Thinking about pursuing a career as a Nurse Practitioner.


Let me start off by saying that I am really sorry if this is the wrong place to post this. I'm COMPLETELY new to this site.

Okay, I'm a Junior in high school. I'm thinking about pursuing a career as a Nurse Practitioner and I have some questions:

1) If you had to estimate, how many men that are nurses do you think are NP's? (I'm asking because I am a male. And I've heard that NP has less men than any other kind of Nursing.)

2) How many pre-requisite classes (if any) do you have to take and on average, how long does it take? How long does the becoming an RN part take?

3) After you become an RN, can you go straight into an NP program? Or do you have to spend x amount of years as an RN and then qualify for an NP program?

4) How long do NP programs take to complete?

5) How hard is it to work and go to Nursing school at the same time? (Which I'm not really worried about working since the college I'm thinking about attending is ~30 minutes away from where I live so not having a roof over my head and food in my stomach isn't a big concern. But I would still like to have some gas money so I don't have to hound my parents for it and money for other things.)

I'm sorry if these questions seem stupid. I'm just so clueless about this and would like to get this stuff straightened out.

Thank you in advance and feel free to ask any questions!


59 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

I can't speak from a nurse practitioner's perspective because I'm a nurse, but I can tell you what I know. I went through a bachelor of science in nursing program full time, which takes 4 years. You can become an associates degree nurse in 2 years full time, but then the nurse practitioner schooling would be longer I believe. If you get your BSN, you can become a nurse practitioner in 2-2.5 years. I am looking into nurse practitioner programs now and the only pre-req I've seen from a few schools is a statistics class. Some NP programs require a minimum amount of RN experience, while others require no experience. I didn't work while I was in nursing school, but I know plenty of people who had a part-time job throughout the program. Also, I'm not really sure how many male NPs there are. Hope this helps


141 Posts

I would say shadow a nurse and an NP to see if you could see yourself enjoying nursing. If you are interested in pursing advanced practice nursing then you should get your bachelors degree. Although if you want to get through nursing school and start working ADN is an excellent option. I was actually in a Diploma nursing school about 5 years ago when I graduated and worked a couple of years and then got my BSN online. I am now about to graduate from a FNP program this December. I definitely recommend working as a nurse prior to becoming an NP. This gives you a chance to find what you like. More and more men are going into nursing, I even see a greater trend over the last 5 years. More guys work in critical care, ER and cath-lab. But I wouldn't worry about that. I have always either had a part-time or full-time job in and out of school.


8 Posts

Specializes in Surgical step down, Surgical ICU. Has 3 years experience.

1) There is a higher ratio of males:females in the advanced practice setting than there are males:females overall. Really, though, it doesn’t matter to most people.

2) Check some local university websites for what courses they require. Many universities have different requirements for entry into their nursing programs. You can pursue either an Associates degree program (typically 2 years) or a Bachelorette program (typically 4 years). For most bachelors programs you will have two years of prerequisites and then two years of clinical courses.

3) Many programs require you to have one to two years of RN experience before entering their NP programs. There are also programs which do not require this. Personally, I was at the bedside for about 3 years before going back to school. The experience was very valuable.

4) NP programs usually take between 2 to 4 years to complete, depending on if you attend full time or part time.

5) Working while going to nursing school is very doable. You have to be focused and very organized. I always did better in school when I worked – it made me manage my time better.

Go meet with an admissions counselor for the school that you are interested in attending. Many 4 year programs require you to complete two years’ worth of prerequisites before applying for the nursing portion of the program. Also, as others have mentioned – ask around at local hospitals and see if you can shadow a nurse. Also, check to see if your high school offers a Health Science class.

Specializes in Family Practice, Mental Health. Has 32 years experience.

There are basic pre-requisites that are generic to pretty much all Registered Nursing programs;

Anatomy (with a lab)

Physiology (with a lab)

Chemistry - - try and take a more advanced chemistry class if you want to progress to NP easier. Physics is an option too.

Microbiology (with a lab)


English 101

Some kind of "Speech" class

Developmental Psychology


Most likely Elementary and Intermediate Algebra

These should get you started for entry into an Associate Degree in Nursing program. AKA "2 year program, which really takes more than two years because of all the pre-requisites).

Now, if you plan on starting out with a BSN (four year degree), you will need an Introduction to Statistics class. This means that you'll need to take Algebra first, in order to progress to Statistics.

In addition to Statistics for a BSN, you will also need;

English 102, aka Critical Thinking, aka Writing in the discipline. (Basically a class that will teach you how to write papers in an APA format - just suck it up....the rest of us had to take it too, lol.)

A couple of humanities classes

Maybe an American Government type class

Maybe a World History Class.

(I'm sure there's a couple that I'm missing, but I can't recall them at the present time.)

Whether you gradate with a "2 year" ADN degree or a four year BSN degree, you will take the same test to become a Registered Nurse. You will then enter a world where the debate rages on whether it's better to have an ADN degree or a BSN degree, q.v. debates galore in this forum.

If you want to be competitive for entry into a nursing program, you'll need to show a pretty good mastery of your science courses. But don't fret too awfully much, there are many RN's out there who did not start out with a stellar science background. However, since your interest lies with practicing as a Nurse Practitioner, be advised that a strong science background is Your Best Friend when you start taking those "Three P's", also known as "Advanced Physical Assessment", "Advanced Pathophysiology", and "Advanced Pharmacology".

Then there's the "Graduate Degree" in nursing which is known as the Master of Science Degree in Nursing, aka MSN. This is usually two more years of schooling whereupon you will learn even more theory, nursing philosophy, your "Three P's" (which is becoming standard in MSN classes now) that I mentioned above, Evidence-Based Practice protocols, Research, and a specialty focus in nursing such as an Advance Practice Nurse: Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Practitioner, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (which is NOW pretty much a Doctorate in Nursing Practice instead of an MSN), and Certified Nurse Midwife. Then there is the other MSN focuses such as Nurse Educator, Clinical Nurse Leader, and on and on and on....

I would probably go and visit someone at your local college to get a better idea of what is a good fit for you and your circumstances. Nursing school isn't going to get any cheaper, and if you've got free room and food while you go to school, knock out those prerequisites and hie thee to an NP program.

Hope this helps fill in a few gaps.

PS - Science classes are actually not that bad. They give you a wonderful foundation for your nursing classes.


49 Posts

Has 10 years experience.

Hey! Welcome to this site. I'm a male also, and went to nursing school, and now I'm getting ready to start my Family Nurse Practitioner Program (it starts in January). Don't be shy about asking questions. I can't wait to become a nurse practitioner. If you can, as someone else suggested, try shadowing a nurse to see what it's like. I'm not sure what area of the country your in, but you can call a local hospital and ask about shadowing ---- you can even volunteer at hospitals too. Anwway, feel free to write me or leave any messages for people here. You can get a lot of great feedback. Best of luck!!!