Feelings as a new NP

  1. I am considering going on for my NP, but I definitely don't want to go through the lost, overwhelmed feelings I had as a new RN. I consider myself incredibly lucky that I didn't run into trouble with my incredible lack of knowledge as a new grad. That alone is almost putting the brakes on my education.

    What about negotiating your first job- hell, finding your first job? If I get through my NP, will I still be able to practice as an RN if I choose to do so? Has anyone out there gone through the program and wished after it was all done that they hadn't wasted their time and energy? I started out with a diploma RN, continued on for a BSN, and hated the BSN program. It was continual papers to write and no clinical for post RN students. I trust there will be lots of clinical for a NP, did you feel prepared to deal with the teeming masses though, when you finally graduated?

    I appreciate all your comments, good and bad.
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    About canoehead, BSN

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 8,764; Likes: 8,498


  3. by   traumaRUs
    Hi Canoehead. I'm a CNS (graduated May 06) and I love it. There is a feeling of "what have I done" when you finish the APN program but there is a preceptorship/orientation of varying degrees. In my practice, my docs are very willing to assist me with understanding what should be done for our patients.

    I love the collaboration and autonomy. After 12 years as an RN I was getting stagnant and having a difficult time wanting to learn more. This was right up my alley and has really help me to regain my joy in going to work each day.

    As to working as an RN afterwards, it depends. My background is ER and I was very concerned that I would be held to the standard of an APN for assessment and knowledge even though I was hired as a staff RN. I would still love to go back to the ER, but it won't happen.

    I say go for it - I think you would do a great job and really like it too.
  4. by   gauge14iv
    I know for me, I didn't feel as "hung out to dry" by my colleagues and coworkers as an new NP as I did as an RN. As a new RN I rememeber feeling very scrutinized and belittled - I havn't felt that way as a new NP. People have been supportive and encouraging.

    It's still new - but it's new in a different way than being a new RN was. It's still scary but not in the same way if that makes sense.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    gauge14iv - you hit the nail on the head. You are still new but the support system is much more professional.
  6. by   canoehead
    Were you able to continue working during the program? I'd like to go part time plus a full time job, and minimize my debt. The hospital will pay some of my tuition, but not all.
  7. by   Psychaprn
    Hi, Canoehead. I'm an APRN and love it! I agree with what the other's have said. Hang in there-it is different as an APRN and there's a respect there isn't as a new RN grad. I remember terror writing the first prescription alone.! Like alot of our field-the on the job training is where you really learn. Make sure you have a seasoned MD or NP mentor and don't be scared! Good luck and keep us posted!
  8. by   traumaRUs
    Canoehead - I worked full-time and went to school full-time. However. my kids were grown and my husband was used to being neglected - lol.
  9. by   canoehead
    trauma, that's cool- I have no kids and my cats pretend they don't care, unless they are chilly, so it should work out. I'm thinking that a NP degree will allow me to work longer when I get old and decrepid, and I'll be able to find a job close to home when I have to move in and take care of my parents.

    Thank you to everyone who answered.
  10. by   SharonH, RN
    Hi canoehead, I must echo everyone else's sentiments. The physicians in the practice I work with are very patient and understanding and they really take time to teach and show me things. They and the NP I work with are very supportive. I must add that any time you spread your wings you are going to feel overwhelmed but there wasn't any of the meanness I felt when I was a new grad. There are papers but the focus is entirely different.

    As for your cats, my cat became very needy and clingy as time went on, it's as if she knew I didn't have as much time and focus to give..........
  11. by   traumaRUs
    Canoehead - that is why I went back to school. I figure I'll be working until I'm 70 and just didn't think the ER was conducive to working much past 55 or 60. I'm 48 now and keep up without an issue but I wanted the choice of where I was going to work.
  12. by   CyndieRN2007
    I just graduated with my ADN and I am so anxious to get some experience under my belt so I can eventually go to a NP program (that is after i get my BSN done!
  13. by   NPAlby
    As far as working full time... I just started my NP program this past fall and went full tim. I thought it was going to be like nursing school, where you study with your classmates but I found it to be kind of isolative. Everyone is a different program (I'm psych-not too many of us) and different stage of the program. So I miss work. I miss talking to other psych nurses. I'm going part time this semester b/c of the way they offer classes, there's not that many classes I can take. I can't wait to get back to work. I applied to the local VA and am waiting on orientation. I don't have kids and no pets. Just a boyfriend who works insane amounts of hours. So I'm thinking starting part time at work and then full time in the summer and for the next year untll I start my clinicals in Fall 2008.
  14. by   wildmountainchild
    I'm in an entry level MSN program to be an FNP. I'm one year away from RN liscensure and then another 2-3 years away from FNP. I just can't wait. I'm learning so much every day.

    I just shadowed an NP who works in the ER the other day. It was the best experience ever. Her skill set was so amazing, I can't imagine ever being as good as her. She treated a 96yo woman who came in w/ a possible hip fx and found out that she was neg for the hip fx but was positive for bone cancer. She diagnosed an MI, and treated it. She assissted with a dissecting thoracic anuerism while we all waited to find a hospital that could take him (no cardiothoracic surgeons at the hospital we were at).

    She also treated all the minor stuff like kids w/ the flu. She told me that she never gets angry at people for coming to the ER with minor problems because the health system sucks and most people don't have any other option. Her saying that will affect the way I treat patients in the ER for the rest of my career. She is amazingly kind and thoughtful........what a great mentor!

    She works all the time, not b/c she has to but b/c she want to! She absolutely loves her job. When I told her I didn't think I would ever be as good as her she said "You'll be as good as me, and as old as me."

    She's been an NP for 20 years. Everyone is a beginner at some point. One thing I've found that I think is preparing me well for my future as an NP is subscribing to and reading magazines like Nurse Practitioner and the American Journal of Nurse Practitioners. Every month they have an article or two that is relevant to what I'm studying in school. I also think they help prepare me to think like an NP. I would highly recommend subscribing to a couple of magazines.