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Former PA Student: ABSN or Direct Entry Master's


I am a former PA student who wants to become a nurse practitioner. I was very close to finishing my degree but due to unfortunate circumstances, that did not happen. I did well in my classes and clinical rotations and had a good GPA. I have my bachelor's degree in biology.

I have applied to 4 ABSN programs. I have gotten into 2 of them so far. Unfortunately I just recently found out more about direct entry MSN programs. It seems to me that there are not a ton of these direct entry programs so I am assuming they are extremely competitive to get in to. Due to my experience in PA school, I feel that I would be prepared for a master's program. But unfortunately I have debt from PA school so I am also trying to find the way to become a nurse practitioner that would accrue the least debt and get me to that point the quickest.

I am not just trying to take the easy way out. I have spent many years and have thousands of hours of experience working as a CNA, medical scribe, hospital volunteer, and in clinical rotations working with doctors, NPs, PAs, nurses, and patients. I am 100% confident I want to be a medical practitioner.

Is anyone else a former PA student? Or does anyone else have a similar experience or experience in ABSN or Direct Entry MSN that could give me advice? Thanks so much in advance!

I would go for the ABSN. Direct entry MSN will usually require a post certificate to be able to become a Nurse Practitioner.

If you don’t mind me asking, what happened that made PA not work out?

Edited by joe090909

If you were doing so well in PA school, can you go back and finish? Or perhaps enroll in another PA school?

I know the cost is quite a bit for PA school, but there are quite a few ABSN and Direct Entry MSNs which are quite costly too. Have you checked to see if your former school might take you back?

I have actually done more research since I made this post and I have been accepted to a direct MSN program so I am thinking I will go that route. I have heard that many post master's certificates do not take a super long time to complete so I do not think I would mind doing that. It seems like it will be a lot of money no matter what I do. The MSN program I got into is 20 months and most of the ABSN programs are around 16 months so to me, it seems worth it to go the extra 4 months for a master's instead of a bachelor's, especially since the cost isn't much more.

My PA school experience unfortunately was not the best. The program I attended was very new and unorganized. There were a lot of poor clinical experiences and over 1/4 of the class was either dismissed or withdrew for various reasons. The faculty was not supportive. There were also issues with accreditation so overall there were many things not ideal about it. PA school is so competitive to get into and I have thought about applying to different PA schools but unfortunately nothing transfers. I would rather spend my time going for nursing because NPs have more autonomy and room for growth than PAs anyway.