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Can you take the boards while still in NP school?

NP   (784 Views | 7 Replies)
by dana16 dana16 (New) New

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I am starting a three year BSN to DNP program in the fall, and I was wondering if after the first two years when you technically have your masters degree if you can then take your boards and begin working as an NP while finishing the doctorate portion of the degree? Has anyone ever heard of this or done this? Thanks!

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Numenor has 8 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Internal Medicine.

166 Posts; 275 Profile Views

On 4/28/2020 at 8:01 AM, dana16 said:

I am starting a three year BSN to DNP program in the fall, and I was wondering if after the first two years when you technically have your masters degree if you can then take your boards and begin working as an NP while finishing the doctorate portion of the degree? Has anyone ever heard of this or done this? Thanks!

I have never heard of this. Jobs require a degree in hand anyways for credentialing and just because you did 2/3 of a DNP program does not mean you hold a masters degree. Also you would need all of your clinicals done.

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babyNP. has 12 years experience as a APRN and specializes in NICU.

4 Followers; 1,865 Posts; 28,410 Profile Views

I've heard of people doing it but only IF your program confers a masters degree on you. It's called a "masters in passing." It's not something automatic, so you would need to ask your school directly to see if they do something like this.

Edited by babyNP.

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djmatte has 7 years experience as a ADN, MSN, RN, NP.

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All of it is school dependent.  Frontier had a mandatory board prep as a last term outside of clinical.  You were able to sign up for boards and in theory take them during this period.  Most didn't, but I heard of some who supposedly did.

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Upgrading_Status has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in L&D.

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WOW!! I've been out of the loop. A BSN to DNP program😳 the money grab is real

Edited by Upgrading_Status
grammar

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sleepwalker has 16 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Occupational Health.

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On 4/28/2020 at 11:01 AM, dana16 said:

I am starting a three year BSN to DNP program in the fall, and I was wondering if after the first two years when you technically have your masters degree if you can then take your boards and begin working as an NP while finishing the doctorate portion of the degree? Has anyone ever heard of this or done this? Thanks!

You do not automatically have a Master's degree just because you "technically" have the credits. If a Master's degree is not formally conferred then you do not have one...maybe your program will issue one if asked but I highly doubt it. 

I used to sit in on job interviews where an applicant showed up without completing their ADN-MSN or BSN-DNP program and thought that just because they had the credits they had the dergee (e.g. Bachelor's, Master's, etc). Unfortunately, that is one of the pitfalls of those type of programs...they're "all or none" in terms of degree conference

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sleepwalker has 16 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Occupational Health.

34 Posts; 584 Profile Views

On 5/4/2020 at 9:14 PM, Upgrading_Status said:

WOW! I've been out of the loop. A BSN to DNP program😳 the money grab is real

Unfortunately I agree with you. I have a hard time justifying the substantial additional cost for a terminal degree that basically results in no significant pay increase. Yes...some professional "doors" or "opportunities" MAYBE opened but not without relevant experience and in the meantime the debt has to be repaid

I was going to obtain a terminal degree when I was teaching but the least expensive program I could find was 28K...with the subsequent raises I would have received with the completion of the degree it would have taken me 17 years just to recoup the cost of the program!!

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SopranoKris has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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It all depends on if your program awards the MSN separately from the DNP. If they do, then yes, you can take boards while you finish the DNP portion. My school does this for their DNP tracks. Our foundation courses are actually at the doctorate level so if we opt to get the DNP later, we only have to do a few extra semesters to finish it, along with the doctorate project. In my opinion, the cost-benefit to getting the DNP vs. the MSN is negligible at this time. You don't get extra clinical (patient) time and there's little difference in pay in the clinical setting. If you want to work in the academic realm, then the DNP is beneficial. Until it's absolutely required, I'm stopping at the MSN for now. 3 more semesters left to go! 🙂

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