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How to Choose PMHNP DNP Program?

NP Students   (117 Views | 0 Replies)
by PonyTherapist PonyTherapist (New) New Student

PonyTherapist specializes in Psychiatry/Mental Health.

15 Profile Views; 2 Posts

Hey all, I'm at the last semester of my ABSN/RN program so I'm trying to figure out the next steps. I am currently at a private, but top-tier university that I love and I feel as worth the price, even if the price hurts a bit. I came on partial Scholarship which helped due to past academics and the program type but will be paying this off for a bit regardless, which I am fine with.

I switched my career from mental health counseling to nursing with the goal of becoming a psych NP and eventually running a facility or opening my own one day. I felt like I could better do this from an NP background than a Psychologist background. 

I'm finishing up my BSN now and have an externship in psych and will be working there after graduation at an acute inpatient facility which I am very excited about. I am also continuing to work as a mental health therapist for extra money and to keep my skills sharp. I love both fields so naturally, I am super pumped about the next steps.

In my prior role, I was also a university professor and led an academic department, which I excelled at and loved. So I have a bunch of sort of related skills I am hoping to make good use of. 

That said, I have a few options for NP

Option 1: Get my MSN at a "lower name" but cheaper school and can start right after graduation. I'll do my DNP at a "higher name" school but worried the lower name school can hurt me if I when applying for upper management/CNO/Provost positions in the way way off future.

Option 2: Work for a year then apply to top-tier (but pricey) DNP programs where networking can help me there as it did where I currently am. I know I will eventually be able to pay off my loans and will qualify for Scholarships but those are never guaranteed. The leadership people I've worked with in the past in different roles have for the most part come from other top-tier schools (Columbia, Duke, Yale, Harvard) with some limited exceptions. I should also note that Duke has been my dream school since 8th grade but was never able to attend because of the price and scholarships were granted to other good schools which made more sense to attend. 

I want to be able to continue to do research as well, which I was only able to start getting involved in now. My advisor at school is one the NP program committee where I am, and she suggested that I apply to my high name schools because the networking will help me in the end. 

I absolutely enjoy leadership and would love to combine my therapist skills with provider work. I just need to figure out the best way to do it. I'm super sorry for this wall of annoying text!


TLDR: Need help choosing between not so good MSN program which is cheaper and expensive top-tier DNP program that can potentially launch my career in amazing ways in nursing leadership and opening a hospital. 


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