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HS student in need of advice!

Pre-Nursing   (1,085 Views 9 Comments)
by futurenurse168 futurenurse168 (New) New

474 Profile Views; 7 Posts

Hi all!

I am currently a high school student and will be submitting my college applications somewhat soon. I am supposed to be compiling a list of colleges that I am interested in but I am really struggling to figure out my career direction, and therefore, cannot figure out which colleges to apply to.

Here's my situation:

Originally I thought I wanted to become an RN, but then thought that maybe I would want to become a PA. Now, I am back to thinking I want to become an RN or NP. After doing some research, I think I would prefer to apply to direct admit nursing programs (accepted into the nursing program from HS, complete degree in less time, and don't need to reapply to nursing school after undergrad). Does anyone have experience attending a direct admit program and have any pros/cons, or know of any great direct admit programs for nursing?

With that said, I am also considering becoming a nurse practitioner. Are there any programs where you can become an NP from high school, meaning you don't have to become an RN, then work as an RN, and then apply to a masters program? I found that University of San Francisco has a program where you work towards getting your BSN right after high school and then can apply to work towards your masters degree starting Junior year of college. Then, you graduate with both a BSN and NP degree.

Finally, are there any huge pros/cons to working as a Nurse Practitioner? Does anyone have experience working as a NP and can tell me what kind of things you do in a typical day?

Any advice, opinions, or information that you can give would be greatly appreciated! Sorry for all of the questions, but I am feeling pretty lost and overwhelmed!

Thank you!!

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493 Posts; 8,191 Profile Views

Hello! I might be able to answer some of your questions but not all of them.

I was admitted out of high school to a "direct admit" program. It's at a four year public university. I spent the first year and a half doing prerequisites, and this spring I will be starting the nursing program. I was directly admitted, so I did not have to apply to the program. However, I did have to maintain a high GPA in my prerequisites.

You cannot become a Nurse Practitioner straight out of high school. You must become a Registered Nurse first, and usually you must have your BSN. I'm sure there are programs that would allow you to become an RN, and then immediately start becoming an NP. However, these programs are rare, and I'm afraid I don't know any. It sounds like you may have found one! But, you cannot just "skip" the RN part, or become an RN and an NP at the same time. In fact, most NP programs require a few years of experience as an RN before you can start their program.

Nursing school is very challenging, and I encourage you to seek more information about being a nurse. I am not an NP, and I'm just focused on getting through nursing school right now :) However, there are many types of NPs. Family NP, Acute Care NP, Neonatal NP, Geriatric NP, Pediatric NP. I could go on and on! It may help to ask about a certain type. A "typical day" in the life of an NP most certainly depends on where they work and what type of NP they are. Also, since there are different types of NPs, there are different colleges to attend depending on what type you want to be. You can't specialize in everything! This website is a great resource. Don't be afraid to use the search function and look at past posts!

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7 Posts; 474 Profile Views

Thank you so much for all your input! Everything you said was helpful and made perfect sense. Do you mind me asking what college you attend? I completely understand if you don't feel comfortable sharing, I am just very curious since direct admit programs aren't too common and all the ones I found are private, expensive schools! :( How is the rigor of the program you are in and do you find it manageable? The direct admit programs seem very intense and like a ton of work so I would love to get your opinion. Would you choose a direct admit program over the path of undergrad and then applying to nursing school? Also are there any classes that you would recommend me taking in order to be more prepared for such an academically tough program?

Thanks again for all your help! :)

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adamRn79 has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Ortho.

185 Posts; 3,151 Profile Views

As an RN who is now in NP school, my advice is to become a PA.

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493 Posts; 8,191 Profile Views

Thank you so much for all your input! Everything you said was helpful and made perfect sense. Do you mind me asking what college you attend? I completely understand if you don't feel comfortable sharing, I am just very curious since direct admit programs aren't too common and all the ones I found are private, expensive schools! :( How is the rigor of the program you are in and do you find it manageable? The direct admit programs seem very intense and like a ton of work so I would love to get your opinion. Would you choose a direct admit program over the path of undergrad and then applying to nursing school? Also are there any classes that you would recommend me taking in order to be more prepared for such an academically tough program?

Thanks again for all your help! :)

I attend Northern Illinois University. Southern Illinois University and Illinois State University also offer a direct admit option. You can still apply later on in college if you don't get direct admit, but it's a lot easier to get accepted straight out of high school! I chose to attend there because they have many clinical sites in Chicago, good NCLEX pass rates, public tuition rates, and because they admitted me directly. I love it! I definitely would choose a direct admit program again because if guarantees your entry. If you don't attend a direct admit school, you have to apply to the school's nursing program either your sophomore or junior year. That seems very stressful to me! The rigor of the program is very intense, and I've been told it increases as you go on. I recommend taking Anatomy and Physiology, biology, or chemistry if possible :)

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7 Posts; 474 Profile Views

Thank you for your feedback! In your opinion and experience, what makes you believe that becoming a PA is a better option than an RN or NP? I have seriously considered all 3 and honestly can't make up my mind. It's hard without seeing any of these professions in action to know what would be best.

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7 Posts; 474 Profile Views

Okay, thanks! I had no idea that Northern Illinois University was direct admit, as with the 2 other schools you mentioned. Thank you for explaining why you chose the school you did also :) All the advice you gave me was super helpful!

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gere7404 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Cardiac.

507 Posts; 5,299 Profile Views

As an RN who is now in NP school, my advice is to become a PA.

Care to elaborate? Here in Oregon, the scope of practice for FNP and PA is more or less the same, but FNP's can operate their own practice whereas PA's need to work under a doctor.

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adamRn79 has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Ortho.

185 Posts; 3,151 Profile Views

The education process is streamlined for PAs. PA school arranges your clinical. I could go on.

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