Can I go straight to NP as a new grad?

Dear Nurse Beth Advice Column - The following letter submitted anonymously in search for answers. Join the conversation! Nurses Nurse Beth Nursing Q/A


I am a new grad BSN registered nurse. I would like to go straight into NP school. I worked as an LPN for 8 years, 6 months bedside and the rest home health with mostly Peds on a ventilator and GTubes I was also, IV certified. I did my RN clinical rotations on a telemetry floor and the last semester almost 200 hrs on ICU/ER float. I know most programs what you to have at least one year RN bedside experience. Since I know that NP is what I want to do, Is my expireience sufficient?

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Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Your experience as an LPN, particularly your extensive time spent in various clinical settings, including bedside care, home health, and specialized care with pediatric patients on ventilators and GTubes, provides a knowledge base and foundation for your transition to NP school.

Additionally, your clinical rotations in telemetry, ICU, and ER float further enhance your understanding of acute care settings. You have good exposure and have seen many conditions.

However, the roles of LPN and RN are different, and you do not yet have RN experience or acute care experience. Whether or not NPs should have RN experience is a matter of debate but a requirement of most programs.

Admissions committees typically look for applicants who demonstrate a solid understanding of clinical practice, critical thinking skills, and a commitment to advancing their nursing education. 

A year or so in an RN role will build confidence and critical thinking skills and be time well spent. 

If you choose to apply immediately to NP programs, highlight your varied experiences in your application, emphasizing how they have prepared you for the challenges and responsibilities of advanced practice nursing.

Additionally, be prepared to discuss how your unique background sets you apart and contributes to your readiness to become an NP.

It's also a good idea to contact the admissions offices of the NP programs you're interested in to inquire about their specific requirements and discuss your qualifications. They may provide valuable insight into how your experience aligns with their expectations and what steps you can take to strengthen your application if needed.

Best wishes in your decision,

Nurse Beth