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Nurse Practicioner (women's health) route for a non-science major. Help!

Pre-Nursing   (938 Views 9 Comments)
by sewk85 sewk85 (New Member) New Member

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Howdy folks'

I've got a bachelors in a non-science major (cultural anthropology and economics) and am not an RN. I've have been working at a community based organization for the past 2 years around health care reform and my work talking with folks' in the community has made me want to become a nurse practicioner. I really like the patient centered approach to medicine that nursing offers, and am interested in rural health care with a focus on Women's health.

So far, I've looked through all the online literature about how to get from point A-B, and am finding a lot of conflicting information. What's the fastest way to get your degree as a nurse practitioner? What's needed to gain entry at the direct entry programs? Do you have to be an RN first, or just complete pre-requisites?

Are there direct entry programs that have a public health focus, allowing you to combine a MPH with a MSN?

Thank you all so much! Look forward to hearing whatever advice is out there!

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tnbutterfly - Mary is a BSN, RN and specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

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Hello and welcome to the site.

You might want to check out the Nurse Practitioner forum.

Good luck!!

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this might be a silly, but i've had a hard time clarifying on the websites. Does "direct entry" mean that you don't have to be an RN before applying? All you need is the prerequisites?

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Yeah, direct entry MSN programs don't require any previous nursing degrees. Some of them may grant you an ASN (I've only seen one program that does this) or more frequently, a BSN. Others just grant you a MSN. Most programs are about 3 years long, full time.

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iPink has 5+ years experience and specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum.

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Hi and welcome. I have a non-nursing degree and want to become an NP as well. The route I've decided to take is a BSN first, start work as an RN to gain experience, then after 1-2 years go back for the NP to specialize as a Family NP or something else. I'm also looking for my employer to pay for this degree. Now, currently I'm in an accelerated BSN which is 15 months long. I graduate next year. You can also look into these types of programs as well. The Direct Entry MSN programs don't require you to be an RN. People who are RNs and want to obtain their MSN goes through a different program.

There are factors you need to consider, such as money and time spent in these programs. ABSNs and DE-MSN programs are expensive, which is why some career changers opt to get their ASN at a 2 year community college instead. I chose the BSN route because in my area the hospitals are hiring BSNs only. This is not the current issue in all states. So, as difficult it already is to get a job, I'll be setting myself further back with an ASN. Also, you want to consider experience. Although you want to be a Womens Health NP, you may want to think about the possibility of working as an RN to help you more in the role as an NP. You might also find something else you might love to do in the future just by going to clinicals.

I was at clinical last week and had the opportunity to view an operation and to see the nurses at work assisting the doctor. Just by that one experience, I'm now entertaining the thought of having a future in the O.R. because I enjoyed that rotation. I was set on being an FNP, but I decided to be open and allow my clinical experiences to guide me.

I want to add, go lurk around the NP forum on here and read through some of the postings for inspiration (I do that a lot). If you have any questions as well, there are regular NPs in there that will help you. I enjoy the tone in the NP forum.

Edited by Glad2baSN

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980 Posts; 9,118 Profile Views

Thanks Glad!

I'm more learning towards your route although I'll have to explain it to my husband. He figures if my desire is to be a NP, then I should just go through it and do it. I'm scared once I get in a BSN program, I'll change my mind as to what I want to do and some DEMSN programs don't let you change your mind. One think I like about Johns Hopkins is you can work as an RN for a while, you can pause your MSN or go part time MSN. I also want a FNP (or maybe PNP but I think FNP with Pediatric focus might be what I want).

Although like you, I'm not sure if I'll like other aspects of nursing and don't want to be locked in to something, spending thousands of dollars to get a degree I regret.

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iPink has 5+ years experience and specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum.

1,412 Posts; 12,640 Profile Views

leenak: Some career changes I've seen on here have actually went straight into obtaining their NP. I know myself, and I have no experience working in the healthcare field, so it only made sense for me to get the BSN and work in the field and make sure the NP route is definitely the best step I want to take. I've also debated this with some students in my program, as some want to go straight into a BSN-DNP program after graduation!

When I first decided to go back to school, I initially wanted to be a PNP, but friends of mine who are nurses said I would be more marketable as an FNP. My peds & OB rotation isn't until the Fall semester, but some nurses also said they all wanted to do peds, until their clinical rotation and the experience changed their minds. Again, I won't know for sure until I get there, but I promise to have an open mind. The John Hopkins route sounds like a good deal. Definitely something for you to strongly think about. Wish you luck in your decision.

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