Are you, or have you ever been an APN student?

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I have been applying to NP schools, and overwhelmed by all the information out there! Where did you/do you attend NP school, and how did/do you like it? Any advice for those of us who are just starting out? ANY info is helpful. I have done a lot of searches online and on this website, but there's a lot more information about those of who are just applying to schools, and it would be nice to hear from some of you who have actually lived it. :) Thanks!

Soon2bAGNP

28 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, CT Step-down, Home Health. Has 10 years experience.

I am a APN student nearing the end of my first semester. I can relate to your feelings regarding the abundance of information out there. I must have looked at fifty programs (online and B&M). The "finding your own preceptor" really had me nervous so I started looking for them as soon as I began applying to schools. I quickly found out that was not an easy task--even with all the suggestions on this and other websites. In the end, I decided to attend a B&M program (several of the first year's classes are offered online which was a plus for me...I'm an independent, work at your own pace kind of learner). I do not have to find my own preceptors and the school has a very good reputation locally so I am very pleased. I am attending full-time taking Adv Patho and Adv Research. These are 15 week classes so the pace is manageable (I plan to take 3 classes starting next semester).

My suggestions to you are to continue to research. I will not venture into the whole "for profit" vs "not for profit" school debate nor will I recommend B&M over traditional or vice versa, you must find a program that is right for you. But do check out graduation rates and if possible student reviews. Contact the admissions representatives and ask questions. If they are not helpful, I would cross them off the list. This is an expensive investment and you should be happy with the decision you make. Plus, most grad programs will only accept a limited number of transfer credits if you decide a school is not right for you. My goal is become the best APN that I can possibly be, not how fast can I complete a program, or what's the easiest route to the "finish line". In the end I chose a program that I believed will help me reach my goal. Good Luck to you!! :-)

davesbride

41 Posts

Has 11 years experience.
[COLOR=#003366]pacnwRN I can completely relate to how you are feeling. I start my FNP program in January 2014 but I had been researching schools for about 1 year before I applied. Online searches, Allnurses, co-workers, basically I got info from everywhere. There are so many options that I felt overwhelmed by the info. After a while I made list of what I wanted from a program and started looking again. My next list was based on what would work for me personally. Like Soon2bAGNP I ended up choosing a program that arranges my clinicals for me. That was one of my non-negotiable points. So my suggestion is to decide what you want in a program and then search. Best of Luck!!

pacnwRN

97 Posts

Specializes in Rural Nursing.

Thanks for the advice, both of you. I too have sat down and tried to really define what is important to me in a program, but have to admit I still get flustered. Some of the things I really hoped to rely on is passing rate, and student satisfaction- however finding out firsthand knowledge from previous students is less than easy!!

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I'm in year 2 of 3 in a BSN to DNP through Loyola University New Orleans. Honestly, it really is the most difficult and stressful thing I have ever done in my life.

Riburn3, BSN, MSN, APRN, NP

3 Articles; 554 Posts

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 16 years experience.

I currently am a year away from finishing my FNP program at UTEP. I think one reason fewer students are on here is because once you start, your free time drops off, especially if you work fulltime while in school.

So far I have really enjoyed the program. Even though it's online, the professors have all been very approachable and respond to questions quickly. Most give their cell phones and you can call or text them concerns with great success. Finding preceptors was a pain but it is at most schools. Luckily Texas has a good NP organization with a list of preceptors.

My best advice, if you're going the online route find the cheapest school you can. While I'm sure some schools are better than others, much of the learning and content is self directed, and there's much more personal responsibilty. It blows my mind seeing people spending $70K+ for NP school when you can pay half that at most state schools, even if paying out of state tuition. Nursing isn't like Law where school prestige is an important factor.

pacnwRN

97 Posts

Specializes in Rural Nursing.

I imagine it is extremely difficult. Thank you guys for all the advice. I applied to four schools, and there are pros and cons for each of them!

NJprisonrn

195 Posts

Going to Stockton in NJ. 6 months to go!!! My program is hybrid, so half online and half in class. I go to clinical about 2 days a week, so make sure you have a job situation that is flexible. Your schedule will change every semester. My school has great teachers and excellent learning opportunities. They also help place you for clinical, so I feel especially lucky. If you are anywhere in the NJ area, even PA or DE, consider this school.

NP school is hard. I would advise you to get a review book and start working on questions from the very start. You'll have a better understanding of the concepts and do better on tests.

2015

140 Posts

Riburn,

Am one of those students who is about to spend almost 80k to be an NP. I start at in January. Am more than glad that I got admitted there. Almost everyone I have talked to thinks the cost is too high. I do too. But am sure with hard work, I will come out well prepared. I attended an online school for just one class and hated every moment of it. I may have come out with an A but I literally taught myself. I don't want to have such an experience again.

davesbride

41 Posts

Has 11 years experience.

2015,

Congratulations on getting accepted into !!! I have also heard from others that $80k is to much money but for me it is an investment in my future. A lot of people will say it doesn't matter where you go to school but where I am from it absolutley matters. There are 2 local schools that have FNP programs that put out alot of FNP grads. I work in a large academic hospital and have spoken with many of the attendings about who they would hire. Hands down they all said they would hire the" New Grad" ARNP from the more prestigious school over a lesser known school. Two of these MD's offered me a job for when I graduate once they found out that I was going to Georgetown. I think that most new grads are on a pretty even playing field as far as skills but when we are wll applying who gets chosen for an interview??? In a market that is saturated with FNP grads my belief is that the Georgetown name may not get me the job but it will get me the interview. That is just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions....

pacnwRN

97 Posts

Specializes in Rural Nursing.

Well I went with my gut, and will start my AGNP program in Jan. 2014. I really feel like the advice I received on these forums helped tremendously with my decision. Thanks y'all.

davesbride

41 Posts

Has 11 years experience.

Congratulations!!!! What ever program you chose I am sure it is the right fit for you. Good luck!!