Jump to content

Considering NP - looking for honest feedback


Hello all!

I’m not currently a NP, but considering it and wanted to get some honest feedback. I’m a school Nurse with a masters of Ed in school health services (I know that doesn't help with MSN/NP degree but wanted to give a little background). I’ve worked as a school nurse for 6 years and worked in inpatient and outpatient for 3 years before that.
I Love my job and love my schedule, but feel like I’m a little stagnant in my career and wondering if it’s worth taking the leap into a new nursing field. I’ve always wanted to be on the provider side, but life happens. Do you enjoy your job? Did you work while going to school? Did you have kids while you were in school (I have two young ones now)? Are there any things about being an NP that you really don’t like? Thanks so much 😊

Numenor, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

1. Accept you might have to move for a job

2. Do a residency

3. Work like balance is going to be terrible your first two years while you grasp the role

I see nurses often go the NP route because they feel stagnant, this is a TERRIBLE reason to choose to be a provider. Switch specialties or jobs but don't try to do part time school online with kids and expect to come out of it as competent with a job waiting for you...

blondenurse12, MSN, NP

Specializes in Family Practice. Has 13 years experience.

This is just my opinion/experience so you may take it for what it's worth. Determining whether or not you want to become a NP will be mostly influenced by your current salary and experience. For me, it was financially worth it because I was only about 7 years into my nursing career when I became a NP. I basically got a $17/hr pay raise going from RN to NP. One of my colleagues who was a nurse for a long time was maxed out on the pay scale and PTO accrual. All things considered, she would have taken a pay cut to practice as a NP.

Now as for the actual process itself, I don't think you are in a good position. Can it be done? Sure. Why do I say this? You have been a school nurse for the majority of your career. You have a narrow scope which means you're going to struggle in clinicals and in your first job. I went to a brick and mortar program but even then, imo, it was underwhelming. We spent a whole semester on nursing theory but we learned how to read Xrays in a 90 minute lecture. Come on.

Clinicals can be a crapshoot but basically I was seeing 2 patients an hour at least from the get go. They just throw you in. I have had two jobs since becoming a NP 6 years ago and the first one, I got 2 weeks orientation. The second, I had no orientation. This is rather cynical of me but most places see NPs as revenue generators and nothing else. They could care less about your personal development and are only looking to minimize what they spend on you to squeeze the most out of you.

On 4/15/2020 at 11:50 AM, Brittany Garraty said:

Do you enjoy your job? Did you work while going to school? Did you have kids while you were in school (I have two young ones now)? Are there any things about being an NP that you really don’t like? Thanks so much 😊

Hi @Brittany Garraty. Making the decision to change a career is a big one, so I think it's good you're asking questions.

To answer your questions:

There are things I like about my job and there are things I don't like--just like any other job I've had. There are minimal things I miss about working in the role of an RN but overall, I do prefer working as an NP.

While I was in school, I worked full-time as an RN and I did not have any children, although I know people have done and do it.

I would say the biggest thing I don't like about being an NP is the increased level of responsibility. It's one thing to make sure I administer a medication correctly and follow all the orders as an RN, but as an NP I have to make clinical decisions and prescribe medications, which is an entirely different thing. It can be nerve-racking. But I've become more comfortable with that.

I agree with @Numenor that wanting to become an NP just because you feel stagnant would not the best reason to do it. The role of the NP is very different from the RN, so you have to know you want to step into it.

While I understand that moving may have to be in the cards, it's not always the case. I moved for my first NP job but not because I couldn't get a job where I was living but because I was ready to leave that area. I could have easily gotten a job where I was previously living due to my specialty.

Hope this helps!