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Pros and Cons of Direct Entry NP Programs?

NP Students   (1,423 Views 18 Comments)
by daisychains11 daisychains11 (Member)

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Hello,

I am applying to several direct entry NP programs for summer/spring 2019.Boston College, Regis, Simmons, Northeastern, MGH, UMass Worcester...

I am curious what people's opinions of the pros and cons are (this includes aspects like tuition, organization of the program, clinicials, professors, etc). Its a tough decision, and I know I'm not alone in it.

Thanks!

 

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28 Visitors; 3 Posts

I am also looking into DE NP programs. I’m looking at UCSF. Let me know how it goes!

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Pro - you're done fast

Con - unless you're applying as an experienced nurse, you have no experience.  Traditional NP and MD programs average about 3-4 years of clinical experience before they're at where they're able to start working at an entry level in that role.  The goal of an NP is why I'm getting into nursing, and after really looking into different program options, it seems like any shortcut just isn't worth it.  Plus, it's not going to be easy to find a doctor willing to let you work under him when you're fresh out of school without experience.

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I also agree that experience is important- more so for actually being hirable. That's why I applied to Northeastern because they build in time during the program (between the bachelors and returning to the masters) that you can work full time as a nurse. Then you can continue on to the masters portion while continuing to work part time as a nurse. On average their students have 3 years of nursing experience by the time they graduate from the direct entry program. If I am not accepted to this direct entry program then I will be doing an ABSN program and working afterwards before applying to a traditional NP program.

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FullGlass has 1 years experience as a BSN, MSN and works as a Adult and Geriatric Primary Care NP.

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There are a lot of people on this site who hate the DE NP programs.  I am a graduate of such a program and received 9 job offers.  My advice is to get into the best program you can.  I went to Johns Hopkins and since most of the hiring managers in my case were MDs, they were very impressed by my school.  It should not be an impediment if you are going into primary care.  Most acute care NP programs do require at least 2 years of RN experience.  

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I graduated from a grad entry program and I precept NP and PA students. The program is very intensive.

Pros: You do finish faster, but don't just "count your hours". It's quality over quantity: Find a good program with great clinical experiences. You go straight into the advanced practice track if that is your ultimate goal. You will also be among other like minded professional students. 

Cons: Because it's faster, it's very intense. Can be costly financially. You may face some criticism going through this route. You may hear comments like, "People with RN experience are stronger provider" etc. -To this I say: the type of experience may or may not give you an edge during NP school. I worked as a scribe and that helped immensely (I feel more so than RN experience). I've seen PA students who worked as scribes and EMTs perform better than their piers. Certain RN experience does help (like ER experience). However, certain specialties may not be as helpful. It depends on the individual. It depends on the program.

Choose wisely and good luck!

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On 1/26/2019 at 8:47 PM, tonyl1234 said:

Pro - you're done fast

Con - unless you're applying as an experienced nurse, you have no experience.  Traditional NP and MD programs average about 3-4 years of clinical experience before they're at where they're able to start working at an entry level in that role.  The goal of an NP is why I'm getting into nursing, and after really looking into different program options, it seems like any shortcut just isn't worth it.  Plus, it's not going to be easy to find a doctor willing to let you work under him when you're fresh out of school without experience.

I am not asking about pros and cons of direct entry programs in general, I am asking about pros of cons of each of these schools I am applying to. I've gotten into BC and Simmons already.

 

I really disagree that a 'shortcut' isn't worth it. People come  out of these programs well prepared and happy.

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Again, I am asking about the pros and cons of EACH SPECIFIC DIRECT ENTRY PROGRAM

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FullGlass has 1 years experience as a BSN, MSN and works as a Adult and Geriatric Primary Care NP.

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I think this should be moved to Student NP, that is where discussions of various schools usually take place.

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umbdude has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN.

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On 2/1/2019 at 2:31 PM, daisychains11 said:

Again, I am asking about the pros and cons of EACH SPECIFIC DIRECT ENTRY PROGRAM

You weren't clear when asking your question.

I can tell you a bit about BC. I don't know as much about the others but I got into BC, MGH, and NEU's traditional NP programs couple years ago. Your top priority should be to go to a school that 100% guarantees NP clinical placement. Some schools will mislead you to think that they place students, when in reality you have to do all of the begging to find preceptors.

First off, forget about Regis College - its NP portion is self taught and does not secure clinical placement. It's also not considered a reputable program in MA. Not worth it especially for Direct Entry.

PRO: BC is the quickest. Nursing administration and faculty are super organized. You'll find very few surprises. Professors are experienced NPs and most still practice. High caliber students across all programs. Clinical sites are 100% guaranteed! Finally, BC nursing is highly regarded in MA.

CON: 1) Some might think BC's program is too fast; 2) Because you'll take many NP classes with experienced RNs, you will face some criticism from fellow students or even preceptors, but generally people are friendly; 3) Classes are in-person (even for fluff courses), and some people don't like that; 4) There's a bit too many theory courses in the NP portion, but I think it's comparable to other schools?

Simmons has a decent rep in Boston and is bolstered by its proximity to top-tier hospitals. I've heard that students had trouble with NP clinical placement, but not sure if that's the case now.

When I interviewed NEU, I really liked it and was impressed. Consider that NEU might require that you work 1 year as an RN before going into the NP portion, and I think you might have to reapply? Keep that in mind.

UMass Worcester is probably the only school that is housed within a medical school/center. There might be advantages. I would ask whether they guarantee clinical placement.

MGH IHP honestly was unimpressive during my application process. (1) They royally messed up their open house presentation, wasted my time, and was unapologetic; (2) They were late in delivering acceptance letters and the letter was poorly written. All these reflects the culture of the program. I've also heard negative things about it being disorganized. Also, it's more expensive than other programs (at least for traditional NP). As soon as I got into one school I immediately eliminated MGH.

 

 

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UMB Dude, thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it.

So far I have gotten into BC and Simmons, and had good interviews with UMass Worcester and Northeastern.

BC is my top choice and what you said strengthens that...

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Spadeforce has 1 years experience.

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On 2/1/2019 at 9:05 AM, Ani Talla said:

I graduated from a grad entry program and I precept NP and PA students. The program is very intensive.

Pros: You do finish faster, but don't just "count your hours". It's quality over quantity: Find a good program with great clinical experiences. You go straight into the advanced practice track if that is your ultimate goal. You will also be among other like minded professional students. 

Cons: Because it's faster, it's very intense. Can be costly financially. You may face some criticism going through this route. You may hear comments like, "People with RN experience are stronger provider" etc. -To this I say: the type of experience may or may not give you an edge during NP school. I worked as a scribe and that helped immensely (I feel more so than RN experience). I've seen PA students who worked as scribes and EMTs perform better than their piers. Certain RN experience does help (like ER experience). However, certain specialties may not be as helpful. It depends on the individual. It depends on the program.

Choose wisely and good luck!

lol a scribe being more helpful than RN prior to entering a provider role keep dreaming

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