New BSN grads regret starting NP school?

  1. I have been a nurse for 2 years now and went to nursing school with the goal of working toward an NP. I was wondering if there is anybody out there that started NP school with limited clinical experience who wishes they would have worked as an RN longer. Many premeds go right into medical school without any patient experience and do fine. I know that experience will not hurt, but in my case, this is my second career and I'm not getting any younger. I have no obligations or ties in my life at the moment and I feel at this time I could really focus. I'd appreciate any suggestions and advice you may have for me.
    •  
  2. Visit GirloftheSun profile page

    About GirloftheSun

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 41; Likes: 7

    8 Comments

  3. by   ERNurse752
    Premeds with no experience who go to med school also get a very intensive residency after med school, which most NP programs don't. So just something to consider.

    But, 2 years post grad seems to be a pretty common time for people to go back to school. Because most people will continue gaining bedside experience while they're in NP school, which means at least two additional years of practice before becoming an NP.

    So I think that if you feel comfortable with your knowledge and skills now, and this is a good time in your life to go back to school...go for it.

    (I've been a nurse for going on four years now, and am re-re-reconsidering starting this summer or fall, hehe. )
  4. by   BETSRN
    Quote from GirloftheSun
    I have been a nurse for 2 years now and went to nursing school with the goal of working toward an NP. I was wondering if there is anybody out there that started NP school with limited clinical experience who wishes they would have worked as an RN longer. Many premeds go right into medical school without any patient experience and do fine. I know that experience will not hurt, but in my case, this is my second career and I'm not getting any younger. I have no obligations or ties in my life at the moment and I feel at this time I could really focus. I'd appreciate any suggestions and advice you may have for me.
    If you have ever worked with some of these new interns (who have come out of school) that appear at the bedside every June, you would know that they do NOT often "do fine." It mustbe very difficult to end nedical school and be expected to have good hands on skills when you have hardly ever had the opportunity!

    So in answer to your question.....yes, I think it is definitely in your best interests to have clinical experience BEFORE you go on for your advanced degree. You say you have been a nurse now for 2 years? I would assume that you have clinical experience already???
  5. by   *PICURN*
    I'm going to have a year and a half's experience before I start the ADN-BSN-MSN program to become an NP, but by the time I start into the MSN part of it I will have had about 3 years of experience.

    Only you know if you are totally ready for it, and it sounds like it is a good time in your life, so I say go for it!
  6. by   GirloftheSun
    Yes, I have 2 years of nursing experience. 6 months of oncology nursing and the rest in clinical research. They are both different work styles and different experiences. As a researcher, I have ALOT of autonomy and do a lot of teaching, explaining labs, safety monitoring, ordering tests etc. Basically, I make the majority of the calls and if there is something I don't feel comfortable on my own I consult with the doctor. So with this in mind, I think this would help me in an advanced degree. I don't have a lot of hospital experience but plan to work in one while I'm in school.
  7. by   NewHorizons
    First congratulations on your thoughts for continuing your education!! Note my thoughts may not be shared by all and they refer to my experience in a philadelphia PA school - adult NP program. NP's bring nursing experience and that is the primary value. The clinical experiences between medical students and NP's are not comparable. My last two semesters contained the clinical practicum. These are the only two semesters in which I saw patients on an APN level: interpreting, communicating, prescribing and diagnosing. This was for about three days a week - two semesters length. I went to a fine program, but it was not a lot of time to assimilate all the information you need to practice. I agree with the other person that responded - physicians have several years of carefully constructed experiences and hours more of it. In addition to that, they also have years to socialize toward their new role. I understand it is difficult finding sites for NP students. My site was only visited once by my course coordinator - and this was more of an observation. It was not to trace my activities (PE, writing, critical thinking) to evaluate performance. There were PA students at my site - and I have respect for their curricula. They performed well in the ED and I learned a lot. They had more hours clinical, and it was structured. Two years may be enough to start your program - you would still be a year or two away from clinicals. It depends on a lot of factors.

    Quote from GirloftheSun
    I have been a nurse for 2 years now and went to nursing school with the goal of working toward an NP. I was wondering if there is anybody out there that started NP school with limited clinical experience who wishes they would have worked as an RN longer. Many premeds go right into medical school without any patient experience and do fine. I know that experience will not hurt, but in my case, this is my second career and I'm not getting any younger. I have no obligations or ties in my life at the moment and I feel at this time I could really focus. I'd appreciate any suggestions and advice you may have for me.
  8. by   NewHorizons
    Of note also - Dont forget your "nursing roots" ever. Physicians - PA's - therapy were quick to accept me. Some of my challenging moments have come from staff nurses. I need to always think and package my thoughts carefully. I never want to alienate my nursing colleagues. Even after my degrees and certifications - I am still a nurse!!! I teach part time and wonder sometimes when I hear from students (who havent graduated yet) that they want to go on after graduating as an RN to be something else. Something to think about.
    Quote from NewHorizons
    First congratulations on your thoughts for continuing your education!! Note my thoughts may not be shared by all and they refer to my experience in a philadelphia PA school - adult NP program. NP's bring nursing experience and that is the primary value. The clinical experiences between medical students and NP's are not comparable. My last two semesters contained the clinical practicum. These are the only two semesters in which I saw patients on an APN level: interpreting, communicating, prescribing and diagnosing. This was for about three days a week - two semesters length. I went to a fine program, but it was not a lot of time to assimilate all the information you need to practice. I agree with the other person that responded - physicians have several years of carefully constructed experiences and hours more of it. In addition to that, they also have years to socialize toward their new role. I understand it is difficult finding sites for NP students. My site was only visited once by my course coordinator - and this was more of an observation. It was not to trace my activities (PE, writing, critical thinking) to evaluate performance. There were PA students at my site - and I have respect for their curricula. They performed well in the ED and I learned a lot. They had more hours clinical, and it was structured. Two years may be enough to start your program - you would still be a year or two away from clinicals. It depends on a lot of factors.
  9. by   RODNEZGRL
    I'm in FNP school after working as a staff nurse for two years. My first year was on a med/tele unit, my second in an ICU. I definately think the ICU experience helps because you are required to know a lot more about physiology and pharmacology in that environment. Many of my fellow students are pediatric nurses, and they are having a harder time dealing with the adult issues. But in the same respect, I'm having to learn pediatrics all over again! But I think pediatrics isn't as difficult because I was exposed to pediatrics a couple of years ago, compared to a staff nurse who has worked with adults for the last 10 years.
  10. by   humiliated
    I have been working as a ER nurse for 6 months and am already enrolled in a NP program part-time. Most programs have beginning core classes like research, theory, issues, etc. so you really don't need to have a lot of experience as a nurse to do these. When I begin taking the classes more catered specifically to NPs I would have been working as an RN for a year. I think gaining experience as a nurse is important. I work full time at a level I ER and feel like you learn a lot and you are forced to learn it fast. I've taken care of patients ranging from dehydration to really sick patients with 5 gtts going. I personally think the ER is a awesome place to learn if you are planning on becoming an NP. When I am an NP I know that it will be easier for me to treat my patients because I'm had the opportunity to initiate a lot of treatments, conduct histories and assessments based on what the pt presents with, learn prioritization, patient teaching, deal with every type of patient, and have the opportunity to see the entire work up of a patient. I love the autonomy we get in the ER and think it's helpful if you want to be a NP. I feel like when I'm an NP I will have a better idea of what needs to be orderd and I need to rule out as far as dx because I've seen so many different things so many times. So I don't think it matters if you wait 5 years or 6 months to go to grad school, it just matters how hard you are willing to work to be the best NP you can be. Depending on your experiences as a nurse, you might need to do more work than another student. But, in no way do I think an RN with 10 years is going to be a better NP than someone with less experience. Because both have to learn the new role of being an NP.

    Some people say you shouldn't go immediately back to grad school, I say if you think you can handle it go for it. Let me warn you that it can be stressful at times, trying to work full-time and be in grad school. Because they step things up a level and are more demanding than undergrad. Only you know best what you should be doing with your life. So do what works best for you and ignore what everyone else says. Good luck with your goals!!
    Last edit by humiliated on Feb 26, '05

close