Considering DNP. Am I koo-koo?


Hey ladies and gents!

Some of you already know my history, but a quick background:

LPN 12 years, new RN, just finished my bachelors.

I landed a sweet critical care gig at a local hospital, and my plan was to do that for the next 2 years and then consider continuing on up the ladder.

The problem is, I can't get the desire to go back to school out of my mind. My ultimate goal is ACNP.

Is it crazy to jump into a DNP NP program now?

Part of me says my LPN experience isn't enough to justify going for it now. Part of me says it is because I have great assessment skills, technical skills, and my pharm knowledge is on point. But, I'm worried if I take another break, I won't go back.

The thought of doing another 3 years makes me cringe, so I considered a MSN NP program, but then I feel like I'll just have to go back anyways to be competitive in the future.

I know, a lot of rambling. I just need some experienced opinions.

Am am I totally koo-koo for considering this right now?


1,763 Posts

I don't think so. Like you said, those years of LPN experience gave you an excellent nursing background. Then you went back to school and already have RN experience with a critical population. Plus, if you choose to work part time through the DNP program, that's 3 more years of acute RN experience.


1 Article; 2,674 Posts

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

1). This is not about experience. It is about YOU.

2). What do you want to do, in the process and after you are done? If you just want to be a clinician, DNP as it stands right now adds minimal benefits. If you love teaching, research and non-clinical jobs, that will be another story. Do you want to work in the process? How much other obligations, for example, family, do you have? Can you afford the school, or you'll have to get another loan? How much time you think you have - options are from less than 3 years (full time accelerated MSN in 16 to 18 months, then direct full time DNP in 1 year, but you'll have to stop your life for that time) to 7 years (very much part time all-star inclusive programs, when you can comfortably work and have some life)?

3). You just started your acute care experience. Are you sure that's what you would like to do to the end of your career? Frequent fliers, "last straw holders", drug abusers, "fixing" things which are not fixable and you know it, never being on top on totem pole and never truly independent?

Spend some time just thinking about it... then, if you are sure, go. Do not worry about experience - bedside nursing may give you a lot, something or very little of what you need as a provider, depending on where you work and what you can make out of it. Take time, choose good school.

Good luck to you! It can be done, and it is not THAT bad.


561 Posts

Thank you both for your replies!

Katie- That's a lot to consider. I've made the first step by calling up the program I've been looking at locally. I got a lot of great info, and I've begun talking to my husband.

I'm excited about the possibility, while terrified all at the same time haha