How did NP school compare to receiving your BSN - page 2

Hello friends, can someone explain the difference in receiving your BSN and NP degrees...as far as stress between the 2 programs? Me and my spouse both earned our BSN degree's and have worked in... Read More

  1. by   sandnnw
    Now remember, you already have some "idea" of what you're learning. So, I wouldn't go so far as saying "thousands of pages." In my experience, we learned by system. So, maybe hundreds of pages, and a lot of this reading is review (at least for me) and I recorded my lectures, listening to them in the car, laying in bed, playing in the yard, YMCA on treadmill, etc.

    Another thing, and this was important for me, I transferred to an area of the hospital that delt with primary care issues, the ER. Still considered a critical area for differential, yet, the majority of patients are primary care (I went thru ANP program). Now some may disagree with me, but transferring from the MICU was THE BEST MOVE for my educational experience. I have learned FAR MORE working in the ER than I ever learned working in the MCCU (combo CCU/MICU). Again, some may disagree with me, esp the ACNPs, but I'm sure everyone's experience may vary (and this is a good thing).

    I also had great mentors. Our ER is staffed with university faculty members who love to teach. I gleen everything I can from these guys. I did not have this luxury during my BSN days, but did opt for a summer externship, which, looking back, changed my life. The summer externship sealed my decision to be a nurse. Transferring to the ER, sealed my decision to be an ANP. Best of luck to you!
  2. by   MissDoodaw
    I am not able to work during my program at all. It is an accelerated program. Just over 1 year for your MSN. When we interviewed for the school, we were actually told that we would not be able to work. A few students are working full time (2 or 3) -but using lots of vacation, sick time etc. so it possible, but very difficult in my program, and I am assuming they must be super duper time managers. Many of the people who were working FT did not pass the first semester, or after the first semester changed to parttime or dropped out. More people are working on a PRN basis. Also some of us have kids, but I don't know of anyone who is working (even PT) and going to school FT and has kids -although some people are working PT and going to school PT (2 +yrs or more) and have kids, but I think most of them have work schedules that are a least a bit flexible, as far as I know.
    During the last semester, you are required to complete 28 hours of clinical during the week and 2 days of classes. I'm not sure how anyone will be able to work and do this -difficult even with Baylor shifts-but I sure am jealous that some people will graduate without the student loans I will have!
    Basically, I think we are nurses and we can do anything -some things are just more difficult than others!
    Good Luck!
  3. by   traumaRUs
    And to get back there is much more responsiblity to learn the APN program just because there is so much more responsibility because often the buck stops with you. For me, that was more stressful than learning the basics when I got my RN.
  4. by   Spacklehead
    I definitely find my NP education much more interesting and clinicals much more rewarding than I ever did in my BSN program. I feel that while the work load per class is much more (reading, papers, exams, presentations, etc.), it is easier to tackle since you have the background as an RN to give a you a general starting point.

    I am in my final semester and writing 10-20+ page papers doesn't freak me out anymore, it's a common occurrence. What freaks me out now is knowing that everyday I am one step closer to being the "captain of the ship" so to speak. As an ER nurse, it was fun for me to be able to review a patient's complaint, H&P, lab values, etc., and try to guess the diagnosis. Now, I am the one choosing that diagnosis and the differentials and hoping that I have made the right decision as far as treatment goes based on all of the supporting data. I have found that it is so much more important as a student NP to truly listen to what your patients are saying, since the answer to their presenting problem is usually lying within.

    I have also realized that my education doesn't stop when I graduate, since after every clinincal I have gone over cases that I have seen throughout the day and have done research to see if I thought up the plan which follows the most up-to-date guidelines, or have read as much as I could about an unfamiliar diagnosis.

    I think as a whole, you do a lot more work outside of school as an NP student than as a BSN student. You don't just leave clinical and your day is over. There is a lot to reflect upon and think about that will prepare you for the next clinical experience.

    Best of luck to you!
  5. by   menetopali
    BSN was a cakewalk as it was mostly a rehash of the ADN with a couple of extras - half the MSN was that way as well (ie "nursing theory", research, ethics). The tough part of the MSN was the patho, pharm, and clinicals. I worked full time through the BSN and it was almost a hobby. For the MSN it was busting hump every day while working a Baylor in the ED (it was a great choice for an FNP student - much better experience than the ICU to see primary care stuff). hope this helps.
  6. by   carachel2
    Quote from sandnnw
    Now remember, you already have some "idea" of what you're learning. So, I wouldn't go so far as saying "thousands of pages." In my experience, we learned by system. So, maybe hundreds of pages, and a lot of this reading is review (at least for me) and I recorded my lectures, listening to them in the car, laying in bed, playing in the yard, YMCA on treadmill, etc.

    Another thing, and this was important for me, I transferred to an area of the hospital that delt with primary care issues, the ER. Still considered a critical area for differential, yet, the majority of patients are primary care (I went thru ANP program). Now some may disagree with me, but transferring from the MICU was THE BEST MOVE for my educational experience. I have learned FAR MORE working in the ER than I ever learned working in the MCCU (combo CCU/MICU). Again, some may disagree with me, esp the ACNPs, but I'm sure everyone's experience may vary (and this is a good thing).

    I also had great mentors. Our ER is staffed with university faculty members who love to teach. I gleen everything I can from these guys. I did not have this luxury during my BSN days, but did opt for a summer externship, which, looking back, changed my life. The summer externship sealed my decision to be a nurse. Transferring to the ER, sealed my decision to be an ANP. Best of luck to you!
    I forced myself to transfer from a cardiac unit to the ER. It was VERY hard for me because it really wasn't my thing. But I did it for two years and learned some very good assessment and differential skills.
  7. by   Sdalaq
    Quote from kanzi monkey
    For me, BSN education was more stressful by a long shot, for the reasons mentioned by VivaRN. Haven't had my first NP job yet (graduate in a week!). Given the stress I feel in prescribing an NSAID or treating a UTI, my guess is NP work will be significantly more stressful.

    I feel like the difference between devising a care plan as a new grad RN and devising a care plan as a new NP is huge. As a provider writing orders you are kind of the beginning and the end of the line. As an RN, you make the ride safe and smooth. Both are huge responsibilities. School-wise, well, NP plans don't deviate much from RN clinical education. In practice though, it matters if you get it or not, because you are the implementor.

    In short, you are "the decider".

    Writing papers, taking tests--much more enjoyable as a grad student. It's relatively easy if you pay attention, read, and devote the time you need.
    It sounds like that we will have continue writing care plans in NP school? Are they the same as in ADN school? I hated care plans the most.
  8. by   Spacklehead
    Quote from Sdalaq
    It sounds like that we will have continue writing care plans in NP school? Are they the same as in ADN school? I hated care plans the most.
    No, they are vastly different. As an NP student (and as an NP), you write SOAP notes. If you work on a hospital floor now, pull out one of your patients' charts and check the "MD progress notes" section. That should be where the docs write their SOAP notes.

    A SOAP consists of the patients' complaint, history of presenting illness, review of systems, objective findings (labs, vitals, physical exam), diagnosis and differentials, and plan to address the diagnoses (ordering labs, X-rays, pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments, etc.).

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