Cautious ask: If you hated being a RN, would you enjoy NP?

  1. I titled this cautious ask: since basically I am addressing multitude of providers, so I wanted to be respectful. I hope this question does not meet you with hostility since I wanted your honest input.

    I left the bedside because I hated it. I just could not see myself doing hard labor all day and being treated like crap by administrators and patients alike, to see my education turned into sandwich delivery boy and narcotic pusher for HCAPS. So I left bedside for insurance job.

    Now being bored out of my mind and doing mindless computer work for few years, I reignited my previous desire to continue my education for APRN, which would provide diagnostic and prescriptive authority that would expand my ability as clinician very widely. I had wanted to work as NP under a specialist to learn and use my skills in useful manner at work and outside work and grow in expertise. If there are any providers here who had similar distaste for bedside, yet decided to continue the path of NP, what has been your experience?
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    About rearviewmirror, BSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '15; Posts: 199; Likes: 431
    Specialty: ER

    11 Comments

  3. by   ArmaniX
    Do you not feel that those same demanding patients will be present and now you, as the provider, are responsible? Push from administration to discharge patients. Satisfaction scores. Pain seeking patients demanding medications. RNs paging you for countless orders, questions, thoughts.
  4. by   twozer0
    If you hated being an RN for those reasons, you will hate being an APRN for much of the same. Similar issues exist for the APRN but in a capacity that now has you in charge (and responsible). I would think about this one long and hard before you pull the trigger.
  5. by   Oldmahubbard
    I hated being an RN, although I did it for 13 years out of sheer necessity. Overall, have been much happier as an NP.

    As an RN, I was regularly blamed for a whole bunch of just stupid nonsense. Some of the supervisors I had were even dumber than the patients.

    As an NP, it hasn't been perfect, but overall I have been able to maintain an appropriate practice. I am respected.
  6. by   traumaRUs
    I liked being an RN more. I am now responsible for everything from customer satisfaction to prior auths for ridiculously expensive meds to customer satisfaction, to charting, to customer satisfaction...well you get the idea
  7. by   Dodongo
    I love being an NP. I did not love being a RN. I get to do cool stuff. I love rounding on patients and examining them, going through their information, putting together a Ddx list, ordering tests, prescribing meds - I love medicine. I love reading medical texts and journals and applying that information in the hospital. And I love the procedures I get to do. I even love taking all the calls from RNs on the floors and all that. It's an awesome mix. And far more cerebral than being a RN - which I enjoy. Plus, I make considerably more money (but, even if I didn't, I would still be an NP over a RN).

    Being a NP is nothing like being a RN. So don't try to compare the two. One has very little to do with the other.
  8. by   cayenne06
    I absolutely adore my work as a midwife. I did not get the same enjoyment as an RN, even though I was working in LDRP. The work is *completely* different. Even if I hadn't gone on to become a CNM, I would still have taken my nursing career away from the bedside.

    Being a midwife is super awesome. It's a really cool job.
  9. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Yeah, I don't think being an NP really has many similarities to bedside nursing. I'm an ER nurse and have been one for a long time. I'm getting ready to graduate from my NP program. I don't believe my time as an ER nurse would help me as an NP even if I stayed in my same ER. It's just comparing apples to oranges. Not the same thing
  10. by   rearviewmirror
    Thanks for inputs everyone. While I realize the importance of needing to think through it well before getting into, I also am encouraged by NPs who enjoy what they do now, though he/she did not like bedside RN job necessarily.

    It is true of what many of you said. NP and RN is clearly, VERY VERY different role. One is a provider, and the other is not. I think in that alone, the whole ball game changes. I won't be spending time drawing up dilaudid and priming 50cc bag of NS with phenergan or 50 mg benadryl because patient says "Oh, I have to have that with my dilaudid because of _____," or running around to bring somebody warm blanket or a sandwich (nothing wrong with that innately, just not what I want to do in my 40s) @Armanix asked if I won't find demanding patients and RNs paging, etc stressful. No, because I will be calling shots, and I have right to say "NO" if I find it consistent with my practice principals and clinical expertise. From my experience, patients tend to act in whatsoever manner they please with RNs and ancillary practitioners (LVN, CNA, RT, radiology tech, phlebotomist, etc) but in general, they respect providers, including NPs and PAs, because they are seen as "oh, this guy/gal can diagnose and prescribe, and can order stuff." I do not want to work in the hospital anyway (aka Cronies. INC), so if I can afford it, I would work in clinic or under specialist to learn the ropes, so hospital administration is hopefully not something I encounter. Yes, clinics or urgent cares, and wherever else can have corrupt people, but that's comparing hundreds of them to a couple. I don't think there's anything wrong with RNs calling me to ask what to do. That's what providers are for, and if position of leadership, challenges and decision-making is merely annoying, I don't see why someone would want to be a provider in the first place.

    Like many said, being RN and NP is very different thing. In my notion, one works and works and works, while the other gets to think, use the brain, diagnose, prescribe, order, etc and perform in similar role as a doctor, though not in completely the same role of course. I am not saying that RNs can't use their brains, but the minute and de-humaning works (like realizing that you graduated Bachelors and is literally spreading cheeks to wipe a rectum), delivery-boying, errand-running, hotel-resorting and restaurant-servicing, are far different than working as provider. Those are just my thoughts.
  11. by   Susie2310
    You do sound rather idealistic to me, and concerned with status. I hope you find the reality of being a NP more satisfying than you did being an RN.
  12. by   twozer0
    Quote from rearviewmirror
    Thanks for inputs everyone. While I realize the importance of needing to think through it well before getting into, I also am encouraged by NPs who enjoy what they do now, though he/she did not like bedside RN job necessarily.

    It is true of what many of you said. NP and RN is clearly, VERY VERY different role. One is a provider, and the other is not. I think in that alone, the whole ball game changes. I won't be spending time drawing up dilaudid and priming 50cc bag of NS with phenergan or 50 mg benadryl because patient says "Oh, I have to have that with my dilaudid because of _____," or running around to bring somebody warm blanket or a sandwich (nothing wrong with that innately, just not what I want to do in my 40s) @Armanix asked if I won't find demanding patients and RNs paging, etc stressful. No, because I will be calling shots, and I have right to say "NO" if I find it consistent with my practice principals and clinical expertise. From my experience, patients tend to act in whatsoever manner they please with RNs and ancillary practitioners (LVN, CNA, RT, radiology tech, phlebotomist, etc) but in general, they respect providers, including NPs and PAs, because they are seen as "oh, this guy/gal can diagnose and prescribe, and can order stuff." I do not want to work in the hospital anyway (aka Cronies. INC), so if I can afford it, I would work in clinic or under specialist to learn the ropes, so hospital administration is hopefully not something I encounter. Yes, clinics or urgent cares, and wherever else can have corrupt people, but that's comparing hundreds of them to a couple. I don't think there's anything wrong with RNs calling me to ask what to do. That's what providers are for, and if position of leadership, challenges and decision-making is merely annoying, I don't see why someone would want to be a provider in the first place.

    Like many said, being RN and NP is very different thing. In my notion, one works and works and works, while the other gets to think, use the brain, diagnose, prescribe, order, etc and perform in similar role as a doctor, though not in completely the same role of course. I am not saying that RNs can't use their brains, but the minute and de-humaning works (like realizing that you graduated Bachelors and is literally spreading cheeks to wipe a rectum), delivery-boying, errand-running, hotel-resorting and restaurant-servicing, are far different than working as provider. Those are just my thoughts.
    Sure the job is different but again many of the issues that you described in your initial post exist as an NP. For example, you mention hating administration and being a sandwich boy. The same people that you disliked as an RN are the same people as an NP. You might not have as many encounters with them or a new set of admins to deal with. I wish I could deliver a sandwich instead of answering a box of triages. Giving someone a sandwich sounds like a vacation compared to that. As the old saying goes, the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

    I only say this for your reasons of not liking what you did as an RN.
  13. by   LCC6133
    Not necessarily. Becoming a provider is way different than bedside nursing. It comes with new frustrations though. If dealing with patients and their families is tough, neither job is enjoyable.

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