Why are you a NP rather than an RN?

  1. hello all,

    i had planned on starting nursing school in a year for my adn but have just found out about an msn bridge program for which i may qualify. i already have my bs in psychology, and this program would allow me to get out of school in the same length of time as an adn, but i would be a np. of course, there is a large difference in tuition, but i'm thinking it would be worth it to come out so much more advanced in the same length of schooling. plus, my salary would be much higher, and i could pay off the debt fairly quickly.

    however, i am feeling torn because i'm wondering if i can get through the np program. what about yourself made you think that you could succeed as a np rather that an rn? did you have prior nursing experience? i have gone back and read past threads where posters said that you can be a great np whether or not you have hands-on nursing experience.

    what were your grades like in high school and college? also, do you know how a geriatric np salary compares to other specialties?

    thanks so much!
  2. Visit kellilou3 profile page

    About kellilou3

    Joined: Oct '03; Posts: 68; Likes: 2


  3. by   Wren
    Kelli, I am confused about your program ...how long would it take you to get your Masters?

    I can't imagine working as an NP without having worked as an RN for at least a few years. I know of nurses who have gone straight out their BSN programs into an NP program but I think it'd be though. I'll be curious to see if anyone else answers your post that maybe went that route. Good luck with whatever path you decide to pursue though!
  4. by   kellilou3
    Originally posted by Wren
    Kelli, I am confused about your program ...how long would it take you to get your Masters?
    Here is the website: http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/nursing/msn/prespec.html

    I would have to take 3 semesters of general nursing courses and then 3 semesters of specialty classes to earn the MSN degree, so I would be in school the same length of time as ADN. I have decided that I'm not going to do this, though, because of my lack of hands-on nursing experience. Plus, it would cost almost $100,000 in tuition for the MSN vs. $5,000 for the ADN. I will just go for the ADN and let whatever facility I work in pay for my education the rest of the way!
  5. by   Dave ARNP
    I am a NP because I wanted to make the orders, not follow them.

    Once you understand that, you realize that bedside nursing is alot different from advance practice.

  6. by   globalRN
    I am a NP because

    1)I was tired of shift work
    2)Could never return to a RN job I loved because of union
    regulations (no external applicants likely to succeed)
    3) lived in a country where you are your best healthcare
    advocate...and knowledge is power.
    4)A masters degree would give me more career options

    I do enjoy the autonomy of being a NP
    You can provide the quality of care for your patients that you would wish for yourself and your loved ones.

    My experience: Patients love you . Most doctors really appreciate you and your contribution. It is actually the nurses that seem to have greatest difficulty with the NP role.
  7. by   Bev6
    Dear Kelli,

    I am an FNP student who started out as an ADN, then finished my BSN while working in the field. I think my nursing experience and background is inherently helpful in my current educational endeavors.

    I am aware that there are some NP programs which allow you to pursue the degree without the benefit of nursing background and experience. However, nursing has a philosophical stance of its own which can only be gleaned by coming up through a nursing education. Of course, nothing beats experience as an adjunct to formal education.

    My suggestion to you would be (unless you are in a big fat hurry . . . ) to pursue one of the fast-track BSN programs for RNs, work in the field for at least a year or two and THEN apply to an NP program. It is difficult to explain the benefits of background . . . but experience is a wonderful teacher!

    Best of luck to you, whatever you decide to do.
  8. by   Bev6

    Hi Kelli,

    Sorry . . . I forgot to mention why I chose to become an NP. It seemed to be the natural progression of things, for me.
    And I also want to give the orders instead of take them . . . (I have more legible handwriting than most of the MDs I have known!) :roll

  9. by   LaurieCRNP2002
    I am a fairly new NP (just started my job about 6-7 weeks ago). I chose to enter advanced practice b/c I like nursing enough to stay in it for the long haul but did not want to stay a bedside nurse b/c of the ever increasing ratios and decreasing support. Going for my MSN seemed to me to offer the most options--if I get tired of clinical advanced practice, I have plenty of other choices open to me.

    I strongly feel that any RN who wants to move into advanced practice should have at least a year or two of bedside nursing experience. When I started my NP program, I had been an RN for 4 years and continued working through grad school (one of the benefits of choosing NP over PA--most PA programs discourage their students from working much). There were 2 girls in my program who went straight from undergrad to the NP program and did quite well--I know that one of them actually did take a staff nurse position after finishing the NP program to get some of that "bedside nursing" experience under her belt.

    As for the issue of RN's appreciating/resenting NP's---I think it depends what setting you're in. I am in a cardiac cath lab and while some of the RN's are supportive, others are not. Lucky for me, I get along quite well with many of the CCU nurses (where most of our patients are admitted) and there doesn't seem to be any animosity towards me. I try to communicate with the nurses about the plan for the patients I am in charge of and value their input as well. I feel that the patients appreciate what I bring to the table and I like that I can spend more time with them than I could if I were a staff nurse.

    Good luck to you and don't hesitate to contact me privately if you have any other questions/concerns

  10. by   Nurse Jeni
    Many of the MSN Direct Entry programs on the west coast are three year programs. The first year is spent earning your RN. Although no BSN is earned, you are able to get an RN license after passing the NCLEX. The final two years are spent learning the NP role. The curriculum is usually set up to allow you to work as an RN while you complete the last two years of the MSN program. Thus, by the time you're finished you've had a year or two of experience, albeit part-time, in bedside nursing.

    Good luck!
  11. by   nurseaboveboard
    Hello everyone. I am currently in my 2nd class of msn/np program. I am not exactly sure what I'm going to do with it, or what opportunities I'll have. Too early to think about it. I work full-time, go to school one eve a week. Do you think the opportunities will increas for NP?
  12. by   greatdane
    my suggestion to you would be (unless you are in a big fat hurry . . . ) to pursue one of the fast-track bsn programs for rns, work in the field for at least a year or two and then apply to an np program. it is difficult to explain the benefits of background . . . but experience is a wonderful teacher!

    i am going to agree and disagree with the above statement. my advice would be this....if you have the chance to matriculate into an np class now...go for it. why would you spend the time getting an adn when in the same time you can do a np tract...don't both give you a rn license....yes. however, nothing says you have to practice as a np when you graduate. you can work as a rn for a year of two to gain that valuable (and i really believe it is valuable) experience....then look to move up and work as an np...that way just makes a lot more sense time and financial wise....anyways, just my .02 cents worth

  13. by   pinny
    I agree with Great Dane. I strongly advise you pursue your NP instead of the ADN. I too had the choice ~ 4 years ago between the two. I chose the NP route as a BA Psychology grad (like you) and then went straight into a 3 year program that allowed me to get my RN, MSN and NP at the same time. I took the undergrad and grad nursing courses, sat for the NCLEX and graduated this past June! I passed the national certifying exam and am now practicing as a NP in women's health. I love it. I did work temporarily as an RN at a prestigious hospital for the "experience" after graduation (that was my first and only job as an RN). It is nothing like working as an NP. Totally different!! I encourage you to go for the NP, you can practice as an RN when you finish your degree even if you have the NP licensure!

    Best of luck.

    Pinny :wink2:
  14. by   kellilou3
    My only concern is that I won't even like nursing or won't be good at it, and will not realize this until after I've spent thousands of dollars for my MSN. Plus, the only university in this area that offers a bridge program is Vanderbilt, and it would cost me $100,000 to complete that program. That just BLOWS my mind. I mean, that's like buying another house.

    I have always had the tendency to jump into things without fully thinking them through, and while it would take the same amount of time to get either the ADN or MSN, I'm leaning toward taking the slower route. It will work out either way, and at least if I go slowly, I won't be weighted with worry about all the debt I would be getting myself into going straight for the MSN. I'm only 26 years old, so I have many more years to work my way up.

    Thanks for all of your input, though. I really appreciate it, and I know the other fledgling nurses on here do as well.