal both having their pro's and con's (some of which I will list):

1. Post undergraduate I complete an ABSN program and then move on to an MSN program allowing me to exit an FNP

-Lots of schools to chose from (therefore greater chances of me getting in) but the expenses are the issue. I am unsure if I would be able to defer my loans from ABSN until after MSN because if I am unable to I am worried that I will get comfortably stuck working as an RN to pay of the loans and will not go back to school.

2. Post undergraduate I enter an ELMSN program which would allow me to exit the same way.

-much fewer schools offering this program not to mention much more competitive based upon cohort sizes but would allow me to take out a single loan that I would complete at my goal.

Although the latter may seem best I am unsure if I am able to exit as a true FNP from that route? Also there is the issue that if I do not get in (when applying Summer 2014) then I will be waiting another full year to apply again in 2015. I am perfectly comfortable waiting and continuing my work as an EMT (or possibly even Paramedic at that time dependent on how things are going) but I want to make the most educated, beneficial and mature choice I can.

Phew, that was a lot. So since you the reader have my life story (practically) I would really appreciate any help and or advice on the possible paths I have said above or even new ones! I am always open to change. My goal is to become an NP within the ER and I will do what is necessary to achieve that!

Thanks for sticking with me, hope to hear back soon!


Hi Brent,

I also want to work as an NP within an ER and graduated with a degree other than nursing. I choose to go the ABSN route for a few reasons. First, like you said, there are exceedingly few schools that offer an ELMSN that ends with an NP license. Most are simply masters with a clinical nurse leader focus. A masters in nursing (MSN) does not equate to an NP. An NP is an advanced practice nursing certificate that requires a masters along with other criteria. The ELMSN programs that offer an NP are very limited, ver expensive, and several are private schools with iffy accreditation and just want your money.

Now, to make things more complicated, starting in 2015, NP's will be required to have doctorates so you will need a DNP. current NP's will be grandfathered in but you will be graduating after that deadline. So getting an MSN may not be advantageous to you.

This switch is another reason I choose an ABSN. I figure by the time I graduate in 2014 there will be more BSN to DNP programs opening up. Some only take 2-3 years part time so I can work to pay off loans while earning a doctorate. This is the same amount of time the current MSN programs are taking and you can't always work during them.

Last, I choose the ABSN program because there is a chance that I can work at a hospital after my BSN and get the hospital to pay for my DNP. This will save a lot if money.

A final thing to think about - your GPA is unfortunately pretty low your chances of getting into a good ELMSN program are not very good. However, if you can get into a decent ABSN program and get a higher GPA, you have a better chance of getting into a good DNP program.

Oh! And one more thing - the competition in CA is fierce. They have a lot of programs and great pay but the job placement rate for new grads is terrible. You may have to go out of state for your first job or get really good grades and network with externships while in school.

Hey Brent,

I was accepted to a few elmsn programs and if

your goal is FNP I'd consider this route. There are a lot of creditable and accredited programs that offer the FNP via bridge programs. Regarding the transition to DNP I'd suggest you look through some of the threads on here, as you'll see our situation is not nearly as dire as it seems.

Also, I wouldn't worry too much abou your gpa . In my opinion your experience far out shadows your gpa. These types of programs usually look at the complete applicant (especially the Seattle I APNI program) and all the little things count. Especially if your GRE scores are up to par. If you want FNP, this is the most proficient route. Regarding the DNP I'd suggest you browse the threads on here as there are plenty of misconceptions. I would remind everyone that the accn is not in fact in charge of licensing.

If you have any questions regarding the structure of these types of programs feel free to pm me!