Quote from Dodongo
Come watch an ICU nurse do a full head to toe assessment 3 times a shift on two different patients and tell me that they don't do a detailed assessment. ICU RNs do more detailed assessments than any physician or NP I have seen in any setting - including the ones also practicing in ICU. Also, come to the ICU and tell me those nurses haven't gained practical knowledge applicable to diagnosing and prescribing. I'm not going to sit here and say that all RN experience is worthwhile for NP school, because we all know that isn't true. And I'm also not going to sit here and say that a knowledgable RN is anywhere close to an NP in terms of diagnosing, prescribing, etc. Because they're not (no matter what some of them think). But there are select areas that prior experience as an RN is extremely valuable - ICU being one. And a smart, driven RN with some worthwhile and practical experience under their belt will thrive in NP school and after graduation in ways a direct entry grad simply can not.
I think where experienced RNs fail, is when they over estimate their abilities because they're experienced nurses. I've met my fair share of nurses who think physicians and NPs are incompetent compared to their own clinical acumen. A recipe for disaster.
I have said again and again that for an acute care NP (in hospital) bedside nursing is valuable and most acute care NP schools do require RN experience.
That is not true for primary care! Why is this so hard to understand? I have yet to see an RN working in a primary care practice. And med/surg nursing does transfer in any meaningful way to psych NP, or a number of outpatient specialty NP careers. Since the top nursing schools have allowed BSN grads to go straight into NP programs since the 1990s, I will trust their expertise in education. I have spoken to a A LOT of PRIMARY CARE NPs and MDs who see no advantage in hiring an NP who had in-hospital RN experience. And they won't pay extra for it, either.
I was recently in an MSN NP program and during our physical assessment labs, I did as well or better than the students who were currently RNs or who had RN experience. I didn't see any of them that did any better than the rest of us. In addition, their charting skills were no better.
If a student wants to be an NP, then go for it! If the student wants RN experience, that is up to them, but it is not necessary or required.
Also, I see no reason for someone who wants to be an NP to put much weight on what various RNs think. Who hires NPs? Generally MDs or other NPs. I do not understand why BSNs think they are qualified to weigh in on the NP career path.