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Pre-student in need of advice

Pre-Nursing   (475 Views | 5 Replies)

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Hello! I have no idea if this is the right place to turn.

I'm a recent college grad in an unrelated field with the necessary pre-reqs to do an accelerated BSN, which I'm strongly considering. The end goal would be to become a PMHNP, but I've been warned by a doctor in the family that there's been a shift towards requiring doctorates instead of masters degrees. Getting an accelerated BSN and then a doctorate is a time and tuition commitment that seems completely nonviable; how true is it that doctorates are becoming the norm?

Best,

a little bit lost and confused 
 

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

7 Followers; 13,273 Posts; 59,646 Profile Views

Very true.   The push is for Nurse Practitioners of all types to have DNP degrees, not Master's Degrees.   That doesn't mean there are no programs left at the Master's Level for NP's in general (and I don't know about specific PMHNP programs), but with only a Master's Degree, you may find yourself without the most desired credential in a few years.

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Rionoir is a ADN, RN and specializes in Neuro ICU.

600 Posts; 3,433 Profile Views

I mean most of the programs I've looked at it's 3 years instead of 2 - doesn't seem like a huge deal?

Note DNPs are clinical doctorates not PhDs, so you don't have to do your own research for your thesis.  You will use research that others have done already for your capstone project. 

Edited by Rionoir

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225 Posts; 2,282 Profile Views

You could potentially work full-time as an RN while you pursue your doctorate degree full or part time as well.

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sleepwalker is a MSN, NP and specializes in Occupational Health.

13 Posts; 495 Profile Views

Just my 2 cents...you should complete the accelerated BSN degree and work as an RN before even considering whether or not Advanced Practice is for you.

You may find out while doing the BSN that nursing not even what you really want to do...

In addition, if you do determine that advanced practice for you, a few more years of practice will help you determine whether or not a Doctoral degree is warranted or viable for you

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FullGlass has 2 years experience as a BSN, MSN, NP and specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care.

7 Followers; 2 Articles; 1,039 Posts; 9,442 Profile Views

There are still some ABSN programs left, so that is a good option.  Another option for you is a direct-entry MSN.  However, you would still need to complete the PMHNP after that.

I don't know if RN experience is required for entry into PMHNP programs.  Look at the admissions requirements for a few programs to determine this.  If it is not required, then it is your decision whether or not to work as an RN for awhile.  I went straight through from ABSN to Adult and Geri Primary Care NP, had no problems.

Don't worry about the DNP.  "They've" been saying forever it will be required, and it hasn't happened yet.  There are still plenty of MSN PMHNP programs.  At any rate, once you have your MSN PMHNP, you can always get the DNP on a part-time basis while you work full-time.  I have seen very, very few job listings that require a DNP, especially for psych, because there is such a shortage of psych providers.

As for cost, fill out the FAFSA to see what aid you qualify for.  Many schools also have their own Scholarships, and there are also a lot of scholarships you can apply for.  Check with your state NP assocation, AANP, and the American Psych Nurses Association, as well as organizations like Johnson & Johnson.  The internet is your friend in finding scholarships.

Local, state, and federal governments are also sources of scholarships and loan repayment programs.  For example, I used to live in San Diego County and they were offering competitions for $5,000 scholarships.  Some states offer scholarships.  The federal government has the Nurse Corps Scholarships, which are full-ride, plus a small living stipend - APPLY!  State and federal governments also have loan repayment programs if you work in an underserved area or with an underserved population - not hard to do.  Some employers, like large hospital chains and the VA, also offer loan repayment as a recruiting incentive.

 

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