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NP path questions

by Cynthia105 Cynthia105 (New) New


I have an ADN right now but my goal is to become a NP. I want to apply to an online compacted ADN-MSN course. The schools in CAlifornia seem to be mostly masters in admin, educator, and informatics. If my goal is to be NP, does it matter what I specialize in for my masters, since I still have to take a certification program for NP after the masters program? So basically, does that I mean I can grad with an MSN specializing in informatics, and still become a NP? I did alot of research but the process seems to be very confusing to me. I would hate to waste 2 years of my time taking the wrong path. Also, can I apply for a MSN program in another state, such as Cincinnati University, and take the NP board in California and practice in California. I reside in California. If anyone can direct me in the right path, I would be SO grateful!


Specializes in Too damn many. Has 14 years experience.

Hello Cynthia,

Since you han'd got a reply from one of the better educated, I'll give it a go. I'm in a NP program right now myself. If you just get a MSN in anything other than a nurse practitioner program, you will need to do the nurse practitioner post grad work to earn it. If you are sure you want to be a NP, then you need to be looking at "NP" programs. Just having a masters in another nursing focus does not cut it.

Hope this helped.

There are programs (such as the Bridge Program at Vanderbilt) that can lead you from your ADN to an MSN in a specialty that will qualify you to sit for a national certification exam. I'm not certain the length of the program for someone who is already a nurse, but all that information is available on the website.

I know there are several other nursing schools with bridge-type programs, but I am only familiar with VUSN.

Spacklehead, MSN, NP

Specializes in Emergency, Cardiac, PAT/SPU, Urgent Care. Has 24 years experience.

Hi Cynthia,

You will need to attend an MSN or DNP program with the focus of one of the NP specialties. Those tracks specifically provide the required course work/clinical hours you will need to sit for one of the certification exams. A generic MSN or MSN in anything other than an NP focus will not provide you with the education needed to sit for those exams.

You can go to any school in the U.S. that you want which has an NP program. I, myself, went to an out-of-state school and took the ANCC exam in my state and gained licensure in my state. You really need to check with your state's Board of Nursing requirements, though, because in order to get my NP license, I had to submit course descriptions for certain courses that I took at my school since they were out-of-state. The Board just wanted to make sure that they were equivalent to the courses provided by the schools in my state.

Best wishes!

Thanks! That was very helpful. Didn't think I was going to get any responses.

Christen, ANP

Specializes in Critical Care, Orthopedics, Hospitalists. Has 6 years experience.

What Softballmama said.

In order to be an NP, you have to graduate from an NP program and complete clinicals. If your ultimate goal is to be an NP, yo would be wasting your time doing a MSN program in education or informatics or whatever, as without the clinical hours / NP courses you won't be eligible to sit for boards.

Christen, ANP

Specializes in Critical Care, Orthopedics, Hospitalists. Has 6 years experience.

Also, you will need to consider which "NP Track" you wish to do - there are several different types out there that range from the very specific (i.e., Neonatal Nurse Practitioner) to the fairly broad (i.e., Family Nurse Practitioner).

~Christen :)