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FNP? DNP? Wait?

NP Students   (1,093 Views 6 Comments)

coughdrop.2.go has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing, Public Health Nurse.

1 Article; 12,920 Profile Views; 709 Posts

Hello all, I have been working for the past 3 years, mostly as a School Nurse. I currently work in a school based health center which has inspired me to look in to a career as a FNP. I know I do not have any acute care experience, but I want to stick with School based health and/or Primary Care.

I've noticed there are a lot of people who do entry-level FNP programs or new grads who haven't found jobs and go into NP school. Although I do have some experience, I'm not sure if it would be enough. I'm trying to prepare myself and I'm even enrolled in a RN refresher program since I'm not in acute care. I'm even planning to re-take my Statistics class to also refresh myself.

The program I'm looking at is through my brick-and-mortar BSN school. They have both an online and hybrid program. There's also an option for DNP.

My questions for ya'll are:

1) Should I get more experience under my belt before bothering to apply?

2) Would my non-acute care experience hurt while in the program? (i.e. processing information and studying)

3) I'm been hearing a lot of chatter that DNP is the "future". Should I just bite the bullet now and do the DNP portion or ignore it.

Thanks for any and all responses up front.

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sirI has 30 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB.

14 Followers; 19 Articles; 13,168 Posts; 137,751 Profile Views

Thread moved to Student NP.

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gelli.25 has 4 years experience and specializes in OR Nursing, Critical Care, Med-surg.

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1. I'd say go for it now. I've been in the OR for the past 3 years, which is completely different from primary care. However, the OR has benefited me by enhancing my communication skills most definitely; I've become more outspoken and confident as a nurse. There's also tons of collaboration in surgery, speaking with: surgeons, anesthesia, lab, radiology, pathology, preop and PACU...everyone. I also get to interview patients daily. So, for those points, I am grateful. Unfortunately, I fail to gain the pharmacologic knowledge as floor nurses do. I mean to all is it's own. You learn and gain a little bit of something from every job. Applying now definitely would not hurt. I have 9 months in med-surg/critical care and 3 years in surgery and I got accepted into FNP school.

Also, there's lots of other things the graduate committee take into consideration: your GPA, community service, letters of recommendation, personal statement, GRE if required.

2. I don't think it'll hurt you. Plus, FNP is not acute care - it's deals much with chronic illnesses, health and wellness and disease prevention. Also, studying and how well you process knowledge depends on your learning skills. Do you catch on easily, in general? Are you a quick learner? What's your learning style: auditory, visual, hands-on? Or does it take a while for you to process things? Whichever it is, just ensure you stay dedicated, motivated and determined -- keep your eyes on the prize.

3. You can go straight to DNP if you want; I am unsure when it's going to become mandatory. It was "supposed" to become mandated back in 2015. Nope. However, lots of people are getting their DNP. I am not. I'm starting this Fall getting only my master's. Plus, I have absolutely NO desire to get my doctorate. Once they mandate it, if they mandate it -- and try to fire me, I guess then I woudn't have a choice. But, now I do. I honestly don't understand this DNP route anyway; it's few extra research and community courses that is going to benefit me in no way whatsoever BUT, do NOT let me discourage you from pursuing your DNP! In the long run, it may be the smartest thing to do right now. But, at this moment in my life - I'm ignoring it.

Good Luck! :-)

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PG2018 specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

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Apply now to the cheapest, shortest program you can find.

If you want "acute" by all means work it while you're in FNP training.

DNP is clinically irrelevant. If you want it to become a policy guru then go get it...after you're working as a FNP.

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coughdrop.2.go has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing, Public Health Nurse.

1 Article; 709 Posts; 12,920 Profile Views

Thank ya'll so much for your input!

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TheSquire has 8 years experience as a DNP, EMT-B, APN, NP and specializes in Emergency Nursing, Camp Nursing.

1,210 Posts; 14,103 Profile Views

One of the fun things about being in a DNP program is that you're required to take a class on Healthcare Economics...during which you'll learn that increasing barriers to entry (i.e. moving from masters to doctoral preparation) is a move made to protect current members of a profession from competition, who almost never have to meet the new requirements themselves.

So yes, go for the DNP and you'll find out that the motivation for the move to the DNP is partially bovine excrement.

That said, if you want to go into admin, policy, or instruction, the DNP is a lot less of a pain-in-the-ass to get than a PhD, and one of the other motives for instituting the DNP was to increase the number of faculty with doctoral degrees. If you see your career moving in any of those directions - and if you're currently young unmarried/not a parent, definitely get the DNP out of the way now.

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