Opinion on "direct entry/immersion" NP programs for non-nurses?

  1. Hi all! Completely new here. I've been reading the forums for a few weeks. I apologize if this has been asked before, but what is your honest opinion on direct entry/immersion programs designed for non-nursing background applicants? Think accredited by the appropriate nursing bodies, in person, and 4 year long ones such as DNP programs. I am considering doing the Psychiatric Mental Health NP track, and I am a licensed mental health counselor now with no medical experience whatsoever. I know about the role that NPs are supposed to fill, as well as some of the pros and cons that come with the profession in general, but what I would really love to find out is.... do places really hire new NP grads from direct entry programs? Is the lack of previous RN/medical experience poorly seen? If you happened to be exposed to the hiring process in your practice, what is the "pulse" so to speak on new NP grads coming from direct entry? If you were the hiring manager, would you consider hiring such an individual? I've read that this can be a problem in some cases, and not so much in others. I know it also depends on the area. I'm in the Pacific Northwest. Any feedback you may have, I'll greatly appreciate it. Sometimes we don't know what we don't know, so feel free to share any considerations I may be overlooking.
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    About simcc

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 8; Likes: 1
    from WA , US

    14 Comments

  3. by   Jules A
    Search in the Advanced Practice and NP forums this topic has been chewed on and spit out too many times to count.
  4. by   SopranoKris
    It really depends on the hiring climate in your local area. Some markets are saturated, some markets are desperate for providers. It also depends on your specialty. You at least have some exposure to mental health, having been a licensed counselor. Again, you are in the field, so you should use your connections to determine what the hiring practices are in the facilities you wish to work.
  5. by   FullGlass
    Since you have mental health experience, go for the direct entry PMHNP. There is a terrible shortage of PMHNPs on the West Coast and you will have no trouble finding a good job. I am a direct entry primary care NP and had 9 job offers in Calif, NV, NM, OR, etc.
  6. by   rooseveltdunn
    I have many mentors that re Nurse managers and MD's and this is a question I posed to them when I first entered my program. The truth is: HIRING MANAGERS DO NOT CARE. There is a terrible shortage or Psych NP's and Psychiatrists; if you are licensed to practice you are in. The market is saturated for FNP's in some areas but even then, hiring managers do not discriminate between direct entry grads and traditional grads. The market does not allow for that kind of fickleness, especially in the psych world.
  7. by   umbdude
    Quote from rooseveltdunn
    I have many mentors that re Nurse managers and MD's and this is a question I posed to them when I first entered my program. The truth is: HIRING MANAGERS DO NOT CARE. There is a terrible shortage or Psych NP's and Psychiatrists; if you are licensed to practice you are in. The market is saturated for FNP's in some areas but even then, hiring managers do not discriminate between direct entry grads and traditional grads. The market does not allow for that kind of fickleness, especially in the psych world.
    My facility (psych) for one does not hire anyone without psych NP experience but will accept psych RN experience as a substitute. The current and the last PMHNPs both have years of Psych NP/RN experience.

    I'm not as optimistic as you are. I've been seeing posts from FNPs asking about psych NP programs almost daily in the last year as the FNP job market took a dive. I live in a competitive job market and I'm seeing that more and more new job postings requiring Psych NP experience. A year or two ago, most jobs had "New Grads Welcome!" or "Will train new grads" in bold. I certainly hope I am wrong, but I think the flood of FNPs going into psych will saturate the psych job market or at least make it harder for new grads in the next few years.

    But if a new grad is able to move anywhere, the jobs are still out there.
  8. by   rooseveltdunn
    Now to be fair most jobs will give preference to experienced NPs a d RNs km just about any place but there are still jobs for new grads at least here in New England.
  9. by   djmatte
    Quote from umbdude
    My facility (psych) for one does not hire anyone without psych NP experience but will accept psych RN experience as a substitute. The current and the last PMHNPs both have years of Psych NP/RN experience.

    I'm not as optimistic as you are. I've been seeing posts from FNPs asking about psych NP programs almost daily in the last year as the FNP job market took a dive. I live in a competitive job market and I'm seeing that more and more new job postings requiring Psych NP experience. A year or two ago, most jobs had "New Grads Welcome!" or "Will train new grads" in bold. I certainly hope I am wrong, but I think the flood of FNPs going into psych will saturate the psych job market or at least make it harder for new grads in the next few years.

    But if a new grad is able to move anywhere, the jobs are still out there.
    To be fair though, I don't think many fnps are looking at pmh because primary care "took a dive". Many are considering it for the thought (albeit misguided imo) of practice incorporation knowing that those providers are so scarce. Hell if I could maximize my time by the ability to effectively treat primary care across the lifespan and fill the psych needs of my patients I'd be all over it
  10. by   simcc
    Thanks everyone! I managed to find other threads where this topic has been discussed, but for FNPs, not PMNHPs. I actually didn't find much on direct entry PMNHP. I've read that psych is a field not many RNs or NPs wish to go into (overall percentages), and that it's an advantage for those seeking a career in this field, HOWEVER, there have also been talks about currently saturated markets and a future direction pointing this way. I read about both success stories, and not so great stories. With so many opinions, the only constant answer is "it depends"... on where you are, whether or not you are willing to relocate, rural vs. urban, experience and salary requirements, etc. It looks like there is no generally agreed upon answer in either direction. I guess if I choose to do this, I have to embrace uncertainty, although I am no stranger to that :-)
  11. by   simcc
    Congratulations!! This is absolutely fantastic! You give me hope since I am on the West coast :-)
  12. by   simcc
    Quote from FullGlass
    Since you have mental health experience, go for the direct entry PMHNP. There is a terrible shortage of PMHNPs on the West Coast and you will have no trouble finding a good job. I am a direct entry primary care NP and had 9 job offers in Calif, NV, NM, OR, etc.
    Congratulations!! This is absolutely fantastic! You give me hope since I am on the West coast :-)
  13. by   nadiayang
    Hi I am also in similar situation and also live in the Pacific NW in Portland, Oregon. I would love to connect for support and to share resources. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and my experience has been predominantly working as a psychiatric social worker and medical social worker in hospital setting. I am 35 y.o. and am seriously re-considering my career choice as the compensation and quality of life really are not in alignment with my desire for another next 30 years. I have no nursing experience and am also interested in applying for direct entry for a DNP program. Please feel free to send a private message with email to get in touch!
  14. by   Jules A
    Quote from simcc
    Congratulations!! This is absolutely fantastic! You give me hope since I am on the West coast :-)
    Know your source and whether they have any actual first hand information.

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