A nurse should have at least 5 years exp before NP school

  1. I know several great NP's, all of whom have a strong background in clinical nursing. I also no some not-so-great NP's, all of whom have no background in clinical nursing. I don't think this is a coincidence. What is worse is that I have "worked" with NP students who went straight form nursing school to NP school. Sometimes I wonder if some of tthese NP's are even nurses! Every NP program I have seen is built to expand a clinical nurse's expertise and allow them to become practioners. Do you agree, or do you think this is too harsh of a view?
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    About MikeyBSN, BSN, RN

    Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 463; Likes: 517
    ER Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in ED

    27 Comments

  3. by   Mexarican
    I think there are some people who have the skills and talent to go onto the graduate level NP and sometimes that cause resentment in people who don't have those partucluar set of skills or simply waited...

    to each his own and why do we care if someone wants to continue on sooner than later...really...why should we care???

    Mex
  4. by   leqwedz
    A pilot becomes a pilot after so many hrs of being a co-pilot.so I'm on your side on this one.but hay..education has no limit.like they say.you can't teach an old dog new tricks..by so,i mean if they nurse had a bad practice habit.it'll be hard to rectify..by it's easy to teach it the right way to those coming in a fresh...feel my twist?
  5. by   HURN
    Heck it can take an RN or any nurse for that matter 5 years to feel confident and comfortable. We all have that freedom of choice especially when it comes to education and the opportunity is available. I, however, believe a nurse should experience what a nurse is in actual clinical practice before proceeding to a practitioner. That's just my
  6. by   ybq2008
    I think 5 years is a bit excessive, but at least a year or two before entry would be helpful. I considered the direct entry NP programs and did not pursue them for that reason. I have over 5 years of mental health and clinical experience, so I have a bit of a jump on some 20something nursing students, but I think a good year or so of exposure would make for a more experienced and versed NP. I'm planning to purse my NP directly after finishing my BSN. However, I'll do so part-time and on the hospital's dime in order to save myself some tuition money via the reimbursement program and get the experience I need to be the best clinician I can be.
  7. by   Be_Moore
    I'm can see both sides of this argument, but I am in agreement with legwedz. While there probably should be a miminum (such as 1 year critical care), an extensive minimum causes a nurse to potentially become set in their bad habits. The other side is that in the couple years after leaving nursing school, a lot of information that is not directly applicable to daily practice is still fresh in the mind. Specifics of pathphysiology, pharmacology, etc. These are things that will fade in the incorrect settings. When I worked on the floor, very few nurses were thinking in depth about patho/pharm. For example..the patient has pneumonia and is getting antibiotics. Well..what kind of pneumonia? Aerobic, anaerobic, or both? What kind of antibiotics and why? A fluroquinolone or a combination lincosamide and 3rd generation cephalosporin? These types of questions will not get asked as frequently in certain areas.
  8. by   mustlovepoodles
    I agree that there should be some kind of required minimum years of active nursing practice prior to starting graduate school. Most of us come out of school with a lot of book knowledge and limited practical knowledge. Working in a relatively busy hospital or clinic, where you can be exposed to a lot of different experiences will go a long way to educate any nurse.

    When I had my last baby I had the choice between having a nurse midwife or having the doctor deliver my baby. I'm very big on natural birth, midwives, breast-feeding and the like so I was very interested in the midwife. That is, until I met her. She told me she had 5 years experience, which was great except her "5 years experience" was nursing school plus her Midwife program. What??? Her L&D experience was totally as a student! I couldn't believe the doctors would even employ her in private practice. Needless to say, I didn't want her practicing on me!

    No thank you. Nurse practioners need to have some experience seeing, smelling, feeling, and hearing patients before they start their own practice.
  9. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Doctors do not have to do clinicals in between pre-med and medical school. Why should a nurse. I think it is individual. Some need more nursing time others do not. There are a variety of NPs out there. --and of course now there is the push for NPs to have their DNP by 2015; two FNPs of whom I work with only have their ASN and are two of the best FNPs out there
  10. by   GeneralJinjur
    Since I have zero healthcare experience, 5 years of practicing as an RN is my minimum before I move to NP school. Plus, I'd like to move around a bit before deciding where to specialize. It's nice to hear this concept being discussed by real nurses. You all make me think I'm on the right track.
  11. by   diane227
    No one should become a PA or an NP without direct hospital or clinic experience. I do not want an NP or PA seeing me if they have never worked in their field before.
  12. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Quote from diane227
    No one should become a PA or an NP without direct hospital or clinic experience. I do not want an NP or PA seeing me if they have never worked in their field before.
    So you will never go to a doctor? Or are you considering residency working in their field before?
  13. by   RN1982
    Quote from mustlovepoodles
    I agree that there should be some kind of required minimum years of active nursing practice prior to starting graduate school. Most of us come out of school with a lot of book knowledge and limited practical knowledge. Working in a relatively busy hospital or clinic, where you can be exposed to a lot of different experiences will go a long way to educate any nurse.

    When I had my last baby I had the choice between having a nurse midwife or having the doctor deliver my baby. I'm very big on natural birth, midwives, breast-feeding and the like so I was very interested in the midwife. That is, until I met her. She told me she had 5 years experience, which was great except her "5 years experience" was nursing school plus her Midwife program. What??? Her L&D experience was totally as a student! I couldn't believe the doctors would even employ her in private practice. Needless to say, I didn't want her practicing on me!

    No thank you. Nurse practioners need to have some experience seeing, smelling, feeling, and hearing patients before they start their own practice.

    She counted school as experience? THat's laughable and scary. I agree with you though. I'm also big into the natural childbirth and midwfe thing too so I feel the same way you do about someone with little or no experience in the field they are practicing. There should be a two year minimum experience requirement prior to admission into all NP programs. Sorry, clinical experience in school does not cut it as "experience".
  14. by   leqwedz
    i assume that you are in the us..and my point on that is,education has no boundaries..lol.not all the time.i would not like a NP or new

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