Np vs Rn


I want to hear from the np's who worked as Rn's before doing np. Which do you like better? Being an np now or when you were an Rn? I'm not concerned about difference in salary just as a job which are you happier doing?


2 Articles; 2,806 Posts

Are you kidding...NP by a long shot. More fun, more responsibility, more say-so, you make the treatment decisions, more money, etc..

Specializes in FNP, ONP. Has 25 years experience.

ditto. Make more than twice the money in 2/3 the time, total autonomy, much more respect. I make my own hours/control my schedule, control my career and professional development. Professional parity with my physician colleagues, and no one asks me to clean toilets, fetch coffee or work over, lol.

No contest.

I really want to go the np route. I'm almost certain i only want to do RN work for a few years. My only fear is that I won't get into an np program. For instance, one of the local universities only accepts 24 np students per year. Seriously, how do you get into a program that accepts that few?!


116 Posts

If nothing else, the NP program is worth doing assuming the cost isn't too great. I've learned more in the NP program than I ever did in the combined RN/BSN program or working as a RN. I recall making a 99.6% in pathophysiology in undergrad BSN (2nd degree), as I love bio-oriented knowledge (my 1st degree was bio and psych), but I still didn't really learn to recognize pathophysiology if you will. The NP program has given me that. As another example, when I graduated from the BSN program I knew what metformin was, as an example, and when to give it, but I didn't understand why that was used and where in the decision making process metformin arrived until the NP program. Add in a broader knowledge of whatever focus you want to choose as a NP, and the rewards are greater.

I'm not working as a NP yet, hence the name, but honestly I've never really liked working as a RN. Ok, everybody start hollering. It wasn't what I thought it'd be from the outside looking in, and NP school and the NP profession is more about understanding (which I want) than task accomplishment. There hasn't been, in my jobs, a lot of thought behind nursing as it, unfortunately, seems more focused on pushing a laundry list of tasks through a small funnel, making it fit, and getting done by shift change since we have to be clocked out and out of the building within 23 mintues of shift change. Although I've never been accosted, as a lot of coworker female RNs say they have been by docs and other staff, but I see almost no autonomy in my current work. That's hard because my first career was almost entirely autonomous. I'm ok with collaboration and am not seeking an autonomous practice, lol. I'm just saying I want to be somewhat self-directed.

Thank you for your response! The two np programs that I will be considering are about 50k-60k. Is that on the expensive side or the inexpensive side?

I know exactly what you mean by being able to ace a class but after awhile easily forgetting everything you learned and not really understanding. I'm in a pharmacology class right now, and it couldn't be easier. It seems like it doesn't even really matter whether you understand the true mechanisms of drugs and why you give what. Don't nurses need to know this? I really want to be a master of my profession and I want to be able to know what I'm talking about when patients ask me.


231 Posts

NP hands down. I love the autonomy, love the flexible scheduling, the pay. The role just fits me better than the RN. Of course this is with 7years of RN experience behind me. I knew I was going to be an NP and took RN jobs that no one wanted. This gave me a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw on for my current role. People talk about a residency program for the NP. I say make your own residency training program while working as an RN and learn as much as you can.

NPAlby- may I ask what type of RN experience you have? And what type of NP you are now?

Annaiya, NP

555 Posts

Specializes in PICU. Has 5 years experience.

Please keep in mind that you are asking a bunch of people that wanted to be NPs badly enough to spend the time and money to become one. I know a lot of nurses who absolutely do not want to become NPs and like what they are doing. But for those of us that wanted to be NPs, there is a reason why. For me, I wanted to have a higher level of understanding and have the chance to make treatment decisions rather than carry out the treatments. I can't wait to be able to quit my RN job and start my NP job.


231 Posts

NPAlby- may I ask what type of RN experience you have? And what type of NP you are now?

Im a Psych NP.I used to work as a travel psych RN. Worked in NY NC VA in state hospitals, full blown medical centers, private psych hospitals. I have done forensic psych, Psych ER, dual diagnosis, geri-psych, adult general psych, tiny smattering of child adolescent psych.

Specializes in Peds Med/Surg; Peds Skilled Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

I have 1 semester left of NP school. Although im not a NP yet I do work as a staff RN. Hands down i like the NP role better...being a staff RN makes me miserable. I am counting down the days to when i can transition into the NP role.