I will answer this from personal experience. As an Advanced Nurse Practitioner I feel the experience I had as a nurse made me the NP I am today. I am in women's health and right out of nursing school wasn't able to find a job in a hospital because I didn't have any experience. I got a job as a RN in an OB/GYN office and worked for four years before entering a NP program. Those four years were building blocks for my current practice as an ARNP. I was fortunate to come back to the same practice after completing the program so this made it somewhat easier as far as knowing the basics of how the office ran but putting my new knowledge into practice was successful because I was able to build on what I had already been doing. I feel like many of the others, experience is key!