Direct Entry Masters/NP

Nursing Students NP Students


Hey everyone,

Thanks for taking the time to read. I'm 26 and will be graduating in 3 months with a BA in kinesiology. I'm graduating late because i was diagnosed with leukemia when I was 19 and did 3 years of chemo. That entire experience has led to my love for medicine and exercise. Currently I have a phlebotomy certification and 400hrs of volunteer experience in a local emergency department. I love it there but I also love exercise and cancer rehab. I'm interested in becoming an NP and either opening my own cancer rehab clinic or doing ED/urgent care work. I've seen some direct entry/MEPN programs for non-bsn students and they seem to be zero nursing experience to nurse practitioner in 3 years. Given my age, and the fact that I would have 1 more semester of pre reqs to qualify for any nursing program, I think 3 years of full time study is too much for me to knock out at once.

Other options include a 1 year accelerated BSN degree then np school which I've seen range from 1-2 years (The University of Miami has a 1 year FNP program). I like the one year program but I currently live in Colorado so moving for a year wouldn't be that bad but it's still a big move and I would like to remain in Colorado long term.

PA school is pretty much out of the question. I would have to devote about 2 years post graduation to completing pre reqs and I think that NP patient care model is more aligned with my values than that of a PA.

I would like to add that I'm doing a 17 week cancer rehab internship that will result in a certification after graduation. That will be completed before any application to nursing schools.

Can anyone shed some advice on my situation? Pros/cons of direct entry programs, does anyone know of any less than 3 years? Chances of getting in with my background, gpa is projected around a 3-3.2. I'll continue volunteering in the ED for another 6 months before I move for my internship so that will add an additional 200hrs at the minimum. I also have 100 hrs of shadow experience with PA's/MD's in medical oncology, radiation oncology, and emergency medicine.

Thank you!

I have seen these programs as well. I would to see the feedback.

From what I understand, Direct-entry programs are very inconsistent. There are some great ones that produce fantastic NPs, and there are terrible ones that do the opposite. I would just do some research on each of the programs that you are considering.

I will be attending a "direct-entry" program in the fall at Vanderbilt for non-nurses and it is only 2 years. Granted, it is 2 full years; fall, spring, and summer. I am confident that this program is one of the better ones in the country. I have talked to several graduates from the program, several current students, faculty, and even just got back from their open house. The program is rigorous but doable. I would also nail down what kind of patients you want to work with, because of the 5 programs I applied to, all of them required that I choose what certification I would be studying at the time of application. I went AGAC-NP because I like working with acutely ill patients. FNP is by far the most competitive from what I understand, and I hear the market is becoming saturated with FNPs anyway.

As to your question about how competitive you are, I'm honestly not sure. I can give you some of my stats I guess. I currently work as a Patient Care Tech at a large hospital in my home state. I draw blood daily as part of my job as well. Most of my volunteer hours, which is much less than what you have, is outside of medicine. I got my hours through helping set up and running polling places and things around elections. I did do some work at a children's hospital, but it wasn't clinical. It was mainly playing with the patients, and relieving the parents. Overall I would say I had about 200 hours.

My GPA was on the lower side as well, around 3.3. I would say get that up as high as you can or be prepared to compensate with your personal statement or GRE on your application. I originally wanted to go to medical school, so I took the MCAT and did pretty well on it. I used that instead of the GRE and my high score on it is probably what set me apart.

I'd be happy to answer any other questions you have.

Hi there arockenhaus1! I plan to apply to Vanderbilt Pre-Specialty PMHNP program in 2019 and was hoping you could share a little more about your journey in applying and attending so far. I have 6 years mental health experience and a Masters in Psychology. I have worked closely with Psychiatrists and PMHNPs in a community mental health setting, hoping my background would help to set me apart. This program would be my first choice and I'd be over the moon if accepted! Thank you in advance!

Specializes in Psychiatry.

3 years is not that bad to be honest. Some Direct Entry programs last 2 years you just have to research the ones in your area. As far as quality studies show that outcomes for direct entry graduates are no different than their BSN to MSN counterparts and you should not rely on the opinions of strangers from the internet for such a personal decision. The GPA is not the best but if you make sure that other parts of your application (letters of recommendation, statement of intent etc.) are solid that will help improve your chances. Doing a one year BSN and making sure you do well would be a good idea too as the GPA from that would supersede the GPA from your previous degree and in many cases you would not need to do the GRE once you have a BSN already.

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