Nurse Practioner

  1. Hey guys

    Quick question. I wanted to go back to school for my nurse practioner...I wanted to do do I go about doing that, can I go right into a np program or do I need to get my msn first and then go in. Also does anyone know is it better just to get a family practice one instead of specializing? Thanks
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    About LisaRn21

    Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 74; Likes: 1


  3. by   elkpark
    NP programs are MSN programs -- getting an MSN (and passing the national certification exam afterwards) is how you become an NP (also, there are some doctoral degree programs that prepare NPs).
  4. by   ACNP
    If you want to do pediatric NP, then find a school that offers that. University of Kentucky where I received my ACNP (Acute Care Nurse Practitioner) offers a Pediatric NP program. FNP is also an option where you can see babies, kids, teenagers, adults, etc. If you just want to work with children and no adults, then specialize in pediatric NP. If you want the option of seeing all age groups then do the FNP program. Remeber, you can always go back to get your FNP if you get your Pediatric NP first. I think I would have had to take 2 more classes consisting of FNP related stuff and do more clinical time in order to get both my ACNP and my FNP. One girl in my program actually did do this in order to have more employment opportunities. Instead of graduating with us in May she graduated in December. You will get your MSN along with your nurse practitioner degree when you graduate. You take the core classes like theory, leadership, reasearch, etc. which is part of the MSN and then you also take assessment and clinical classes that compose the nurse practitioner part. Hope this helps!
  5. by   LisaRn21
    Thanks so much!! Yeah it helped a lot. How long do you think I should wait to go back to school? I graduated in may and I wanted to apply for the fall season or should I wait 2 years? I am just afraid if I wait I will not ever go back lol.
  6. by   suzanne4
    I highly recommend that you get two years of experience in working with kids before you begin your program. You will be in better shape for handling the stress of everything, and definite about what you want to do. Just doing peds in school doesn't prepare you for what it is like once you start working. And you may that their is another of peds that you are more interested in than the PNP. Better to me more prepared, than find out later on.

    Good luck to you in your schooling.
  7. by   ACNP
    It's totally up to you when you want to attend graduate school. For me, I swore when I graduated that I was never going back! I was ready to earn more money that was I was making as a CNA and start repaying my student loans. Then, I felt the need to do more than just be a bedside staff nurse. I wanted to teach my patients and educate them more about their meds, disease processes, ways to improve their quality of life, etc. Being a NP is a lot about disease prevention, health promotion, and providing high-quality cost-effective care and decreasing hospitalization expenditures. The instructors will preach this saying to you over and over! I waited to go back after I had been a critical care nurse for 3 years. Others in my NP program went directly into it from their bachelor's program. Of course, there were others who had been a nurse for 10, 15+ years and now wanted to be a NP. You can always go part-time and take some of those theory, assessment, leadership, etc. classes if you are concerned about working on your nursing skills, finances, graduate school level work, etc. However, I was able to work 2 days/week, do clinicals, and go to school full-time. My NP program at UK was set up so you attended some classes only 4 times during the semester and did a lot of "busy work" on your own. My assessment and ACNP classes met every other week. I know the program at UL has the weekend option where you go like 9-5 on Saturday only so you are able to work during the week.
    I say go for it!! Take the GRE and get that awful thing out of the way if you haven't already and apply. Don't worry about just being fresh out of nursing school. Try to work some at the bedside during school and get the most out of your clinical time. You will do great! I felt too that I was a better bedside nurse while I was in NP school because I was applying what I was learning in the classroom to my patients.