what made you decide to be a NP?


not to pull an Oprah, but what was your process? an ah ha! moment? or natural progression? what made you decide to take the leap?

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

153 Articles; 21,229 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

I'm an adult health CNS in an APN role. I was a staff nurse in an MICU for one year, then did 10 years in various positions in an ER. However, along about the 8th year I realized that I was slowing down a little bit. Not a lot but a little. And..I realized that age was creeping up on me. So...back to school I went. Had to do the BSN first then the MSN (management and leadership), oops didn't like management so did a post-MSN CNS and here I am.

There wasn't one moment when I decided to go back to school. Just knew that I needed more career choices.


1 Article; 520 Posts

First semester of nursing school had a phenomenal instructor who was an NP. I wanted to be like her and do what she did. She took me under her wing. Also had many NP's as role models before I entered nursing school. So it wasn't an "ah-ha" as much as I always knew this was my goal.


20 Posts

Really as a youngster of 20 something, I wanted to get out of the hospital (before all the acute care tracks came along) and I wanted to do something broader and more variety than I found in the NICU. I wanted to do stuff! That was the totality of my thinking process when I was a young nurse (think young adolescent) thinking about future schooling.

As I approached my early 30's and by now, had a couple of kids, and a more independent job in home health, I found I wanted more of that independence (guess this would be later teens to early adult stage); I thought how great it would be to go back to school and have a job where I could have more independent decision making and what I saw as control over my career. Had to get a BSN, then onto grad school I went.

Finished that, and by late 30's or so, had a great job as an NP. Since I was trained in primary care, I felt I needed another NP certification to be certain I would not be seen as practicing out of my scope, so I did a post-masters. And now, I feel like career-wise, I am probably at my chronological age (I am 43 now).

For me it was more of a logical progression as I was maturing in Nursing. (Hows that for an Oprah-like answer). When they say, you don't know what you don't know, I have found this very applicable to me so far in my 17 year career. I think I am what I want to be when I grow up. Kind of scary!


96 Posts

I'm curious...what are your NP specialties?

Specializes in ACNP-BC. Has 12 years experience.

I am a graduating NP student-3 months to go!!! Woo hooo! While I do enjoy working as an RN, I wanted to be an NP so I could take on a different sort of role, and have more independence, autonomy, and basically have a lot more say in the decisions that are made concerning my patients. I really, really thrive on the diagnosis process and want to be able to prescribe therapies, and I can't wait to have 1:1 time with patients, instead of just going crazy all the time in my RN job where I feel like I am constantly throwing meds at pts and then running down the hall to put out the next fire or throw meds at the next pt.


69 Posts

Specializes in ACNP-BC, CVICU/SICU/Flight. Has 22 years experience.

Similar to others, I didn't have an aha moment right away. I think it had more to do with wanting/needing a change and seeing what was feasible and what wasn't. After being at the bedside for 20 years, I really wanted more autonomy. I searched a variety of options. Initially, thinking anesthesia since I have been in ICU all of the 20 years. But after shadowing and talking with CRNAs, it wasn't for me. Seeing the OR walls for most of the hours I would inhabit the hospital wasn't a thrill for me, however, acuity is. I also knew management wasn't the path I wanted (for me the managers I see are a bunch of inbreeds or want-to-bes)...ok now you are seeing my skeptical side. In all honesty, I wanted to stay near patient care. This is where I excel and feel I can make a difference. So I needed to find something that fit the bill.

After observing and talking with some NPs, I started scoping out programs, process and overall position. I realized 2 years ago this was my path. I am in an acnp program and graduate in November. I am still working through where I want to go afterwards. Not sure if inpatient/outpatient is for me or working for a hospital versus group practice is my cup of tea, but hope to figure that out soon. I have much to learn and figure out. It's funny; I work with both NPs and PA and enjoy all of them. A PA (from a surgical practice) recently approached me about a position becoming available in the surgical group where he works. I have known this fellow for 6 yrs. or so and the surgical team more. It's a fun group and would be a great learning oppty for me. Right now I am focusing on clinicals and graduating...and hoping a little Divine intervention will pave the way for where to go afterwards.


395 Posts

Specializes in Peds Urology,primary care, hem/onc.

I have been a pediatric nurse practitioner for 3 years. I work in a Urology practice at a Children's Hospital. I was a pediatric nurse for 5 years in Hematology/Oncoloy then Primary Care. I did not like the stress of acute care but was getting bored in Primary Care (was not using my clinical and thinking skills). When I decided to go back to school, it was an "ah ha" moment for me. I was sick of my job at the time, knew I did not want to go back to the hospital but knew I had to do something. I worked with great APN's over the years who were great role models. I had a lot of support when I made my decision. One of my closest friends that I worked with who had a similar background/education to me had just completed grad school at the time. I remember when I approached my nurse manager to let her know what I was thinking, she really encouraged me and told me she thought it was a great idea and that I would do great (she was right). This role is perfectly suited to me. I agree with what christvs said. I thrive on the whole process and I love the ability to manage disease processes. I love working with very gifted physicians who value my input on patient care and are always willing to back me up with difficult cases. Good Luck!


1,041 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

I found a job in CA that I absolutely adored. I wanted to do the same job when I returned to TX, but the one hospital system in Houston that has such a system only hires Masters pepared students, whether NP, PA, or MSW. I refuse to work on a hospital floor, so this being a NP opens up so many options, esp. as NPs in TX gain more autonomy--Rx'ing Sched II, not having to practice under a MD, etc.


76 Posts

Specializes in FNP. Has 8 years experience.

I went to RN school with the goal of becoming a NP. So the only "ah ha!" moment for me was when I decided to become a nurse.


Specializes in ICU. Has 4 years experience.

My first job right out of graduation was the most horrible place ever. There was a small core of nurses who were so disturbing and really fit that stereotype of "nurses eating their young" that after about 6 months I realized that if this was what nursing was all about then I wanted nothing to do with it. I immediately started searching out schools and applied as quickly as I could once I pinned down what I *thought* I wanted to do. FNP seemed to be the best option since it was the broadest education.

I like my job now (whole different place from that first position), but definitely want to work normal hours again, avoid nightshift, holidays, weekends... at least to the extent that I'm doing it now as a bedside nurse. It'll be nice to see my husband again. :)

This topic is now closed to further replies.