Nurse Practitioner School

Posted
by sweetnsugar123 (New) New

Hello everyone!

I am currently a nursing student graduating with my BSN in May 2016. My dream has always been to be a nurse practitioner rather than a RN. I have been researching the different universities in my state that offer the nurse practitioner program. I noticed that they all do NOT require work experience. For those of you who are in NP school, did you work before going to school? Do you think that it makes a significant difference to work for a year and then go to NP school? I know that RNs are usually trained for about 6 months when they first get a job as an RN. Thus, would working for merely 6 months be of any true benefit in terms of going to NP school?

Thanks!

anh06005, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Cardiac, Home Health, Primary Care. Has 6 years experience. 1 Article; 769 Posts

I would clarify with some of those schools. Some may not require RN hours to apply it get admitted but MIGHT require it before the clinical portion of the program.

Just a heads up.

And RN experience also gives you time management skills, knowledge about meds and side effects (because I know as well as you do that you don't remember all that pharm), how to interact with patients and families, how the medical system works, how to work with doctors, what each type of therapy can help with, etc.

RN experience is awesome to have. Once you've dealt with CHF-ers, crazy HTN, infected wounds, etc. on a regular basis it's not as nerve racking when you get into the NP role to do it.

WKShadowNP, DNP, APRN

Specializes in Hospital medicine; NP precepting; staff education. Has 21 years experience. 1 Article; 2,077 Posts

I would absolutely expect there to be some experience. I've been a nurse for 14 years, and did various other unlicensed roles for 6 prior to that. I still wish I had more experience in some settings and I'm approximately 75% done with my program. I cannot imagine how lost I'd be without that experience.

Going straight for it without working as an RN is a gamble, in my humble opinion. I'm not saying it isn't possible, but that it's less preferred.

Dranger

1,871 Posts

What do you mean 6 months of work? Yeah residency is 6 months but around where I live they want a 2 year contract after your residency is finished if you specialize (ICU, ED, OR) or 1 year for med-surg.

I am from the camp that RN experience will make school easier and give you an edge when you jump into practice. Though I am sure after a few years the difference is negligible. One perk of RN experience is networking for preceptors (probably one of the hardest things about NP school) and gaining much needed cash for loans. Going straight from undergrad to graduate school is not easy on the wallet.

littlepeopleRNICU

Specializes in NICU, telemetry. Has 7 years experience. 476 Posts

I don't think you would ever regret taking time to work an as RN, but you might regret not taking the time. I have been a nurse for 6 years and am just starting an NP program. I feel like work experience will help me put things into real perspective. I'm not that deep into my patho class yet, but just some of the things I've seen already, or looking ahead into weeks to come, my work experience already helps me because it's relatable to things I've seen before. As I progress through the program, I'm sure that feeling will only increase. Real world nursing teaches you a lot that clinicals in school can't.

BostonFNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 11 years experience. 3 Articles; 5,539 Posts

This has been discussed a number of times and you can take a look through posts and see a variety of opinions on the topic.

IMHO:

1. There is very little research that has been done on the topic, and you can read the article below for a small study on it.

2. I agree with a the poster above that it's rarely a "bad idea" to have some RN experience.

3. The degree of benefit will likely be directly related to what type of RN experience you have and what type of NP job you initially get.

4. The quality of your NP program and your preceptors will have an even greater impact in most cases.

5. Working as an RN for 6 months is not going to be any help at all.

Rich, E. R. (2005). Does RN experience relate to NP clinical skills?. The Nurse Practitioner, 30(12), 53-56.

Edited by BostonFNP
added link to study

sweetnsugar123

6 Posts

Sorry, to clarify: I have been told by some of my professors/instructors to work for a year as an RN before returning to school. So, my question was referring to if working for a year as an RN, which would include several months of training, would be of any benefit as far as my success in NP school goes.

Thanks!

sweetnsugar123

6 Posts

I will be sure to read the article, thank you so much for your response!

smileyfacefee

100 Posts

In my opinion, I think experience is a plus because it seems a lot of this is "self learning" your experience would definitely help. Also, depending on where you work and what type of NP you will be, they will expect you to already know certain skills that you may not because you haven't worked as an RN...so I would definitely recommend working. If possible, you can work while going to school to prevent delays...

BostonFNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 11 years experience. 3 Articles; 5,539 Posts

In my opinion, I think experience is a plus because it seems a lot of this is "self learning" your experience would definitely help. Also, depending on where you work and what type of NP you will be, they will expect you to already know certain skills that you may not because you haven't worked as an RN...so I would definitely recommend working. If possible, you can work while going to school to prevent delays...

There are not many RN skills that are normal functions for NPs.

Edited by BostonFNP
edited out my own question after quick search

smileyfacefee

100 Posts

Not hands on skills per say but i think the skills you learn as an RN doing assessments, teaching, critical thinking and disease management skills would still be bonuses.

applesxoranges, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. 2,242 Posts

I think some RN experience helps. It will also make you more confident. I would make the most out of the experience and listen to bowel sounds, lung sounds, etc. Get used to the human body. Also let you know potential clinical sites.