I am currently in my last semester of my BSN program, graduating in December. I want to become a FNP but a little concerned about when to start the program.
I was planning on working on the floor for a couple of months and then start the FNP program as a fulltime student in the fall. I do not know how the hospitals will regard me because it would be a waste of their resources to train me for 3 months then having me leave.
So I guess my question is, should i go straight into the FNP program after I get my BSN... or should i work for 6 months and then start the program?
Thank you for any advice!!!
Sep 19, '06
Whew - loaded question! IMHO (just my opinion), you need several years of experience before becoming an advanced practice RN. THe reason is that you first need to develop excellent assessment skills - you need to know when the patient is sick and when they aren't. Second, you need to decide on a specialty. Nothing more frustrating than to finish grad school and go "oh darn it, I don't really like this." Take this from someone who has BTDT.
There are a lot of differing opinions on this subject though and I would suggest a search because you will get other very divergent opinions - I want you to have lots of info to decide.
Good luck with whatever course you do and let us know what you decide to do. Take care.
Sep 22, '06
I have to agree with TraumaRUS. I know there are varying opinions about this but I just have my personal experience to go on. I was a nurse (in Peds) for 5 years before I went back to school (to get my PNP). I had several classmates that were fresh out of nursing school or only had 1 year experience. They ended doing well and I am sure they are now excellent practitioners but it was a lot tougher for them then it was for the rest of us with more experience. It is not just the medical knowledge base (a lot of which you already have)... there are a lot of other nuances that you do not think about. Dealing with families, feeling confident in what you are doing, learning your assessment skills and trusting your gut when something "just isn't right" etc. Also, my Director of my program told me that a lot of the new grads that went on to grad school quickly had trouble finding APN jobs after they graduated because they did not have enough nursing experience. I know that for the job I have now, one of the qualifications was 5 years of nursing experience. If I had not had that, they would never have even looked at my application. Just food for thought.. I know there are people who will disagree with me. Good Luck in your future career!
Sep 22, '06
I agree with the other posts...I had two years of experience in med-surg and then critical care before I began my FNP program. I am now in my third semester and just beginning clinicals. One thing I chose to do is to complete the program part-time while continuing to work full-time and gain additional bedside experience. The workload of classes has not been nearly as difficult, my hospital pays my entire tuition for me to go part-time, and once I graduate I'll have close to five years bedside experience as an RN. I now have three semesters of classes left before graduation. :mortarboard:
As I began clinicals with an NP at an urgent care clinic this semester, I realize (and am grateful) that I did not jump right in immediately post-graduation and begin this program. My RN experience definitely gives me a knowledge base to pull from when I get in the exam room with the patient and begin getting a history and assessing.
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